Virgin Voyages announced on Tuesday morning that they will be canceling all of its scheduled November 2020 cruises.
“It Has Never Been A Matter Of If We Sail, But Rather When”
In a letter to travel agents, the cruise line said, “As we continue to navigate what’s going on in the world, we’ve made the decision to cancel our November sailings.”
Virgin remains optimistic about the launch of their new endeavor, saying, “With years of hard work toward this endeavor and our incredible shareholders passionately behind us, it has never been a matter of if we sail, but rather when. We’re fortunate to have such an incredible group of people backing us who believe deeply in what we’ve built and where we’re going — not just at sea, but as a business and brand. So even though we might all be navigating the unknown right now, we know how exciting the future remains.”
Back in May, the cruise line announced they would not be resuming cruises until October 16, 2020. Now, the earliest the lines brand new vessels will sail is December 2020.
It was also previously announced that the line was rescheduling founder Richard Branson’s Birthday Bash Cruise until July 14, 2021.
Currently, the 2,770-guest Scarlet Lady is in cold lay-up in Genoa, Italy, while awaiting word on exactly when they will begin sailing again. Genoa is the port from which both MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises have started to slowly resume cruises, starting with MSC Grandiosa back in August.
Last week Virgin announced that its upcoming second ship, the Valiant Lady — which is currently under construction at Fincantieri Shipyard in Italy — will be sailing longer Caribbean itineraries from PortMiami, including stops at the line’s private destination Bimini Beach Club. Scarlet Lady’s plan is to sail shorter itineraries, although they, too, will stop at the Beach Club.
The setbacks are frustrating for not only Virgin, but would-be sailors who have been looking forward to the much-buzzed-about ships.
From the start, Virgin said they would be breaking all of the traditional cruise rules in a number of ways, most notably by being an adults-only line catering to the 18-and-over crowd.
The ships also roll gratuities into the cost of the cruise fare, offer free non-alcoholic beverages, and no main dining room. Yet to be seen is how the protocols being adopted by the industry will impact some of the line’s more unconventional plans.