Virgin Voyages has announced that it has canceled its inaugural season aboard Scarlet Lady from PortMiami this year, and instead will position the ship in the UK for a series of ‘Summer Soirée’ sailings.
This news comes shortly after the CDC announced phase 2 of its Conditional Sailing Order, which industry executives and cruise fans are less than happy about due to the lack of a real timeline for cruising from U.S. ports to resume.
For three weeks in August, Scarlet Lady will be sailing six short sailings around the southern coast of England. There will be two different itineraries to choose from, both sailing from Portsmouth, England.
The “Long Weekender Voyage:
- August 6-9
- August 13-16
- August 20-23
The “Summer WeekDaze” Voyage:
- August 9-13
- August 16-20
- August 23-27
In a blog post on the Virgin Voyages website, the line said “Since we can’t sail out of PortMiami just yet, we’re taking this opportunity to do a homecoming tour, heading back to where the Virgin brand first got its start.”
The onboard entertainment program will be tweaked slightly for these cruises, to offer an ode to both the UK and rock’n roll. Local musicians and artists who haven’t been able to go on the road (or sea) over the past year will be a highlight.
These special sailings will only be open to residents of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Passengers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 — and kids won’t be an issue as the line is already for adults only.
Through its ‘Voyage Well’ initiative, Virgin Voyages has health and safety protocols in place to protect passengers and crew. They include things such as contactless experiences, a new air purification system, reduced capacity, frequent testing, and enhanced cleaning throughout the ship.
Additional testing and protocols will be confirmed closer to sail dates, and they will all be in line with the most up-to-date recommendations from the United Kingdom government.