Virgin Voyages has pushed back its launch of cruises until October 16th and has introduced a double cruise credit to reward passengers for their patience.
In a memo sent to travel partners Wednesday, the world’s newest cruise line also announced that the much-anticipated Richard’s Birthday Bash sailing would be rescheduled for July 14th, 2021.
“We’ve been working hard to find a way to set sail by August, but that hasn’t turned out to be possible,” the company said.
“We appreciate how many of your Sailors were excited to sail with us, so we understand how disappointing this news is. But we trust you and your Sailors will understand our decision given the evolving global health challenge we’re all up against,” it added.
Virgin Voyages said all booked guests on affected voyages will receive a 200 percent future cruise credit, equivalent to double the amount currently paid by booked guests, well above the 100 to 125 percent that isstandard in the industry.
If the future cruise credit is used to book a new cruise aboard Scarlet Lady prior to June 30th, 2020, Virgin Voyages will also provide up to US $500 in onboard credit.
Passengers also have the option to request a 100 percent refund, which will come with a 25 percent future cruise credit to be used on a future booking.
Like other cruise lines, Virgin Voyages has introduced a Smooth Sailing program, which allows guests to cancel up to 48 hours before departure and receive a 100% future cruise credit.
It has also relaxed final payment deadlines for voyages departing through December 16th, 2020, with finalpayment now due 60 days prior to sailing instead of 120 days.
The official naming ceremony and maiden voyage for Scarlet Lady is now expected to take place in early 2021 but a date has not been set.
Scarlet Lady is the first of Virgin Voyages’ new, adult-only vessels. She was delivered in February and made a brief media appearance in the UK just before the coronavirus pandemic began to impact Europe and the rest of the world.
Virgin Voyages cancelled all cruises through July, but like most other cruise lines, has been forced to revise its resumption of cruising schedule as the situation evolves.