Instead of resuming cruises in March aboard Scarlet Lady, and launching Valiant Lady in Europe in late 2021, Scarlet Lady will instead begin sailing from Miami in May, while Valiant Lady will sail her first season in November, 2021, in the Caribbean.
She will then reposition to the Mediterranean in 2022 instead. It is expected that she will sail the same cruise season out of Barcelona that was previously announced by Virgin Voyages.
The cruise line said in a statement that despite the delays to its introduction of cruises, the construction of its cruise terminal in PortMiami is continuing on schedule.
“The decision to reschedule the upcoming sail dates serves as a testament to the brand’s commitment of prioritising the health and well-being of its sailors and crew, whose safety is always first and foremost,” the company said, in a statement (Virgin Voyages refers to guests as sailors).
“Virgin Voyages is strongly encouraged by the positive developments surrounding vaccines in the US and abroad, but also recognizes the current significant challenges in combating the spread of the virus on land,” it added.
The cruise line said that despite the challenges, it remains excited and committed to the future and is”incredibly optimistic about the new sail dates in 2021 as well as the upcoming wave season”.
“The brand expects this coming wave season to see a significant increase in consumer spending on travel well into 2021,” it said. “In anticipation of the spring, travelers will look to make plans and finally take that much delayed vacation, making up for missed moments during 2020.”
Those sentiments have been echoed by other cruise lines, including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line and Carnival Cruise Line, all of which have said that the pause from traveling in 2020 has left people ready to spend on holidays the coming three years.
Scarlet Lady is Virgin Voyage’s first cruise ship, she was launched in early 2020 and sailed a number of pre-introduction cruises for guests in the UK and Europe, including the media, before she was forced to suspend cruises due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Valiant Lady will be the cruise line’s second ship and a sister ship to Scarlet Lady. Two further cruise ships are on order with Fincantieri.