Sail from Portsmouth with Virgin Voyages. Credit: Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages to return to Portsmouth with a series of cruises in 2024

Author: Kaye Holland

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Richard Branson’s adults-only line is making a return to the UK with a series of short sailings from Portsmouth

The premium cruise line is set to return to the Hampshire seaside town following the successful visits of Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Virgin Voyages
– which is on a mission to disrupt cruising with its drag acts and pool parties – is making a return to Portsmouth with Resilient Lady.

The brand’s third ship will offer a series of four-three- to six-night sailings in and around the UK from mid-August through September 2024.

Standout sailings include ‘English Sights and European Delights’ – a six-night round-trip voyage from Portsmouth calling at La Coruña, Bilbao and Bordeaux.

Other highlights include mini cruises to the beautiful cities of Amsterdam and Bruges and a longer cruise between Portsmouth and Barcelona via La Coruna, Lisbon, Casablanca, Malaga and Ibiza.

Virgin Voyages' vice president of UK/international sales, Shane Riley, said: “We’re looking forward to sailing out of Portsmouth again on Resilient Lady and welcoming Sailors [as passengers are called] on-board to explore the world in true Virgin style.

“Portsmouth was where we set sail on our maiden voyage and introduced what it means to set sail the Virgin way, so it has a very special place in our hearts.”

Say hola to Ibiza with Virgin Voyages. Credit: Shutterstock

Looking to the future, the line – which walked away with the trophy for ‘Best Ocean Cruise Line’ at the 2023 Wave Awards (dubbed the Oscars of the cruise industry) – will debut 21 new ports, including Reykjavik, Naples, Dublin, Istanbul, Grand Cayman and Muscat, in summer 2025.

Scarlet Lady will sail around Europe offering a mix of six- to 15-night cruises while Valiant Lady will continue to operate the brand’s popular four and five-night Caribbean routes.

Resilient Lady, currently based in Australia and New Zealand, will return to her homeport in Athens during the summer, offering 10- and 11-night her popular seven-night itineraries calling at Mykonos, Dubrovnik, Santorini and Crete.

What’s more, anyone booking a Virgin Voyages cruise between now and January 31, can buy one cruise and get 70 per cent off for the second passenger, plus up to US$600 on a bar tab (depending on the voyage length) as part of the line’s wave season – aka the cruise industry’s equivalent of Black Friday – promotion.

Travellers who book a voyage of 14 nights or more will receive US$600 tab; voyages 7-13 nights in length will receive a $300 bar tab while it's US$300 for voyages of seven to 13 nights; US $200 for sailings of five or six nights; and US$100 for trips of four nights or fewer.

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Nirmal Saverimutu ,Virgin Voyages’ chief executive officer, said: “Wave season is here and the best time for travellers to book a voyage with us, whether wanting a Caribbean winter escape, a Mediterranean summer adventure or going further aboard our epic voyages to Bali, Morocco or Iceland.

“From the world’s best ships and best food at sea, to phenomenal value with all that we include in an elevated (and kid-free environment), there’s truly nothing like a Virgin Voyages experience.”

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]