Credit: Shutterstock/Virgin

Riviera Travel and Virgin Voyages cancel cruises while Cunard crew test positive

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Cruises have been cancelled by both Virgin Voyages and Riviera Travel due to ongoing Covid restrictions and Cunard Queen Elizabeth crew have tested for the virus in the latest cruise news.

Virgin Voyages and Riviera Travel have both axed cruise holidays.

This is what you need to know.

Virgin Voyages

New cruise line Virgin Voyages is set to cruise out of the UK this summer with sailings onboard Scarlet Lady.

However, subsequent US sailings have now been cancelled. Virgin has cut September 22 through October 1 cruises, impacting the first three cruises scheduled to leave from Miami.

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Instead, Scarlet Lady will now make its first Miami sailing on October 6.

Virgin Voyages has also delayed the launch of their second ship Valiant Lady.

Cruises scheduled to sail between November 14, 2021, through May 1, 2022, have been slashed.

Guests affected by the cancellations will automatically be credited 200 percent in Future Voyage Credit of the amount they’ve paid to date toward their voyage fare or they can apply for a refund.

- READ MORE: Why Virgin Voyages is unique -

If you are booked on Virgin's UK sailings you will not be impacted by these changes.

A Virgin Voyages spokeswoman told World of Cruising: "As we complete our operational readiness and first sailings in the UK, we'll be bringing Scarlet Lady back to the US for some fun events to show her off in US waters for the first time.

"Our plans have evolved over time and are a reflection of the uncertainty we faced as an industry over the course of the past year. We're thrilled to see cruising making its way back to US ports and are incredibly excited to announce our plans to sail on October 6!"

Sail on the likes of Scarlet Lady with Virgin Voyages for less. Credit: Virgin Voyages

Riviera Travel

Riviera has cancelled all six summer cruises onboard ships Seaventure due to "ongoing uncertainty and current travel restrictions in Scotland."

The Scottish Government continues to ban cruise ship calls - despite pleas from the travel industry.

Riviera guests affected by the cancellation will be booked onto cruises in 2022 and be updated on details in due course.

A Riviera Travel spokesperson said: "We regret to announce that we have had to cancel our six Seaventure cruises for 2021."

Riviera Travel: The Scottish Government continues to ban cruise ship calls. Credit: Shutterstock

He continued: "We have done everything we can to try and keep the sailings in place and provide a great holiday, but the ongoing uncertainty and current travel restrictions in Scotland mean that we’ve had to now take the decision to withdraw the ship this year.

"This is particularly disappointing given the popularity of these cruises, which sold out in a matter of weeks following their launch earlier this year.

"We are working hard to offer our booked guests equivalent cruise options in 2022. We would like to thank guests for their patience and understanding, and will share more details with them at the earliest opportunity."

The move follows Hebridean Island Cruises' decision to cancel cruises to Orkney and Shetland.

- READ MORE: Everything you need to know about new Riviera ship World Voyager -

Credit: Riviera Travel


Cunard has also suffered a blow this week after a number of crew onboard Queen Elizabeth tested positive for coronavirus just weeks before the ship's first cruise.

The luxury line said it had “detected a small number” of Covid cases among crew members.

The ship sailed into Southampton yesterday and wasn't carrying any passengers.

Her first sailing is scheduled for July 19 around Cornwall and should not be impacted by the identified infections.

- READ MORE: A brief history of Cunard and its cruise ships -

A Cunard spokeswoman told The Independent: “Working with Southampton Port Health we have taken steps to successfully contain the situation and one of these actions has been to limit new crew joining the ship.

“We immediately put in place our approved isolation protocols and followed up with close contacts on the ship.

“We have comprehensive health and wellbeing procedures in place to protect all on board, which have been developed with guidance from our global medical, public health and industry experts and in close coordination with Government departments.

World of Cruising has contacted Cunard for further comment.

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