Virgin Voyages has announced it’s suspending the inaugural season of its debut cruise ship, Scarlet Lady.

Due to growing concerns over coronavirus – named covid-19 – the cruise line made the decision to postpone the season until 15 July 2020.

The cruise ship is the first vessel from the Virgin Voyages brand, with Scarlet Lady having made her debut last month.

Announcing the news, a letter from Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin read: “The current global health crisis is understandably making many people rethink upcoming travel plans.

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady: lobby
The shiny new ship was about to sail her debut season

 

“While there have been no health concerns on our ship Scarlet Lady, the Virgin Voyages team has engaged future sailors and travel partners as we all navigate this challenging moment together.

“Based on feedback from these conversations, we made the proactive decision to postpone the Showcase Tour inaugural season of Scarlet Lady until July 15, 2020, with our Maiden Voyage taking place on August 7, 2020.

“Virgin Voyages is committed to making this change to your plans as convenient and fair as possible, and are offering a range of options from a full refund and a voyage credit to bonus offerings for future sailings.”

With dozens of sailings scheduled for Florida and the Caribbean, the line is offering various compensation schemes for passengers booked onto cruises on Scarlet Lady.

Passengers will get 200 percent in future voyage credit which can be applied to any other sailing, rather than a refund. Encouraging passengers to carry on cruising, this is double the value of the existing booking.

For those wanting to get a refund, Virgin Voyages will also give a 25 percent future voyage credit on the value paid to use for a future booking.

Launching headfirst into the cruise industry, Scarlet Lady is just the first ship to be released from the Virgin Voyages brand, with two more ships on order.

The second ship, Valiant Lady, is scheduled to launch in 2021, and will sail around the Mediterranean and be homeported in Barcelona.

For the latest information and advice on coronavirus, head to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.