Virgin Voyages: Richard Branson launches the Scarlet Lady
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Cruise lines are beginning to show optimism towards a return to the waters, but many are now indicating only vaccinated passengers will be welcomed back onboard. Virgin Voyages is the latest cruise line to make this announcement.
The Richard Branson-owned cruise line has set out plans to return to sailing from June 30, though this will depend on global travel restrictions at the time.
However, in order to ensure the “safest experience” for everyone onboard, Virgin Voyages has taken a firm stance in favour of vaccination.
In a statement, Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages, said: “Our goal is to ensure that we’re providing the safest travel experience which means vaccinations for both our crew and passengers.
“The is a step towards the safe return to sailing and is the right decision for Virgin Voyages.
“We’re really encouraged by the latest rollout plans in the May time frame from the new administration, and we know the future is about vaccinations.
“We’re an adult-only cruise line which allows for us to offer a highly controlled, safe environment for everyone on board.
“Our business makes us uniquely set up to do this with testing and vaccine travel requirements.
“There’s a huge pent up demand for travel and Virgin Voyages will be ready to welcome you aboard soon.”
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Currently, in the UK the vaccine rollout is making speedy progress.
According to the latest statistics from the NHS, in the week ending March 7, an additional 1,783,136 people were reported to have received an NHS vaccination for COVID-19 in England.
This took the total number of people vaccinated with at least one dose as of March 7 to 18,962,627.
Of those vaccinated, 796,574 people have received a second dose, taking the total number of vaccinations given to 19,759,201.
Meanwhile, according to US projections, there could be a significant easing of restrictions, including travel, by May.
Virgin Voyages was due to launch its first ship Scarlet Lady in April 2020.
However, the pandemic soon put these plans firmly on hold.
It’s second ship, Valiant Lady was due to set sail in May 2021 but is similarly been delayed by Covid travel restrictions.
Despite this, the cruise line remains optimistic, having recently unveiled plans for a third vessel to join its fleet.
Resilient Lady is scheduled for completion on July 1, 2022, and will set sail through the Mediterranean.
Stops will include the Greek Islands, we well as the Adriatic coasts, including Croatia and Montenegro.
“Welcoming Resilient Lady to our fleet and revealing these amazing itineraries sets the tone for the most memorable summer voyage,” said Tom McAlpin.
“We know the time to travel is on the horizon, and Virgin Voyages is here so that we can keep dreaming of irresistible vacations ahead.”
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