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Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson

Virgin Voyages’ maiden voyage postponed until Aug. 7

MIAMI — With just weeks away from its highly anticipated debut, Virgin Voyages has announced that it will be postponing in inaugural sailing season for the Scarlet Lady until July 15, 2020.

Originally scheduled to depart April 1, the ship’s maiden voyage is now scheduled for Aug. 7 following its Showcase Tour.

In a joint statement, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages’ CEO Tom McAlpin said that the decision was made in light of the current global health crisis.

“We understand that this is affecting us all in different ways and making many people rethink upcoming cruise plans,” they said. “We have spent time talking to our team, future ‘Sailors’ and travel partners as we navigate this challenging moment. As a brand, Virgin has always championed our customers and, most importantly, listened to them.”

Virgin Voyages is offering a range of options for affected customers, including:

• 200% in Future Voyage Credit, which customers can apply to another sailing, rather than a refund
• If using their Future Voyage Credit before June 30, 2020, customers will also receive up to US$500 in onboard credit
• A full refund of their voyage fare along with a Future Voyage Credit equal to 25% of the booked voyage fare to be use on a future sailing

Onboard credit amounts will be based on the cabin selected – Suites $500, Sea Terraces $300, and Sea Views or Insiders $150.

All refunds will be applied to a customer’s original form of payment within 30 days.

Branson and McAlpin also reassured travellers that there are “absolutely no issues aboard our ship” and have elevated protocols in places. The cruise line is also working with relevant parties to “research new technologies that will help to expedite health screenings and make people feels safe.”

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