Virgin Voyages, the highly anticipated brand vowed to revolutionize the cruise industry, has postponed the launch of its third cruise ship, Resilient Lady.
The ship was set to debut in August and operate in the summer from Piraeus (for Athens) in Greece and in the winter from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Instead, the company has postponed the launch until May 2023.
Customers who booked a crossing have been promised a refund of up to 200% refund for a future cruise, as well as some expenses.
In a Q&A for “sailors,” as cruisers are called at Virgin, the company put the blame entirely on the current travel chaos that is now spreading to the cruise industry and crippling the airline sector.
“There are a number of global challenges affecting travel and in particular the cruise industry, including supply chain issues, crew challenges and regional uncertainty,” it said.
“Every decision we make is driven by our commitment to creating a safe and inspiring environment for crew and sailors alike, and we never want to put ourselves in a position where we could negatively impact our sailing experience or the wellbeing of the crew.
“The challenges we face are not exclusive to Virgin Voyages; they impact our industry and travel as a whole.”
Passengers with bookings have several options. They can get a full refund within seven days, or receive a 200% credit towards a future cruise with Virgin Voyages within the next 12 months.
If they take credit and rebook for 2022, they’ll get an extra free trip on another Virgin Voyages ship.
The company also offers refunds up to $500 per passenger to cover any cancellation fees or canceled flights.
In a statement, Virgin Voyages said Resilient Lady will remain at the shipyard in Genoa to complete its construction.
The other two ships, Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, will remain in service in the Caribbean and Mediterranean respectively. Both were launched during the pandemic.
CEO Tom McAlpin said: “As a new brand just starting out, we have achieved so much in the past year and the future is exciting. The momentum we are seeing with Scarlet and Valiant Lady is incredible.
“That’s why we remain focused on delivering great holidays, and this break will ensure we are ready to go on Resilient.
“The travel industry is recovering well, and this month we’ve seen record bookings, a significant increase in onboard spending, and we’re currently looking to complete our next round of financing, which sets us up for continued growth.”
A fourth vessel, Brilliant Lady, will also join the company in 2023.
Main image: Scarlet Lady (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)