(Updated 12:20 p.m. EDT) – Virgin Voyages has pushed back its anticipated restart of cruise operations into January 2021. Scarlet Lady is now expected to debut on January 3, 2021.
The line had previously canceled voyages into the fall as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and has rolled out generous measures to ensure booked guests continue to sail with the line once it enters service.
Virgin notes that all passengers -- which it calls "sailors" -- on affected voyages will receive a 200 percent future cruise credit, equivalent to double the amount currently paid by booked guests. It is a sum that is among the most generous in the industry where 125 or even 100 percent are standard.
Passengers booked on affected voyages aboard Scarlet Lady also have the option to request a 100 percent refund, which will also come with a 25 percent future cruise credit to be used on a future booking.
Virgin notes that sailors booking new voyages between now and December 10, 2020 for sailings in 2021 and 2022 will be able to cancel their voyages up to 48 hours in advance of sailing for a full credit.
Virgin's new, adult-only debut vessel was scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage just as the coronavirus pandemic swept Europe and North America, resulting in the company's initial decision to postpone sailings until mid-July. Scarlet Lady's maiden voyage had, at the time, been rescheduled for August 7.
In May, Virgin Voyages had announced that the official naming ceremony for Scarlet Lady would take place in early 2021 but did not set an official date. Cruise Critic had two separate voyages booked onboard Scarlet Lady.
Cruise Critic was among the first to see the ship during a short press stint in the UK prior to the temporary postponement of the vessel's inaugural season.
While Scarlet Lady is currently at anchor in Genoa, PortMiami's cruise vessel betthing calendar shows Scarlet Lady is expected to return stateside on December 11, 2020.