(8:41 a.m. EDT) -- Fifteen months after previewing to the media and travel industry in Dover and Liverpool, Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady will finally set sail from Portsmouth, England, on its first ever revenue sailing.
The adults-only cruise line will welcome British passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the programme of three- and four-night English Channel voyages throughout August.
Virgin Voyages President and CEO, Tom McAlpin, said:“With our expansive F&B options, beautiful spa, amazing crew and festival-style line-up of on-board entertainment, Scarlet Lady challenges the status quo in every way.
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"Not only are we committed to helping our Sailors [passengers] create the most memorable vacation, but we want to provide the safest travel experience possible without compromising on the fun we all deserve."
Following the February 2020 U.K. preview events, Scarlet Lady sailed to the U.S. where it was due to offer a showcase event in New York, before heading to Miami where the ship was due to be christened.
However, he line was forced to cancel its planned U.S. debut, which coincided with the beginning of the global pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of the cruise industry.
The first of four ships from Virgin Voyages, the shiny new 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady features 1,330 cabins and 78 suites -- called RockStar Suites -- with 86 percent of cabins featuring a balcony.
There is no main dining room, no set dining times, no dress code and no buffet onboard, the line insists on calling passengers "sailors" and does not use the word "cruise", rather "voyages", as part of its attempts to distance itself from traditional cruising. The ship is styled on a modern boutique hotel, with Virgin Voyages hiring designers including Tom Dixon to work on the hipster look, which features the first tattoo parlour and vinyl store at sea, plus 20 different dining venues covered in the cruise fare.
Cabins are still available for the Summer Soiree Series, with fares from £599 for the 'Summer WeekDaze' and £499 for the 'Long Weekender'.
In a bumper month for the new cruise line, Virgin Voyages took delivery of its next new ship, Valiant Lady, and saw its third ship, Resilient Lady, floated out at a ceremony marked at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa earlier this month.
Valiant Lady will also offer ex-Portsmouth sailings, with three itineraries in March 2022, including late-night and overnight stays in Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, the Canary Islands, Lisbon and Belgium, before relocating to Barcelona for the summer 2022 season.