(12 p.m. EDT) -- Virgin Voyages has announced it will push the debut of its third cruise ship back to next spring due to complications brought on by the global health pandemic and other world events.
The line will delay the launch of its third ship, Resilient Lady, to May 2023. Resilient Lady was previously scheduled to make its debut in the Greek Isles this August, sailing from Piraeus, the port for Athens.
Virgin cited several factors in its decision, including supply chain obstacles, crewing challenges, uncertainty around travel to countries in Eastern Europe, and restrictive COVID-19 testing and re-entry requirements for U.S. travelers.
The hotly-anticipated 2,700-passenger Resilient Lady will be the third vessel in the fast-growing Virgin Voyages' fleet, following on the heels of sister-ships Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady. Sailings aboard those vessels are not affected.
The line noted in a statement sent to media it did not arrive at the decision to delay Resilient Lady's entry into service lightly.
"As a new brand that is just getting started, we’ve accomplished so much this past year, and the future for us is exciting," said Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin. "The momentum that we’re seeing with Scarlet and Valiant Lady is incredible. The fantastic reviews and awards our ships and crew have won are very heartening, so we thank our guests for sailing with us. That is why we remain focused on delivering brilliant vacations, and this pause will ensure we will be ready to go on Resilient (Lady)."
"I also send my thanks to our amazing crew for all they do every day."
Passengers booked on Resilient Lady's affected voyages are being offered generous compensation for their inconvenience: Virgin is rolling out 200% Future Cruise Credits, or a full refund of monies paid, plus a 25% FCC.
Passengers who choose the 200% FCC and rebook a voyage in 2022 will also be treated to an additional free voyage, excluding taxes and fees.
Virgin will also aid with associated travel costs and penalties and will protect travel agent commissions on fares paid.
In addition to Resilient Lady, Virgin Voyages will also take delivery of a fourth vessel, Brilliant Lady, in 2023.
The line's first vessel, Scarlet Lady, won Cruise Critic's 2021 Editors' Picks Award for Best New Cruise Ship.