Virgin Voyages will restart cruises in the UK in August, move to PortMiami in September

Taylor Dolven
·1 min read

Virgin Voyages will start its first fare-paying passenger cruises in England on August 6.

The cruises aboard the company’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, will be three and four night voyages to nowhere from Portsmouth through August 27. Then, the company plans to bring the ship to PortMiami to begin Caribbean cruises on Sept. 22.

“We look at our UK summer voyages as a homecoming to pay homage to our British roots, and what an excellent way to kick-off our sailing season before heading back to PortMiami,” said CEO Tom McAlpin in a statement.

Cruises remain banned in the U.S. as Virgin Voyages and other cruise companies work through requirements from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to resume operations. Additionally, competitors Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Group are offering summer cruises from the United Kingdom.

The Virgin cruises go on sale April 13, and are only open to vaccinated residents of the United Kingdom. The company will announce testing, masking and capacity protocols in the coming months.

The company’s Scarlet Lady ship was scheduled to start cruising from PortMiami in March 2020 — just as the CDC banned cruising after COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths on several ships. Scarlet Lady never hosted passengers from Miami and left U.S. waters for Italy, where it has been ever since.

In the meantime, Miami-Dade County has continued construction on the company’s branded cruise terminal at PortMiami— Terminal V. The $159 million project is expected to be completed in November.