Virgin Voyages arrives in Nassau after long pandemic-related delay

Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady cruise ship pulled into Nassau’s cruise port yesterday with almost 1,200 passengers on its maiden voyage from the Port of Miami, more than a year and a half after it was originally scheduled to make its appearance on the high seas.

According to the company’s itineraries, the cruise ship will only pass through Nassau once more by the end of the year, though all of its cruises take passengers to the cruise line’s exclusive beach club in Bimini, which the ship will visit for the first time with passengers when it departs Nassau.

The COVID-19 pandemic stopped all cruise activity since March of 2020 and Virgin was forced to postpone the launch of its first cruise ship, which was also scheduled to sail with Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson aboard, who would have been celebrating his birthday.

The company had also only just taken receipt of the Scarlet Lady when the COVID-19 crisis exploded in the Americas.

Virgin stated in a press release on Wednesday that Virgin Voyages has been seven years in the making.

“Featuring a mix of four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries, the brand offers an unparalleled Virgin 

experience with a mega yacht-inspired boutique hotel at sea,” the statement noted.

“This adult-only experience presents the perfect backdrop for the vacation everyone needs, with no reason to stay home.

“Scarlet Lady’s ‘Fire & Sunset Soirées’, a four-night cruise, will stop in Nassau and then head to the beach club at Bimini, a signature waterfront experience in one of the most alluring Caribbean destinations.

“Sailors can get that sun-kissed glow and relax with restorative morning yoga classes, or lounge by the pool in a private cabana, paired with sunset bonfires and deejay-led flotilla parties.

“During her inaugural season, Scarlet Lady will sail a mix of Mexican and Caribbean voyages befitting of any curious traveler’s tastes, with five-night ‘Riviera Maya’ sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen; five-night ‘Mayan Sol’ voyages to Costa Maya, Mexico and five-night ‘Dominican Daze’ voyages to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.”

The ship arrived with fully-vaccinated passengers and crew as required by The Bahamas’ COVID-19 regulations. The statement added that everyone aboard the ship were also tested for COVID-19 prior to sailing.

“On top of requiring full vaccinations for both sailors and crew, all guests will be tested for COVID-19 prior to boarding, a cost covered by the brand,” Virgin said.

“The goal is to ensure the safest possible travel experience, which includes implementing best practices around sanitization, physical distancing, limited occupancy and following local government guidelines in each destination Virgin Voyages sails.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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