Virgin Voyages has cancelled multiple cruises on three ships through to next September after being forced to delay the launch of its fourth vessel, Brilliant Lady.
The cruise line blamed construction, supply chain and staffing issues for the delay to Brilliant Lady, which was due to set sail in December this year from Puerto Rico.
In a statement, the cruise line said it is now evaluating new possible launch dates.
“We launched Virgin Voyages in the UK two years ago and have since taken the industry by storm, but even the strongest businesses face unforeseen challenges every now and then,” said VP of UK/International Sales Shane Riley.
“We are sorry that our sailors (passengers) who were excited about Brilliant Lady will have to wait a little bit longer, but we know they’ll love the itineraries as much as we do.”
Cancelled cruises include Brilliant Lady’s inaugural voyages departing on 24 and 30 December, the Sunsets in the Lesser Antilles departures on 6 January, 30 March and 6 and 13 April, Caribbean cruises departing on 23 March and 6 April, and an 11-night Transatlantic cruise departing on 20 April.
Virgin is offering guests price -and promotion-protected options to rebook and $300 to $600 in Sailor Loot (onboard credit) or a full refund.
Those who rebook by 28 September will receive 30% Mediterranean cruises and up to ¢600 bar tab. A handful of Caribbean and repositioning cruises are eligible for $500 off.
Virgin said the new itineraries will be available to book by Monday.
Due to the delayed launch of Brilliant Lady, some cruises on two other Virgin ships have also been axed as they move to replace some of Brilliant Lady’s sailings.
Sister ship Valiant Lady will switch to Puerto Rico from January to March next year to operate Brilliant Lady’s cruises to the Caribbean, meaning her Western Caribbean Charm departures have been cancelled.
Resilient Lady’s Adriatic Sea & Greek Gems cruises from 28 July to 29 September 2024 have been axed, along with a seven-night Greek Island Glow from 4 August to 13 October.
Virgin Voyages is understood to be protecting agents’ commission and offering a bonus commission for all rebooked cruises.
Meanwhile, the cruise line has secured $550m of fresh funding from Ares Management, which it said would pave the way for ‘rapid expansion into international markets’.
CEO Tom McAlpin is to retire, to be replaced by President and Chief Experience Office Nirmal Saverimuttu.