Virgin Voyages cancels second Australia season over Red Sea safety fears

By Lisa James
27/02/2024
Home » Virgin Voyages cancels second Australia season over Red Sea safety fears

Virgin Voyages has said concerns about potential escalations in the Red Sea have forced it to cancel its second Australia season, due to start later this year.

The cruise line recently altered its 2024 repositioning voyage on Resilient Lady from Australia to the Mediterranean to avoid the Red Sea.

It’s now said Resilient Lady’s 2024/25 repositioning voyages from Europe to Australia have been cancelled, along with its plans for a second Australia season.

Impacted passengers will be able to rebook on an alternative cruise or get a full refund. They’ll also be given priority to move over to Australia sailings if the line is able to return in the 2025 season.

Virgin Voyages said: “Based on the regional and government advice we have received, we remain very concerned about potential escalations in the Red Sea over the next 12 months.

“This significant and ongoing conflict puts unacceptable risks for safe passage through the region for our Sailors [passengers], crew and vessel.

“As a result, we have been left with no choice but to cancel our 2024/25 voyage season plans for Resilient Lady, impacting the late 2024 and early 2025 repositioning voyages between Europe and Australia and a second sailing season in Australian waters.”

Resilient Lady will complete its Mediterranean sailing season on 20 October 2024 and sail to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a new Caribbean season offering seven-, eight-, 10- and 11-night voyages visiting St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Colombia, and Dominica.

Virgin Voyages said it is ‘currently reviewing Resilient Lady’s repositioning routes from Athens to San Juan’ but added ‘they will feature stunning ports including Catania, Casablanca, and Tenerife’. 

The cruise line added: “Virgin Voyages was embraced by the Australia and New Zealand markets with a warm welcome and celebrated an extremely successful inaugural season – the love was mutual.

“To say that we are disappointed to have come to this tough conclusion is an understatement. These adjustments are happening now in order to minimise potential future disruption to our passengers’ holiday plans knowing there is a high likelihood that changes would need to happen in the future.

“Our customers and travel agent partners asked us to ensure we give them as much time as possible to make alternative plans. We appreciate the time and energy that goes into planning a holiday, and we are focused on your safety as well as giving you certainty.”

It added it hopes to return to Australia and the Asia Pacific region ‘once regional repositioning opportunities become more tenable’.

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