Virgin Voyages postpones Brilliant Lady arrival, expands global itinerary options (including Brisbane!) based on sailor demand

Virgin Voyages postpones Brilliant Lady arrival, expands global itinerary options (including Brisbane!) based on sailor demand
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Award-winning line postpones Brilliant Lady arrival due to supply chain issues but expands global itinerary options based on Sailor demand, announcing new Australian ports

    Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s award-winning cruise line, is introducing 19 new ports and 27 epic new itineraries available through April 2025.

    Spanning all corners of the globe, the new offerings feature nine incredible new ports of call in Australia, new seaside gems in the Caribbean and a return to the UK, all following strong Sailor demand.

    Named the Number 1 mega-ship ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2023 World’s Best Awards, Virgin Voyages is loved for its incredible value, exclusively adult experiences, Michelin chef-curated menus, impeccable service and focus on relaxation and wellbeing. A brand celebrated for its fresh approach to sailing, Virgin Voyages is giving guests what they’ve been craving with its broadest selection of destinations along with new summer and winter itineraries debuting across the fleet.

    “Over the past year, our repeat Sailor rates have tripled and our loyal travellers have been asking for more destinations to visit. We have listened to their calls and delivered in a big way with new ports, fresh itineraries and more amazing experiences,” said Shane Riley, Vice President, International Sales and Marketing, Virgin Voyages.

    “For Aussie sailors, we are excited to add nine new ports to our cruises down under. From the end of 2024, Sailors can choose from 15 new itineraries and now visit some of Australia’s most stunning destinations including Port Douglas, Kangaroo Island and Broome.”

    With this new announcement, Virgin Voyages’ fleet will offer a total of 63 itineraries to some of the world’s most inspiring locales. Among the new options are what the brand is calling its “Seachange Series.”

    These reimagined repositioning voyages offer more opportunities for travellers to extend their holidays and explore the world at large.

    Details on the current deployments and what to look forward to aboard each ship are included below.

    Resilient Lady:

    After returning from her inaugural season in Australia, Virgin Voyages’ newest Lady will sail three itineraries from her homeport in Athens from May through July 2024.

    On the agenda are the popular “Greek Island Glow” to the islands of Santorini and Mykonos; “Adriatic Sea and Greek Gems,” sailing along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast before stopping in Kotor and Corfu; and finally “Starry Nights in Greece & Croatia,” which offers a mix of the other two seven-night itineraries.

    Back by popular demand, Virgin Voyages will also return to its British brand roots with a series of three-to-six-night sailings aboard Resilient Lady. Kicking off in mid-August 2024 and running through September, highlights include “English

    Sights and European Delights,” which docks in Le Verdon (Bordeaux), La Coruna and Bilbao. The beautiful cities of Amsterdam and Bruges are also on the docket this fall.

    Resilient Lady’s European schedule also includes two fantastic repositioning voyages from Portsmouth to Barcelona, adding Morocco to the brand’s roster of new destinations.

    On the heels of this voyage, Resilient closes her Med season with a Barcelona to Athens voyage, merging the best of the brand’s signature “Irresistible Med” and “Greek Island Glow” itineraries and introducing Catania, Sicily as well.

    Finally, Resilient Lady will set off on a 44-night repositioning from Athens to Australia in October 2024, making stops in awe-inspiring, bucket-list destinations like Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Bali along the way.

    Once Down Under, Sailors have the option of 15 brand new itineraries and 10 new ports including Broome, Albany, Adelaide, Newcastle, Mooloolaba, Port Douglas, Willis Island, Brisbane, Eden and Kangaroo Island.

    Valiant Lady

    To start her 2023 winter season, Valiant Lady will return from Barcelona on October 29, 2023 and begin her signature itineraries from Miami such as the “Eastern Caribbean Antilles” and “Western Caribbean Charm.”

    From January through March 2024, she will operate out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, offering two southern Caribbean voyages originally scheduled for Brilliant Lady including “The Southeastern Caribbean Isles” and “Sunsets in the Lesser Antilles.”

    Valiant Lady (Credit: Virgin Voyages)

    With Scarlet Lady heading into dry dock next year, sister ship Valiant Lady will trade places starting in April 2024. Departing from Miami, Valiant Lady will continue to offer Scarlet’s four- and five-night Caribbean rotations that Sailors love, along with a special six-night “Holidaze and Nights” voyage.

    Scarlet Lady

    Next summer between May and October 2024, Scarlet will soak up the Mediterranean sun, taking on Valiant Lady’s two seven-night itineraries: “Irresistible Med” and “French Daze and Ibiza Nights.”

    Scarlet Lady (Credit: Virgin Voyages)

    On November 3, Scarlet will embark on an 11-night repositioning voyage from Barcelona to Civitavecchia, stopping in Mallorca, Corsica and Sardinia.

    After a short period in dry dock for general maintenance, enhancements, and recalibrations, Scarlet Lady will spring back into action with a 16-night Transatlantic voyage from Rome to Miami. This new itinerary boasts calls in Funchal (Madeira, Portugal) as well as Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain).

    After arriving in Miami on December 14, 2024, Scarlet Lady will offer Valiant’s signature six and eight-night winter voyages through the spring of 2025 including “Western Caribbean Charm” and the “Eastern Caribbean Antilles.”

    Originally debuting in the fall of 2022, these longer routes from Miami feature late-night stays in San Juan, authentic experiences against the beautiful and rugged landscape of Roatan, and a taste of the US Virgin Islands with a day-trip to St. Croix.

    Brilliant Lady

    While having introduced three mid-sized vessels in less than two years is an industry first, even Cruise Critic’s No. 1 cruise line (voted by readers) is susceptible to global issues.

    Despite careful planning, Virgin Voyages is facing unexpected construction, supply chain and staffing challenges that have delayed the introduction into service of its new ship, Brilliant Lady.

    The award-winning brand has established industry-leading service and experiences, and given the challenges outlined, has made the tough decision to postpone Brilliant Lady’s highly anticipated launch. Virgin Voyages is evaluating new possible launch dates when it is able to deliver the standards the brand’s Sailors have come to expect.

    “Virgin Voyages is hoping to make a big splash in Australia and has already scheduled its second season Down Under, but even the strongest travel brands face unforeseen challenges every now and then,” Riley added. “We know Aussies will love the new ports and itineraries as much as we do, and we can’t wait for Resilient Lady’s arrival later this year.”

    Always wanting to do right by its Sailors, Virgin Voyages will offer anyone impacted by the new itineraries price-and-promotion-protected options to rebook and receive USD$300 – USD$600 in Sailor Loot or a full refund.

    Travellers wanting to experience one of the exciting new ports can take advantage of 30 per cent off Med 2024 voyages and up to a USD$600 Bar Tab when they book by September 28. A handful of select Caribbean sailings and repositioning voyages are also eligible for $500 off.

    Starting Monday, the new itineraries will be available to view and book. Please visit www.VirginVoyages.com or contact your First Mate (travel advisor).

    Latest News

    • Cruise

    Cruise Traveller’s new Scottish Highlands cruise tour package

    Australian small ship cruising specialist, Cruise Traveller, offers a 20-night land and sea holiday in the UK aboard the Lord of the Glens. The tiny cruise line’s 52-guest boutique vessel, Lord of the Glens, is purpose-built to explore the intricate waterways and lochs of the Scottish Highlands. It boasts a rich, traditional ambience with polished […]

    • Cruise

    Celebrity Xcel’s keel-laying ceremony in France, with 2025 inaugural sail planned

    Construction has commenced on Celebrity Cruises’ next ship, Celebrity Xcel, with a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. An Edge Series ship, Celebrity Xcel will set sail in autumn 2025, with several new yet-to-be-revealed offerings. At the ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), the parent […]

    • Destinations
    • Tour Operators

    Globus unveils nine new independent tours for 2025

    Coach touring brand Globus has unveiled nine new independent tours for 2025, from Bangkok to Bali and Abu Dhabi to Nepal. “With Globus Independent tours, our guests are free to enjoy the many benefits of touring, untethered and unscheduled,” APAC head of marketing, Globus family of brands (GFOB), Chris Fundell said. “Providing hand-picked hotel accommodations, […]

    • Hotels

    Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group opens Mandarin Oriental Mayfair

    The Mandarin Oriental has opened a second property in London, the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, in the heart of historic Hanover Square. Designed by internationally renowned Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, the hotel is the first new build in Mayfair in over a decade. Bringing a modern architectural approach to one of London’s most storied squares, […]

    • Hotels

    Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort unveils Coral Kids Club

    On top of its US$85 million (AU$150m) transformation, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort’s new Coral Kids Club provides an engaging activity centre for kids. Designed for keiki (children), ages 5-12, the activity centre offers daily cultural workshops with hands-on activities rooted around the Āina Guardian workbook. It was developed by Candes Gentry, co-author of Eat […]

    • Hotels

    Minor Hotels announces fourth franchised hotel

    Minor Hotels has added to its portfolio of more than 500 hotels in operation after signing Oaks Melbourne on William Suites as its fourth franchised hotel. The 220-room apartment hotel is the third Oaks property signed under a franchise model after the Oaks Toowoomba and Oaks Townsville Metropole. The proven success of these properties highlights […]

    • Destinations

    Phuket unveils cutting-edge medical facility

    Minor Hotels has announced Layan Life by Anantara, a world-class medical wellness facility that is set to elevate Phuket’s reputation as an international medical wellness destination. The new facility is set across 1,767sqm within the grounds of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort and is set to open in Q3 of this year. It offers a blend […]

    • Events

    Out West Piano Fest comes alive in Bathurst

    The three-day symphony of the senses comes back to Bathurst, at picturesque Blackdown Farm, as Out West Piano Fest returns 25-27 October. Located just five minutes away from Bathurst NSW is a pastoral heritage, art, and culture. It was also once home to Australian artist, Tim Storrier. The extensive gardens in full spring bloom offer […]

    • Attractions
    • Cruise

    Japan in Bloom with Cruise Express

    Send clients out to experience the best of the Land of the Rising Sun with Cruise Express and their Japan in Bloom expedition, a 21-night adventure. As interest in Japan hits an all-time high, Cruise Express is pleased to announce its ultimate Japanese bucket list trip. This adventure is geared for Australians wanting to tick […]

    • Road & Rail

    Explore Uzbekistan with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

    Golden Eagle Luxury Trains presents an exclusive itinerary to Uzbekistan with ensuite cabins, a personal cabin attendant, and off-train excursions. Travelling aboard the opulent Golden Eagle train, with ensuite cabins, guests will dive deep into Uzbekistan’s spectacularly global cultural identity. A personal cabin attendant, all porterage and gratuities and all off train excursions are included […]

    • Destinations
    • Partner Content

    Year-round beauty awaits you in the Emerald Ilse

    Feel like you've been hard on luck lately? Perhaps a trip to the Emerald Isle could help you steal some off the Irish.

    Partner Content

    by Travel Weekly

    Travel Weekly