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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 7:25 PM 

Virgin Voyages cancels 2024-25 Australia sailings due to Red Sea conflict

  • Cruises
  •   02-27-2024  9:36 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Virgin Voyages cancels 2024-25 Australia sailings due to Red Sea conflict
Virgin Voyages' Resilient Lady. (Pax Global Media/Diane Tierney)
Pax Global Media

Safety concerns in the Red Sea region continue to impact the cruise industry.

In a company update shared Monday (Feb. 26), Virgin Voyages said it is cancelling its 2024-25 voyage season plans for Resilient Lady, impacting the ship’s second sailing season in Australian waters, due to the ongoing conflict in the Red Sea, were Houthi rebels have been attacking vessels.

The adults-only cruise line has also been forced to scrap the ship's late 2024 and early 2025 repositioning voyages between Europe and Australia due to “unacceptable risks” in sailing through the region over the next 12 months.

"We remain very concerned about potential escalations in the Red Sea over the next 12 months," reads a company statement. "This significant and ongoing conflict puts unacceptable risks for safe passage through the region for our Sailors, crew and vessel (Resilient Lady)." 

READ MORE: On Location - Third time’s a charm with Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady 

The line said it was “left with no choice” but to make the changes after it recently altered the course of Resilient Lady’s early 2024 repositioning sailing from Australia to the Mediterranean.

The company is now reviewing Resilient Lady's repositioning from Athens to San Juan, and will share updates soon. 

As a result, a new Caribbean offering will be available, with 7, 8, 10 and 11-night voyages visiting St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Colombia, and Dominica.

Still, the news comes as a blow just as Virgin Voyages gained steam in new and exciting markets. 

"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," the cruise line said. "To say that we are disappointed to have come to this tough conclusion is an understatement." 

The latest adjustments are happening in order to minimize potential future disruptions, the cruise line said. 

"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," the company said. 

Virgin Voyages is reviewing its options to return to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region once regional repositioning opportunities become more tenable. It said it will share updates soon as possible. 

"In the event that we return for the 25’ season, existing booked Sailors will have priority to move onto these sailings," the company said.  "In the meantime, we know how much Aussie and New Zealand tourists enjoy visiting Europe and with two ships taking in standout destinations from our home ports in Barcelona (Spain), Athens (Greece) and Portsmouth (UK) we look forward to welcoming sailors to Europe so they can experience it the Virgin way." 

Impacted guests will have the option to rebook another voyage or opt for a full refund. 

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