Virgin Voyages Cancels Sailings on 'Resilient Lady,' Delaying Ship's Launch Until Next Year

·2 min read
Resilient Lady
Resilient Lady

Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Richard Branson's Virgin Voyages cruise line has delayed the launch of its third ship, Resilient Lady, until 2023.

The cruise ship's inaugural journey has been pushed to May 2023, according to the company, after it was initially expected to debut from Athens, Greece, this summer.

"There are a number of global challenges that affect travel and particularly the cruise industry, including supply chain issues, crewing challenges and regional uncertainty," Virgin Voyages wrote on its website about the postponement. "Every decision we make is driven by our commitment to creating a safe and inspiring environment for both Crew and Sailors, and we never want to put ourselves in a position where we could negatively impact our Sailor experience or Crew's well-being."

Virgin Voyages first launched last year with adults-only sailings on its first ship, the Scarlet Lady. The company's second ship, the Valiant Lady, launched earlier this year.

Travelers who were booked on now-canceled sailings on the Resilient Lady can request a full refund of their trip (plus a 25% future voyage credit), or choose the "Double Your Value" option for a 200% credit for a future cruise, which must be used within one year from the original travel date. Travelers who choose the 200% credit will also be eligible for an "Access Key" for a free cruise if they use any portion of that credit on a new sailing in 2022.

Travelers have until July 31 to decide which option they'd prefer.

When it finally does sail, the Resilient Lady will feature a "Michelin-starred chef collective," with more than 20 eateries and made-to-order food as well as a spa, cycling studio, yoga studio, full outdoor track, and a record store on board.

In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its warning against cruise ship travel, telling Americans to "make their own risk assessment when choosing to travel on a cruise ship, much like they do in all other travel settings." Since then, several cruise companies have begun returning to pre-pandemic practices, including dropping capacity restrictions.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.