Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady Leaves Portsmouth for New York

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The Scarlet Lady has set sail from Portsmouth, England, after spending the summer in the UK. According to a press release, the 2,800-passenger Virgin Voyages ship is now heading across the Atlantic to New York.

Portsmouth International Port said that over 8,000 passengers enjoyed the Summer Soiree Series, which saw Virgin Voyages launch its world's first commercial sailing from Portsmouth.

A pop-up terminal was created to host passengers while keeping strict COVID-19 health protocols in place after the CDC cruise restrictions in America curtailed plans for stateside launch, guests instead enjoyed a season sailing in domestic UK waters.

Portsmouth port said that the Scarlet Lady brought a “much-needed boost to the city after a challenging year.” and it felt honored to receive an open letter of thanks from the Virgin Voyages team.

“(Y)ou’ve welcomed us to your home and you will forever have a place in our heart. We couldn’t be more grateful for your support as we sailed for the first time,” the letter read. “While the Scarlet Lady is saying Bon Voyage after a brilliant Summer Soiree season, we can’t wait to see you next year when our second ship, the Valiant Lady, makes her debut, right here. She’s quite the head-turner too, and there’s nowhere else we’d rather start her off.”

Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director said: “Seeing the Scarlet Lady in the port has been the result of years of hard work, from securing investment to extend our cruise berth to accommodate larger ships, to building confidence with the Virgin Voyages’ team that we could look after their world-first sailing … Everyone at the port stepped up, during the most challenging time, to make sure this was a success and I’m so proud of their hard work and professionalism.”

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Sellers noted that it has also been impressive to see the Virgin team in operation with some spending months in the city to make sure “everything went smoothly, becoming very fond of Portsmouth in the process.”

“We want to become the port of choice for luxury, boutique cruises, and with plans for a terminal extension underway we’re on our way there … We’re looking forward to seeing Virgin’s new build Valiant Lady in the city next year, and welcoming back the team. In the meantime, the hard work continues as we continue to build our position as a major player in the cruise industry,” Sellers said.

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