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Virgin Voyages cancels second Australasian season due to Middle East conflict 

After a well-hyped first season Down Under, Virgin Voyages has decided to cancel Resilient Lady's 2024/2025 Australasian season due to “unacceptable risks for safe passage” through the Red Sea.

After a well-hyped first season Down Under, Virgin Voyages has decided to cancel Resilient Lady’s 2024/2025 Australasian season due to “unacceptable risks for safe passage” through the Red Sea.

The shock announcement comes after the cruise line changed its course for its repositioning voyage from Australia to the Mediterranean following its first season in local waters. 

Based on regional and government advice, the cruise line says it is concerned about possible rises in tensions in the Red Sea over the next year. 

“This significant and ongoing conflict puts unacceptable risks for safe passage through the region for our sailors, crew and vessel [Resilient Lady],” a Virgin Voyages spokesperson said. 

Virgin Voyages cabin
A Virgin Voyages cabin

“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.” 

With the safety of its passengers and crew its number one priority, Virgin Voyages says it is exploring ways to come back to Australia and the Asia Pacific region when it is more feasible. 

“We will share updates on future itineraries across the fleet as soon as possible, and in the event that we return for the 25’ season, existing booked sailors will have priority to move onto these sailings,” the spokesperson said. 

Virgin Voyages
Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages and Sir Richard Branson

What happens now?

Affected passengers will be able to choose between booking a different voyage or receiving a full refund due to the change in plans.

After the completion of its Mediterranean sailing season on 20 October, Resilient Lady will now head to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a new Caribbean season offering voyages to St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Colombia and Dominica.

“We are currently reviewing Resilient Lady’s repositioning routes from Athens to San Juan, and we will share these as soon as they’re ready, but they will feature stunning ports including Catania, Casablanca, and Tenerife,” the spokesperson added.

According to the cruise line, Resilient Lady experienced “an extremely successful inaugural season” Down Under.

“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,” the spokesperson 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.” 

Virgin Voyages Resilient Lady
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