Virgin Voyages has changed Resilient Lady’s repositioning voyage and will now depart from Sydney for Europe, via Africa, and not transiting through the Middle East.
“Like many other cruise brands, we have been watching the current conflict in the Middle East closely, connecting regularly with global security experts to consider the impacts to the repositioning voyages planned for Resilient Lady in 2024,” a Virgin spokesperson said.
“We remain concerned about potential escalations in this part of the world over the next 12 months and the risk that this presents for safe passage through the region.
“As a result, we have been left with no choice but to make changes to Resilient Lady‘s repositioning voyage taking place on the 27th of March, 2024.”
Virgin’s decision follows similar moves by other lines to cancel or reroute voyages.
In place of her former repositioning voyage, the award-winning Resilient Lady will now be departing from Sydney, and sail around the coast of Africa with a new route stopping in Eden, NSW and Fremantle, WA, then on to Port Louis, Mauritius, Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, Walvis Bay in Namibia and Praia in the African island nation of Cape Verde, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is then on to Casablanca in Morocco, Barcelona, Valletta in Malta, before stopping in Santorini and Piraeus in Greece – all with extended time at sea.
“All passengers on these former three legs of the repositioning voyages will have guaranteed spots on these sailings at no additional cost and a price protection commitment in place,” the Virgin spokesperson said.
If the dates are not convenient they can receive a future voyage credit based on their paid balance or a full refund.
“We know that based on our conversations with passengers and travel partners, they understand the complex geopolitical challenges that have arisen making this change necessary.”
Virgin Voyages said it is now conducting a full review of other geographically similar repositioning voyages and linked sailings and aims to minimise further disruptions to its passengers’ holiday plans.