Virgin Voyages has pulled out of Australia and New Zealand for her second season.

A statement released from the cruise lines cited the reason for the change was due to the ongoing conflict in the Red Sea.

But rumours of heavy discounting throughout the season might also be an indicator of why Sir Richard Branson’s ship will not return.

“As the safety of our passengers and crew is our number one priority, Virgin Voyages recently shared a change of course for our early 2024 repositioning voyage from Australia to the Med. On the heels of these recent changes and based on the regional and government advice we have received; we remain very concerned about potential escalations in the Red Sea over the next 12 months.

“This significant and ongoing conflict puts unacceptable risks for safe passage through the region for our Sailors, crew, and vessel (Resilient Lady). 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.” 

Resilient Lady instead of sailing Down Under from her Mediterranean season, will divert to the Caribbean instead.

“We are currently working through options to return to Australia and the Asia Pacific region once regional repositioning opportunities become more tenable. We will share updates on future itineraries across the fleet as soon as possible, and if we return for the 25’ season, existing booked Sailors will have priority to move onto these sailings,” the statement continued.

“Impacted Sailors will have the option to rebook another voyage or opt for a full refund given the change in plans.”