A planned stopover in New York City of Virgin Voyages’ brand-new ship, Scarlet Lady, has been canned at the 11th hour, but the new cruise line insists the diversion is not due to “health concerns”.
Late last month, Scarlet Lady made two whistle-stop visits to Dover and Liverpool in the UK as it set course from Genoa, Italy to its homeport of PortMiami, Florida.
The “Showcase Tour” for New York audiences was scheduled for this upcoming weekend (7-10 March, 2020) at Pier 88, Manhattan and was publicised as an opportunity for foodies and influencers to get a taste of the fare being dished up at Scarlet Lady‘s eateries including The Wake, Razzle Dazzle, The Test Kitchen and Pink Agave.
“We have postponed Scarlet Lady’s Showcase Tour pitstop in NYC given the current global situation. While we do not have any health concerns on board, timing is everything and we want to ensure everyone can celebrate our arrival the way we did in Dover and Liverpool a short while ago,” Virgin Voyages told those foodies that had booked and paid for the dining experiences.
In a prepared statement to LATTE, Virgin Voyages said, “In light of the current news headlines, we want to ensure everyone feels it is the right time to celebrate with us. We understand people may want to focus on other things at the moment, so we have made the decision to reschedule our upcoming Showcase Tour stop and events in New York City.”
It’s unclear if the earmarked stopover at Virgin Voyages’ island enclave in the Caribbean, at Bimini, will proceed on 13/14 March.
“We have absolutely no health concerns or issues on board and elevated our health protocol and processes when we took delivery of Scarlet Lady to keep our crew and visitors well and happy.
“With no other events scheduled in New York at this time, we will instead sail Scarlet to her new home in Miami, where we will continue our plans for launch and welcome our Sailors for the first time,” Virgin Voyages said.
“We believe delaying the launch celebration is the right thing to do given public sentiment and focus at this time,” a separate statement added.
Media in the UK have reported that many guests aboard the maiden transatlantic sailing are irate at their new end point being Miami, some 1,750 kilometres south of New York City, requiring them to make their own alternative travel arrangements to reach The Big Apple.
Lead image: Scarlet Lady last week on the Mersey River, Liverpool (image credit: Virgin Voyages)