CDC Lifts Cruise Health Travel Notice
Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s exclusively adult cruise line, responds to CDC’s voluntary dissolution of the Cruise Travel Health Notice. Put into place more than two years ago, this served as a platform that provided guidance to consumers on restrictions in cruise travel, grading systems and collaborative protocols for sailing safety. The removal of the health notice demonstrates the transition back into pre-pandemic operations for the cruise industry.
In collaboration with the CDC, the industry has taken tremendous strides in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise industry leaders, including Virgin Voyages', assembled quickly to develop leading protocols and actions to mitigate risk and successfully get back into the water with eager cruisers across the globe. Now, formally in operation since the summer of 2021 and with two ships in the water, Virgin Voyages is seeing unprecedented demand with bookings up nearly 120% from January to March of this year. This earmarks March 2022 as the strongest booking window to-date for the budding cruise brand.
Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages says, “We’re absolutely thrilled to see that the CDC recognizes that it’s time to remove the Travel Health Notice website. While we feel this was a long time coming, we recognize this move as a demonstration of all of the hard work this industry has done to ensure that we’re offering the safest way to travel. It’s refreshing to see them meet us where we’re at, and clearly where our consumers are at considering the major uptick in demand we’ve seen.”
Virgin Voyages remains committed to its elevated health and safety protocols and continues to put the wellbeing of its Sailors and Crew first. The brand recognizes what is working and looks forward to continuing to make strides that contribute to the complete comeback of cruising.
With inaugural sailings debuting in 2021, Virgin Voyages now has two ships: Scarlet Lady with sailings in the Caribbean and Valiant Lady with sailings in the UK and launching from Barcelona this May. Virgin Voyages' third ship, Resilient Lady, will make her debut in Athens this summer. The brand's fourth ship will debut in 2023.