Considering the increasing unrest in the Middle East, Virgin Voyages has announced a revised, safer itinerary for the Resilient Lady. Instead of a three-segment cruise through potentially volatile zones, the ship will rather sail around the whole coast of Africa.
Originally scheduled to sail via the Middle East in 2024, Virgin Voyages has officially announced changes to the repositioning cruise of the Resilient Lady.
The cruise company has been in continual contact with international security specialists, evaluating the continuing crisis in the Middle East, citing the safety of their guests and employees as their priority.
The cruise company expressed their continued concern about the possibility of escalations in the Middle East in the next 12 months and the danger this may pose to safe travel. As a consequence, the repositioning cruise of the Resilient Lady, scheduled for 27 March, will have to be changed.
It was initially planned that Resilient Lady would set sail on an extensive voyage from Sydney, Australia, on 27 March 2024.
There were supposed to be stops in Airlie Beach on 31 March, Cairns on 2 April, Darwin on 5 April, and an overnight stay in Bali, Indonesia, on 7 April. The first leg of the journey was scheduled to arrive in Singapore on 11 April 2024.
The following schedule was set for Resilient Lady’s itinerary: 11 April in Singapore, 12 April in Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia; 14 April in Phuket, Thailand; 17 April in Colombo, Sri Lanka; 19 April in Mormugao (Goa), India; 20 April in Mumbai, India, for an overnight stay; and 24 April in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The last leg was supposed to set sail from Dubai on 25 April, travel to Safaga, Egypt, on 2 May, and Alexandria, Egypt, on 5 May. Then, it was to head to Greece, with stops in Rhodes, Santorini, and Piraeus (Athens) on 7 and 8 May, respectively.
The original plans for the Middle Eastern ports have been scrapped, and the Resilient Lady will now set sail from Sydney on a new route around Africa.
The updated schedule starts in Sydney and travels via Eden and Fremantle, Port Louis in Mauritius, Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, Walvis Bay in Namibia, Praia in Cape Verde, Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain, Casablanca in Morocco, Barcelona in Spain, Valletta in Malta, and Finally, Santorini and Piraeus (Athens) in Greece. The ports’ visit dates are still to be released.
Virgin Voyages has assured that all customers who purchased tickets for the original cruise legs could transfer to the revised sailing at no extra cost.
In addition, guests who are unhappy with the revised sailing dates can get a full refund or a future voyage credit equal to the paid amount.
The choice by Virgin Voyages to change the course of the Resilient Lady is part of a broader trend in the cruise industry, as cruise lines are reevaluating and adjusting their itineraries to avoid areas that might be affected by rising regional tensions.
Several prominent cruise companies, including Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, and Carnival Corporation, have also issued course corrections to avoid the problematic waters of the Red Sea.
Moreover, Virgin Voyages is now conducting a full review of other geographically similar repositioning voyages and linked sailings and will provide an update in the coming weeks on any further changes we must make.