Staffing and supply chain issues are forcing some major changes to Virgin Voyages’ future schedule including, most notably, the debut of its fourth ship Brilliant Lady.
In a message to its partners on Thursday, Virgin announced canceled sailings for Brilliant Lady, Valiant Lady, and Resilient Lady because of “unexpected construction, supply chain, and staffing challenges.” The sailings are:
- Brilliant Lady’s debut voyages sailing on Dec. 24 and Dec. 30, 2023
- Brilliant Lady’s 7-night Sunsets in the Lesser Antilles departures on Jan. 6, March 30, and April 13, 2024.
- Brilliant Lady’s 7-night Southeastern Caribbean Isles sailings on March 23 and April 6, 2024.
- Brilliant Lady’s 11-night Transatlantic Puerto Rico to Portugal departing April 20, 2024.
- Valiant Lady’s 6-night Western Caribbean Charm sailings from Jan. 7, 2024, through March 17, 2024.
- Valiant Lady’s 8-night Eastern Caribbean Antilles departures from Jan. 13, 2024, through March 23, 2024.
- Resilient Lady’s 7-night Adriatic Sea & Greek Gems departures from July 28 through Sept. 29, 2024.
- Resilient Lady’s 7-night Greek Island Glow departures from Aug. 4 through Oct. 13, 2024.
At the same time, Virgin is revising some of its 2024 winter Caribbean sailings, moving them from Brilliant Lady to Valiant Lady. At the moment, there is no new date for the launch of Brilliant Lady.
Virgin is protecting travel advisor commission for what’s been paid by the client so far. It is also protecting the full amount of the original commission for those moving from the Brilliant Lady debut season to a new voyage.
Also on Thursday, Virgin announced that CEO Tom McAlpin, who helped bring Virgin Voyages to market and guide the line’s launch through COVID-19, would retire from the CEO role and move into a chairman position. He is still expected to support the Virgin brand and team at an executive and industry level.
“It is hard to express just how proud I am of all that the Virgin Voyages Crew has created and the strong endorsement we are receiving from Ares. We have won numerous industry awards and received many five-star reviews because of our passion for this brand,” McAlpin said in the announcement this week.
Replacing McAlpin will be Nirmal Saverimuttu who currently serves as President and Chief Experience Officer. He was part of the original Virgin Voyages team, joining the brand in 2014 before taking on an expanded role in 2021.
“While I will miss the day-to-day, I believe it is the right time to step aside as CEO. Nirmal is a great friend and experienced leader who lives and breathes the Virgin Voyages culture. I know he will help take this amazing brand and Crew to new heights, and I look forward to continuing to support the leadership team as Chairman,” McAlpin added.