After Coronavirus Case in NYC, Virgin Voyages Skips Port Call

Image courtesy Virgin Voyages

Published Mar 2, 2020 5:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

The newly-launched cruise line Virgin Voyages has rescheduled a planned preview event in New York City, citing news headlines. Virgin's first vessel, Scarlet Lady, will skip New York and head for her home port of Miami instead. 

Virgin Voyages' statement did not mention which headlines prompted the change, but on Monday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect New York City. The extent of the effect remains to be seen: only one case has been confirmed in New York so far, and experts believe that the impact can be controlled. "You’re not going to eliminate the spread, but you can limit the spread," said Governor Cuomo. 

Mayor de Blasio urged citizens to remain calm and take basic health measures. "For now, this is a time to be vigilant and take commonsense precautions. Wash your hands and cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze," he advised. 

Virgin has opted to reschedule its preview call in New York. "In light of the current news headlines, we want to ensure everyone feels it is the right time to celebrate with us," Virgin told invitees in a statement. "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. We plan to sail back to New York in the spring."

In its statement, Virgin said that there are no health concerns or issues on board, and it has tightened up its health protocols to ensure the wellbeing of visitors and crew. 

Beginning this April, the Scarlet Lady will be sailing out of in the world cruise capital of Miami on Caribbean itineraries. The line's 18-and-over, rock-and-roll brand is intended to offer a new (and much different) cruise experience for an adult demographic.