Virgin Voyages bids Portsmouth a ‘grateful’ adieu as Scarlet Lady prepares to depart - as the city looks forward to welcoming sister ship Valiant Lady in 2022
A HEARTFELT ‘thank you’ has been issued to Portsmouth as a luxury cruise liner prepares to set sail for America.
Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady arrived in the city in June for her Summer Soiree season, and will be leaving Portsmouth for New York today at 7pm - an hour earlier than anticipated.
In the ‘thank you’ message, published on social media, Virgin Voyages said: ‘You’ve welcomed us to your home and you will forever have a place in our heart.
‘We couldn’t be more grateful for your support as we sailed for the first time.
‘You have an incredible history. Thousands of sailors have seen the world after sailing from this port and come back with tall tales to tell.
‘We’ve added thousands more to those that had epic experiences and journeys of a lifetime that all started right here from your home.’
However, Virgin Voyages added that it is not a ‘goodbye’ but a ‘sea you soon’ as its second ship, Valiant Lady, is set to make her debut from the city next year.
The ‘thank you’ message continued: ‘While Scarlet Lady is saying Bon Voyage after a brilliant Summer Soiree season, we can’t wait to see you next year when our second ship, Valiant Lady, makes her debut from right here.
‘She’s quite a head turner too, and there’s nowhere we’d rather start her off.’
Valiant Lady - the sister ship to Scarlet Lady and also operating exclusively as an ‘adults-only’ ship - will offer voyages to the Canary Islands, Spain, and Portugal.
Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director said: ‘Seeing Scarlet Lady in the port has been the result of years of hard work, from securing investment to extend our cruise berth to accommodate larger ships, to building confidence with the Virgin Voyages’ team that we could look after their world first sailing.
‘Everyone at the port stepped up, during the most challenging time, to make sure this was a success and I’m so proud of their hard work and professionalism.
‘It has also been impressive to see the Virgin team in operation too, some spending months in the city to make sure everything went smoothly, becoming very fond of Portsmouth in the process.
‘We want to become the port of choice for luxury, boutique cruises, and with plans for a terminal extension underway we’re on our way there.’
Mike added: ‘We’re looking forward to seeing Virgin’s new build Valiant Lady in the city next year, and welcoming back the team. In the meantime, the hard work continues as we continue to build our position as a major player in the cruise industry.’