Virgin Voyages, the brand new cruise company launched by Virgin Group, is planning a series of UK-only staycation cruises this August.
You can book them using your Virgin Points, with priority booking available until next Tuesday when cash bookings will be opened.
For three weeks in August, the Virgin Voyages ‘Scarlet Lady’ ship will be making six short sailings around the coast of England.
The dates are:
- Friday 6th – Monday 9th August
- Monday 9th – Friday 13th August
- Friday 13th – Monday 16th August
- Monday 16th – Friday 20th August
- Friday 20th – Monday 23rd August
- Monday 23rd – Friday 27th August
All sailings depart from, and arrive back into, Portsmouth.
What does it cost?
There are two packages available:
- the three-night ‘Long Weekender’ cruises will cost 180,000 Virgin Points for a two-person Sea Terrace cabin
- the four-night Summer WeekDaze cruises will cost 215,000 Virgin Points for a two-person Sea Terrace cabin
All bookings made with Virgin Points will receive a free bottle of sparkling wine in their cabin.
You must book by 13th April.
Cash prices appear to be £499 per person based on two travelling for the three-night cruise and £599 for the four nighter, which means you get just over 0.55p per Virgin Point – in line with most Virgin Red redemptions.
Here is a Sea Terrace cabin:
Am I likely to be trapped on the boat for six weeks after a coronavirus outbreak?
The good news is that very strict covid rules will be in place.
The bad news is that they will mean that this is likely to be an oldies cruise.
You can only book if you will have had BOTH doses of coronavirus vaccine at least three weeks before you sail.
Given the current UK vaccine roll-out, this means that it is unlikely that anyone under the age of 50 will qualify unless they have been vaccinated as part of their job or have an underlying health condition.
Basically …. if you haven’t had your first vaccination by very early May, you won’t have had your second in time to join the final cruise. You are almost already too late to have your initial jab if you wanted to join the first cruise on 6th August.
Given that Virgin Voyages appears to be pitched as ‘Club 18-30 on the water’ (“Play all night, sleep all day” says the Virgin Voyages website) it could make for an interesting few days. I’m not sure how your average 50+ cruiser feels about spending a few days with:
“the dopest up-and-coming acts in the DJ world“.
Only the dopest residents of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be allowed to book. You cannot travel to the UK to join a cruise.
Children are not allowed. This will block off even more of the potential market, like myself.
How many over 50’s without children are there who want to go on a slightly chilly Virgin Voyages party cruise around the UK? We’ll find out soon enough.
Points bookings must be made via the Virgin Red app or website. If you are not a Virgin Red member, you need to register first – free – at this page.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)