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Book a dope Virgin Voyages UK cruise this August with your Virgin Points

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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.

Virgin Voyages UK cruises

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:

Virgin Voyages UK cruises

Am I likely to be trapped on the boat for six weeks after a coronavirus outbreak?

Absolutely not.

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

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):

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

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.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn 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.)

Comments (92)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    How are people meant to prove they have had two vaccines? In Scotland we don’t even get a booking receipt!

    Approach my GP – even with cash – and say you want a bit of paper to go on a trip like this and she’ll laugh you out the door!

    (or the tears running down her cheeks could be her crying)

    • Andrew says:

      And do GPs have official stamps to put on letters like this? How do the cruise companies confirm it’s a genuine letter?

    • ThinkSquare says:

      Presumably they’ll just scan you with a microchip reader 😉

    • riku says:

      Surely there will have to be some proof for upcoming vaccine passports since otherwise people won’t be leaving the country for anywhere in the next couple of years.

    • Andrew says:

      I’d show them my official NHS Covid-19 vaccination card “Enjoy Life, Protect Yourself” that details my name, the two dates and Pfizer batch codes for each vaccination.

      I believe it’s also on your NHS Portal.

      (Of course viewers in Scotland might have their own independent arrangements.)

      • Will says:

        I can see a very active black market in hand written “NHS” vaccine cards.

        With all the money thrown at test/trace/vaccine it beggars belief to me that theirs not a central gov database with vaccine vs NI vs passport no and some sort of app in test phase that can authenticate against that database.

        You authenticate yourself in the app, that gives a QR code to a venue who can then query the gov database with your time limited one time QR code you just generated and confirm say last 4 digits of passport no.

        No personal details need to be transfered, the QR code Is abstracted from them and you just get a yes or no back along with 4 passport digits to check.

        Can’t screen shot QR code of your mate as they expire, very unlikely you’ll find someone else with last 4 matching passport digits.

  • Travel Strong says:

    As a non-cruiser – whats the deal with food and drink on these things? I’ve browsed the website and see many ‘eateries’ with no menu or prices visible. Is it all inclusive? Or are you captive for 3/4 days with no visibility of pricing?

    • Rhys says:

      Virgin Voyages is all inclusive for food, but not all cruise lines are. I think you pay for alcohol.

      • Travel Strong says:

        Thanks. Sounds reasonable – may give the long weekend option a try! Just the dilemma over whether to pay with cash or points.

      • Jody says:

        All cruise lines are all inclusive for food, in general there is a dining room for sit down meals and a buffet if you’d rather that (although Virgin aren’t having a buffet, all eateries onboard will be cook to order).

        The majority of cruise lines also have finer dining options, where you pay an additional fee to eat in them.

        A lot of cruises have drinks packages that you can pay for (quite pricey). Sometimes these are thrown in for free or a small additional cost when booking (eg Norwegian Cruises seem to have a never ending offer where you pay £99 and get it and some other things included).

        Celebrity cruises have moved to an all inclusive package whereby drinks and gratuities are included but you can pay more to have a better selection of drinks. Marella do the same.

        We have booked a Princess cruise later on in the year. £1000 each for a 14 day med cruise in a balcony. We’ve then paid £30 per person per day to upgrade to their all inclusive package which includes drinks, tips and WiFi. Will be our first time on Princess but have read good things about their food.

        We’ve cruised a lot and I’ve never felt the need to pay for additional dining options, always been happy with what’s available.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          Very informative – thanks for the post

          Gratuities being included makes me think of something that sounds like. A fee that’s paid to the person serving you in return for their labour… it’s right there on the tip of my tongue.

  • pixielott46 says:

    very funny article Rob. thanks for the laugh

  • Delphina says:

    Well I’ve gone and booked!!
    Doing the mid week 4 nighter – never been on a cruise before so dont really know what to expect. My reason for booking – I have almost 1 million points so 215000 is not going to make much of a dent – and earning on average 16000 per month to keep them topped up. And secondly, I fancied giving this a go, originally out of Miami to simply see if we liked the whole cruising thing – so, as this is not really costing me very much I thought it would be a good idea to see what this cruising thing is all about.
    And incase you are wondering – in 50’s and would have had both vacs.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Look forward to the live reports in the daily bits articles 🙂

    • Jody says:

      Good for you! One thing I would say is if you hate it, don’t let it put you off cruising. Virgin’s intentions with their ships were to do something totally different and not be like any other cruise line. This may or may not work, and I’ll certainly be interested to read the reviews that come out from passengers. But if you end up not enjoying it, it could just be that another cruise line would be a better fit for you.

      • Delphina says:

        Thank you Jody – will be difficult to make any great comparison, although I have a friend who cruises a lot so will compare notes with her!
        It just jumped out at me (when I received email with offer) so ‘why not’ I thought! – we would never usually go away in August (UK or abroad) as everywhere too busy. Certainly not swopping this for a ‘proper’ holiday.
        As long as I am not bored I’m sure we will enjoy it – I will certainly explore all it has to offer!

    • Rob says:

      Good stuff. If it wasn’t for the ban of kids, I would have been tempted to do a weekend one just to see how it went – we’re also sitting on a 7-figure Virgin balance across my wife and I.

  • ADS says:

    “it is unlikely that anyone under the age of 50 will qualify”

    6,737,324 under 50s in England had received their first vaccination by 4th April (just over 17% of the 18-49 population) … so it may not be as much of a oldies holiday as you think !

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/977003/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w14.pdf

    • ADS says:

      page 74 of the pdf if you want to see the full table

    • TGLoyalty says:

      1m have had both.

      But 17% is a lot lower than the 85%+ of over 50’s ofcourse 🙂

      J&J one shot could be the real game changer

  • ChrisW says:

    I mean a cheap and cheerful few night cruise off the UK this summer might be a laugh for something to do, but this isn’t going to be cheap….

  • Aston100 says:

    Looks like a floating council estate.

    • Delphina says:

      Well I grew up in a council house off the Old Kent Road (thats the cheap brown one on the Monopoly board) – so will happily report back with any comparisons

    • Anna says:

      I thought you young people called it “social housing” these days?
      You can do quite well off Old Kent Road (and the other brown one) if you get hotels on there early on and have a bit of luck with other players landing on you.

  • The real John says:

    I wouldn’t mind doing a cruise from London to the Shetlands (one-way then fly / train / drive back), but more along the lines of the Baltic ones which are 24-48 hours and also targeted at younger people

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