Anyone looking for the best Virgin Voyages cruise itinerary will want to start with its sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean.
The two-ship line has focused most of its energy since its debut in 2021 on creating relatively short, fun, adult-focused voyages out of Miami to the two regions, with its vessels spending the vast majority of their time on such itineraries.
For a line with so few ships, that makes sense, as the Bahamas and Caribbean account for the biggest chunk of demand for cruises.
Still, as Virgin Voyages grows — it has a third and fourth ship arriving in May and December, respectively — it is planning to significantly expand its offerings with more itineraries in other parts of the world.
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Already, in addition to a year-round presence in the Bahamas and Caribbean, Virgin Voyages has been offering regular sailings in the Mediterranean on a seasonal basis, during the summer months, with a single ship. With the arrival of a third and fourth ship this year, the line will expand its offerings in the Mediterranean and also begin its first voyages to Australia and New Zealand.
While the latter voyages aren’t starting up until the very end of 2023, they’re already open for bookings.
What are the best Virgin Voyages destinations you can visit and itineraries you can choose? Here are TPG’s top five picks.
Short sailings to The Bahamas and Caribbean
Virgin Voyages got its start offering short sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean out of Miami, and that’s still the line’s biggest cruise destination focus. In fact, one of Virgin Voyages’ two vessels currently in operation, the 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady, does nothing but short sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean out of Miami.
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In all cases, these sailings include a stop in the Bahamas. Some then add a Caribbean stop, while others add a stop in Florida.
Specifically, Scarlet Lady offers four different four- and five-night Bahamas itineraries out of Miami year-round. All include a stop at Bimini in the Bahamas, where the line has a private beach club, as well as a single call in either Mexico, the Dominican Republic or Key West, Florida. The four itineraries are:
- Fire and Sunset Soirees itinerary. A four-night cruise to Bimini and Key West, plus one sea day.
- Riviera Maya itinerary. A five-night cruise to Bimini and Cozumel, Mexico, plus two sea days.
- Dominican Haze itinerary. A five-night cruise to Bimini and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, plus two sea days.
- Mayan Sol itinerary. A five-night cruise to Bimini and Costa Maya, Mexico, plus two sea days.
In keeping with its “time to let loose” adults-only vibe, Virgin Voyages has built relatively late stays into several of the port calls on these itineraries, allowing passengers to maximize their fun time ashore. The typical stay at Bimini — where the line holds DJ-led pool parties at its private beach club late into the day — extends until 8 p.m., which is later than most ships stay at Bahamian ports. Visits to Cozumel, Mexico, also extend to 8 p.m.
Scarlet Lady has operated these sailings since it debuted as Virgin’s first vessel in 2021, and it’ll continue rotating through the itineraries until May 2024. At that point, Scarlet Lady’s nearly identical sister vessel, the 2,770-passenger Valiant Lady, will take over these Bahamas and Caribbean routes.
Longer sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean
Initially, Virgin Voyages only offered shorter sailings of five or fewer nights to the Bahamas and Caribbean. But its list of itineraries in the regions is now peppered with longer voyages of six to eight nights.
These are sailings that bring stops in more distant Caribbean destinations such as St. Croix and Roatan, Honduras, and will appeal to cruisers who find trips of just four or five days too short.
Currently operated by the line’s second ship, Valiant Lady, they are itineraries that only are offered seasonally for now, during the winter months.
For 2023, Virgin is offering two long itineraries, both out of Miami.
- Eastern Caribbean Antilles itinerary. An eight-night cruise to San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Croix; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and Bimini, plus two sea days.
- Western Caribbean Charm itinerary. A six-night cruise to Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Bimini, plus two sea days.
For 2024, Virgin Voyages is adding two more long Caribbean itineraries, both out of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- Sunsets in the Lesser Antilles itinerary. A seven-night cruise to Aruba, Curacao, Martinique and St. Kitts, plus two sea days.
- Southeastern Caribbean Isles itinerary. A seven-night cruise to Tortola, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Barbados, plus one sea day.
The two new itineraries will be operated by Virgin Voyages’ fourth vessel, the 2,770-passenger Brilliant Lady, after it debuts at the end of December. These cruises are already available for booking.
For the coming year, Virgin also plans two seven-night sailings out of Miami on Valiant Lady around the winter holidays. Starting on Dec. 16 and Dec. 23, respectively, they include calls at Puerto Plata, San Juan and Bimini.
Another top destination for Virgin Voyages is the Mediterranean because the cruise line is massively expanding the number of European departures it’s offering this year, thanks to the arrival of its third vessel, Resilient Lady.
Scheduled to debut in May, Resilient Lady will join Valiant Lady in spending the May-to-October period in the Mediterranean, allowing the line to double up on departures as compared to 2022. A second ship will also allow Virgin Voyages to offer seven-night voyages every week during those months out of both Barcelona and Piraeus, Greece (the port for Athens) — a first for the line.
Valiant Lady will be based in Barcelona, offering two western Mediterranean itineraries that mostly focus on stops in Spain and France. Specifically, one will spend most of its time at the Spanish islands of Mallorca and Ibiza along with stops in Marseille and Cannes in France, while the other features stops in Ibiza; the French island of Corsica; Toulon, France; and the port for Carrara, Italy.
Resilient Lady will be based in Piraeus, alternating between eastern Mediterranean itineraries that focus on the Greek islands and the Croatian coast, respectively.
The Greek Islands itinerary, called Greek Island Glow, includes stops at Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, as well as a visit to Bodrum, Turkey.
As with Virgin’s Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries, its Mediterranean itineraries are specifically designed for fun-seeking travelers looking for a late-night experience.
In the case of the Greek Islands sailings, Resilient Lady’s Santorini visit will be a day call that continues until 10 p.m. The Mykonos stop on the same sailing will be an overnight call with the ship remaining in port until 2 p.m. on the day after it arrives.
The Croatian coast-focused itinerary, called Adriatic Sea and Greek Gems, also includes several late-night stops. The ship will stay in Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia until 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. A call at Corfu, Greece will last until 9 p.m.
Australia and New Zealand
The coming year will bring the first Virgin Voyages sailings to Australia and New Zealand on the line’s new Resilient Lady. After spending its initial summer cruising in the Mediterranean, the vessel will reposition to Australia in December for a series of 11 sailings that range from five to 14 nights.
Among them will be round-trip sailings out of Melbourne, Australia, as well as one-way trips between Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand, with a variety of calls. Itineraries include:
- Aussie MerMaiden. A five-night cruise out of Melbourne with stops at Hobart and Burnie in Tasmania as well as one sea day.
- Resilient New Year’s Pacific Ahoy. A 14-night cruise from Melbourne to Auckland with stops at Hobart and Burnie in Tasmania; Sydney; and Tauranga, Napier and Picton in New Zealand, as well as five sea days.
- Tasman Sea, Fjords and Maori Shores. An 11-night cruise from Auckland to Melbourne with stops at Tauranga, Dunedin and Christ Church in New Zealand, and Hobart and Burnie in Tasmania, as well as four sea days.
The Australia and New Zealand sailings will be bookended by a pair of one-way, 15-night trips between Singapore and Australia. Scheduled for November 2023 and March 2024, the two sailings offer overnight stays in Bali, as well as calls at Airlie Beach, Cairns and Darwin in Australia.
The expansion of Virgin Voyages sailings in the Bahamas and Caribbean this year means the line is sending more ships back and forth between Europe and North America than in the past. That’s creating an expanded lineup of so-called “repositioning” cruises across the Atlantic that offer lots of sea days.
Among the transatlantic sailings on the line’s schedule for 2023 and 2024 are:
- A 15-night voyage from Miami to Barcelona departing April 22 that includes 10 sea days plus stops at Bimini; Cadiz, Spain; and Palma de Mallorca.
- A 14-night voyage from Barcelona to Miami departing Oct. 29 that includes nine sea days plus stops at Ibiza and Malaga, Spain; and the Portuguese island of Madeira.
- An 11-night voyage from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Lisbon, Portugal, departing April 20, 2024, that includes six sea days plus stops in the Canary Islands and at Madeira.
- A 14-night voyage from Miami to Barcelona departing April 21, 2024, that includes 10 sea days plus stops at Madeira; Malaga and Palma de Mallorca.
In addition, Virgin Voyages in late 2023 will operate its first repositioning cruises from Europe to Australia as Resilient Lady repositions to Australia for its first season in the region. The sailings include a 14-night voyage from Piraeus, Greece, to Dubai, and a 15-night trip from Singapore to Sydney.
Virgin Voyages is still a relatively small line with just two ships, and that means it can’t offer too big a range of itineraries. But with more vessels joining its fleet over the coming year, its destination offerings are growing. The brand has the broadest array of options in the Bahamas and Caribbean, where it got its start, and is rapidly expanding in Europe. Sailings in Australia and New Zealand are coming next when the line begins operations in the region in late 2023.
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