Virgin’s cruise line scraps pre-boarding Covid tests for passengers this summer

Virgin Voyages has announced that it is removing the requirement for passengers to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test ahead of boarding.

The cruise giant currently runs two ships – The Scarlet Lady and the Valiant Lady which dock in Miami and Barcelona respectively.

According to a recent release from the brand, the cruise line will mirror the rest of the travel industry and remove pre-embarkation testing.

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The requirement will be dropped from July 24 on EU sailings and July 27 on US sailings as the CDC decided to discontinue their voluntary Covid-19 Programme for Cruise Ships.

Anyone sailing on the Virgin ships will still require the majority of guests to be vaccinated on both the Valiant Lady and the Scarlet Lady.

On the US sailings, on Scarlet Lady, 90% of guests will need to show proof of vaccination.

While EU sailings, on Valiant Lady, will require all guests and crew to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Virgin Voyages announcement stated: “In line with the rest of the travel industry, and to create a more seamless travel experience for you, we’re updating our guidelines in tandem with the discontinuation of the CDC’s Voluntary Program for the Cruise Industry.

“As a result, we will no longer be requiring that Sailors test for COVID-19 in order to board both Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady — making your pre-voyage prep even breezier.

“The first voyage for Valiant Lady will be 7/24/22, and the first voyage for Scarlet Lady will be 7/27/22.”

It continued: “We’re still requiring that the majority (90%) of Sailors be vaccinated, but we’re opening up our voyages for a limited number (10%) of unvaccinated Sailors to join us.

“Our Crew will remain fully vaccinated as they are now.

“As always, your safety is our first priority, so we will continue with our other protocols to keep you well while enjoying your relaxing vacation.”

The Virgin Voyages cruise ships, which launched in 2019, have made headlines in recent years thanks to their modern approach to cruising.

Both Valiant Lady and Scarlet Lady have eschewed the traditional buffet dining hall often seen on all-inclusive cruises for more than 20 bars and restaurants.

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On the EU ship these include a Korean BBQ eatery, Vegetarian brunch spot, 24/7 diner, grab-and-go sushi and an experimental ‘Test Kitchen’ staffed by Michelin-star chefs.

Also on offer by the ships are bungee-cord exercise classes, a running track around the top of the ship, trampolines that look out over the ocean and specialist mixologists.

A drag brunch and cabaret show are also available as well as late night ‘pyjama parties’ and the ‘Scarlet Night’ of wild abandon.

You can find out more on the Virgin Voyages website.


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