‘Don’t leave!’ – Portsmouth bids farewell to Virgin Voyages cruise ship

Virgin Voyages: Richard Branson launches the Scarlet Lady

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Virgin Voyages’ cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, spent the summer in the UK. Mooring in Portsmouth for three months, the ship has left the UK on a cross-Atlantic voyage. To farewell the ship, Portsmouth lit the Spinnaker Tower red.

The Virgin’s cruise ship is headed for New York.

In Portsmouth, Scarlet Lady hosted the Summer Soiree Series.

The UK sailings, at reduced capacity, were a success.

Over 8,000 Britons cruised UK waters on the ship this summer.

READ MORE: ‘Zero incentive’ to holiday in the UK with current prices say Britons

This was Virgin Voyages’ world’s first commercial sailing from Portsmouth.

The ship was the largest ever to arrive in Portsmouth, and it has now left.

On social media, Virgin Voyages thanked Portsmouth for hosting the ship.

They wrote: “We couldn’t be more grateful for your support as we sailed for the first time.

“While Scarlet Lady is saying Bon Voyage after a brilliant Summer Soirée 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 else we’d rather start her off.”

But with Scarlet Lady now heading overseas, it was time to reflect on the cruise’ season in the UK for Portsmouth.

Residents weigh in, with one Briton saying: “I have LOVED seeing Scarlet Lady in port on my way to and from work and she was only a 10-minute walk from my house…


“Loved her even more after spending a week onboard. A fair wind and calm seas on your journey across the pond. Bon Voyage.”

While another simply commented: “Please don’t leave.”

The port of Portsmouth has grand ambition to become the port of choice for luxury cruises.

Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port director, said: “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.

“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.”

Getting ready to host Scarlet Lady was a lot of hard work, and everyone in the port of Portsmouth stepped up.

Mike said: “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.”
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