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Virgin Voyages to Set Sail in July, Vaccines Required

Virgin Voyages, the new cruise line from Virgin and Richard Branson, is looking to July to launch, with a fully vaccinated ship of crew and passengers.

In a recent interview on Good Morning America, Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin shared the cruise line’s positive outlook on vaccine distribution and what that means for the cruise line.

“We’ve heard from the president, and we’ve heard him talk about the acceleration of vaccines out there and that by May, all adults could be vaccinated,” McAlpin said. “So we think that’s an important criteria to create a safe environment on our ships. We’re going to be requiring all of our sailors and all of our crew to be vaccinated before they get on the ship.” He said the cruise line thinks that’s the right thing to do in order to create a safe environment on board.

To further enhance onboard health and safety, McAlpin said they’ve recently invested in AtmosAir, an air purification system similar to those used in hospitals. Virgin Voyages will also test people before they board the ship, onboard if they have any COVID-19 symptoms and as they leave the ship. There will also be a medical crew onboard consisting of two doctors, three nurses and medical equipment.

Last summer, in addition to implementing the AtmosAir system, Virgin Voyages introduced new procedures as part of their Voyage Well measures, which include but are not limited to:

  • Updating their processes and procedures in real-time by following recommended CDC guidelines, and working closely with the Voyage Well Expert Advisory Group.

  • Implementing additional and frequent pre-boarding health checks and screenings for both crew and passengers.

  • Adopting the use of advanced cleaning tools like fogging and UV technology.

  • Incorporating the latest hygiene initiatives specifically for COVID-19.

  • Utilizing their partnership with Ecolab, identifying specific high touch points across cabins, public spaces, restaurants and recreational areas that will be disinfected on a frequent basis.

“With these protocols that we’ve put in place within the industry, we’re really creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable getting onboard a ship again,” McAlpin said.

Virgin Voyages is the latest cruise line to join cruise lines like Crystal Cruises, American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines in requiring passengers and crew to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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