Latest travel news: Virgin Voyages to launch in UK – but only for fully vaccinated Brits

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VSir Richard Branson’s new adult-only cruise line irgin Voyages will finally make its debut with a series of cruises in British waters this summer, The Telegraph can reveal.

Six sailings will be offered in August aboard the Scarlet Lady – the cruise coming more than a year since the £ 500million, 2,770-passenger ship was scheduled to make its maiden voyage, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The three and four night itineraries, which will all depart from Portsmouth, are only available to residents of the UK who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

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There will be no ports of call, but instead every cruise along England’s south coast will be a “stay at sea”, according to the operator. Cabins can be booked from Tuesday April 13. Sir Richard, the founder of Virgin Group, said he was “so excited” to be able to offer UK cruises, and “the team put together such a fantastic experience” for the passengers.

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Virgin Voyages chief executive and chairman Tom McAlpin said the line was “delighted to announce these new crossings”.

“We see our summer trips to the UK as a homecoming to pay homage to our British roots, and what a great way to kick off our sailing season,” he added.

Additionally, by allowing only vaccinated passengers to board, capacity will be limited on the ship, with additional testing and health protocols confirmed closer to departure dates, the line said.

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Virgin Voyages joins a dozen other cruise operators, including Cunard, Viking, Princess and P&O Cruises, who have abandoned their overseas sailing plans and will instead spend the summer months in British waters.

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