Virgin Voyages postponed the Miami debut of its first ship, Scarlet Lady.
The Plantation-based cruise company canceled events last week in New York to sail the 2,770-passenger ship to PortMiami amid fears about COVID-19. The U.S. State Department has recommended that travelers avoid cruises because of the novel coronavirus.
"Virgin Voyages has made the decision to postpone our upcoming events in Miami to a later date for a proper launch celebration," Virgin Voyages representatives said in a statement. "We believe delaying the launch celebration is the right thing to do given public sentiment and focus at this time."
The company said there are no health issues aboard the ship, which had 850 passengers onboard for a complimentary test sailing.
Scarlet Lady was expected to begin regular sailings this month.
The debut of the adults-only shipwas five years in the making. The company, first announced in 2015 as Virgin Cruises, is backed by billionaire Branson's London-based Virgin Group and Boston-based Bain Capital Private Equity.
On other cruise lines, dozens of coronavirus cases have been confirmed on U.S.-bound ships, including the Grand Princess, which continues disembarking passengers in San Francisco after crew and passengers were tested and 21 cases were confirmed.
By Emon Reiser – Digital Editor, South Florida Business Journal
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com