Travel news latest: Virgin Voyages to launch in the UK – but only for fully vaccinated Britons

Virgin Voyages, the new adult-only cruise line from Sir Richard Branson, will finally make its debut with a series of cruises in British waters this summer, The Telegraph can reveal.

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

There won’t be any ports of call but instead each cruise along England’s southern coast will be a “staycation-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 sailings, and that the “team has curated such a fantastic experience” for passengers.

As well only permitting 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.

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

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.