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Virgin Voyages embarks on first cruise from a U.S. port

The Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages' first ship, embarked on its first passenger sailing from a U.S. port on Wednesday. The ship left Miami on a four-day cruise.

Virgin, which first revealed its intention to build a cruise line in 2014, said the departure was "more than seven years in the making." The brand was officially introduced as Virgin Voyages in 2015 as an adults-only cruise line.

"Virgin Voyages is very much charting our own path, offering a fresh perspective on cruise travel with a mix of the familiar and a healthy dose of Virgin satisfaction," Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said in a statement.

Virgin, which called its first sailing its "MerMaiden voyage," originally planned to start Scarlet Lady cruises from Miami in March 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the ship's debut. The Scarlet Lady sailed some preview cruises from the U.K. in August, which Virgin called successful.

The Scarlet Lady will sail four- and five-day Caribbean itineraries from Miami, open only to vaccinated passengers. All sailings will stop at the Beach Club at Bimini, where the ship will stay late to enable sunset bonfires and DJ-led "floatilla parties."

The four-day Fire & Sunset Soirees will also stop in Nassau. Five-day Mexico sailings will visit Cozumel or Costa Maya and five-day Dominican Daze cruises will go to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

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