Virgin Voyages breaks ground on new Miami cruise terminal despite shutdown

In an apparent effort to demonstrate its confidence in the future strength of the cruise industry, Virgin Voyages on Tuesday ‘broke ground’ on its new Miami cruise terminal, the construction of which is already well underway.

Virgin Voyages executives dug into the ground on the construction site of the cruise line’s planned Miami cruise terminal, marking the official ground-breaking, several months after construction began.

Terminal V will be the homeport for Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady from late 2021.

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The event was a perfect PR opportunity for the world’s newest major cruise line to demonstrate its confidence in the recovery of the industry, while also a necessary tradition that couldn’t be performed earlier due to anti-COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Virgin Voyages shared pictures of the terminal under construction back in December, giving future passengers a first glimpse of the upcoming Terminal V.

At the beginning of December, PortMiami also shared a video of the construction site, reiterating its confidence in the cruise industry’s recovery and underlining the fact that, despite the coronavirus disruption, cruise terminal projects at the port are ongoing.

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Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin joined local officials for the ground breaking ceremony this week.

“This industry is resilient,” he said during the event. “The future is very bright.”

Virgin Voyages plans to homeport its first cruise ship, Scarlet Lady, delivered in late 2019, at the cruise terminal, sailing roundtrip voyages in the Caribbean.

Terminal V is intended to mimic palm groves according to Virgin.

Valiant Lady, its second ship, and a sister to Scarlet Lady, is also scheduled to sail from Miami for the winter 2021-2022 season.

The new Virgin Voyages Terminal V will be located on the northwest side of the port. The 100,000 square-foot terminal is inspired by palm groves and its ceiling is designed to mimic a grove of the tropical fronds, while the building itself will have a plaza-like feel.

Valiant Lady rendering.

The two-story building is intended to be completed in late 2021, just in time for the delivery of Valiant Lady.

Scarlet Lady was due to use an alternative terminal at PortMiami in the interim, but with the cruise line having recently extended its pause in operations, it looks like that may not be necessary after all.

Scarlet Lady at sea.

Virgin Voyages, along with most other major cruise lines, has extended its pause in operations until at least April as the cruise line works to comply with the provisions of the CDC’s Conditional Framework for the resumption of cruises.

The ongoing spread of COVID-19, with case numbers rising in the United States and worldwide, makes the widespread resumption of cruises extremely unlikely in the first half of 2021.

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