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Coronavirus causes Sir Richard Branson to postpone the launch of his new Virgin Voyages cruise line

·Senior Writer
·2 min read
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Sir Richard Branson’s new cruise startup Virgin Voyages is postponing its launch due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company told Yahoo Finance it would be postponing its launch until August 7, 2020 after it was originally planned for March.

“At this time, much of our attention is focused, rightly, on the current global health crisis,” Branson wrote in a statement. “We understand that this is affecting us all in different ways and making many people rethink upcoming cruise plans. We have spent time talking to our team, future Sailors and travel partners as we navigate this challenging moment.”

Virgin Voyages statement on launch delay
Virgin Voyages statement on launch delay

The company said it would be offering full refunds for passengers looking to cancel trips, but also offered a 200% rebooking bonus in future Virgin Voyages bookings if customers wanted to reschedule.

Branson and his crew had been working for years to get Virgin Voyages ready for launch before the spread of coronavirus impacted travel and doomed fellow cruise operators.

Thursday morning Carnival’s Princess Cruises, which operates two ships that were hit by the coronavirus, said it would suspend global operations for two months.

Carnival shares have plummeted 60% in the last month as coronavirus cases continue to spread around the globe. Royal Caribbean Cruises (RAL) shares are down more than 70% over the same time period.

Zack Guzman is the host of YFi PM as well as a senior writer and on-air reporter covering entrepreneurship, cannabis, startups, and breaking news at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @zGuz.

Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

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