The company's CEO Tom McAlpin, Miami's Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and county commissioners participated in the groundbreaking ceremony held on Tuesday, January 12, to celebrate the building project.
By November 2021, PortMiami plans to open the new cruise ship terminal in its effort to remake the city skyline. The groundbreaking ceremony was delayed by the Coronavirus/COVID crisis from the June construction start. This was the first celebratory event of the kind at the port since the pandemic paralyzed the industry in mid-March 2020.
Virgin Voyages first announced the new cruise terminal in November 2018. Royal Caribbean Group opened the first-ever branded cruise terminal at PortMiami in 2018, followed by NCLH-Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in 2020. Carnival Corporation and MSC Cruises are also planning new dedicated cruise terminals.
Virgin’s first liner Scarlet Lady was scheduled for homeporting in Miami in March 2020 when the USA's CDC agency banned ex-USA cruises after Coronavirus outbreaks and deaths on a number of ships. Scarlet Lady has never hosted travellers from Miami and has since left U.S. waters for Italy.
Virgin has cancelled all cruises through May 8, 2021. The company's second ship Valiant Lady is scheduled for inauguration in July 2021.