South Florida healthcare workers get free cruises on Giving Tuesday

Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady will be taking South Florida healthcare heroes on free cruises in December. (Photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages)

MIAMI – A group of deserving healthcare heroes will be soaking up the sun next month, as 250 of them will be awarded complimentary cruise vacations for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virgin Voyages is donating 500 cabins to 250 employees from Baptist Health South Florida on Giving Tuesday.

Baptist employees were eligible to win a four- or five-night trip between December 15-29, with the winners set to be announced today. The 250 selected get “two complimentary cabins to enjoy the voyage with up to three additional travel mates.”

“The past two years have tested our community, and we wanted to find a small way to express our deepest gratitude to all of the healthcare professionals who went above and beyond to keep us safe,” Tom McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages, said in a news release. “We hope a voyage on our beautiful Scarlet Lady allows the Baptist team to enjoy some much-needed R&R this season.”

Richard Branson’s new cruise line pledged 2,021 complimentary cabins in total this year for philanthropic causes, the company said.

These trips with Baptist employees will leave from Miami on the Scarlet Lady and visit Virgin Voyages’ beach club in Bimini, as well as Puerto Plata or Nassau. That ship made its inaugural Caribbean voyage from Miami back in October.

“Throughout this pandemic, our caregivers have embodied the true meaning of sacrifice and heroism, always putting themselves before others,” said Bo Boulenger, President and Chief Operating Officer of Baptist Health South Florida. “We are thrilled with this opportunity to show them our community’s heartfelt appreciation for their selflessness and dedication with this fantastic trip, thanks to our friends at Virgin Voyages.”

Virgin says that sailors must be fully vaccinated and complete a COVID-19 test prior to boarding.