Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced that it has voluntarily extended the suspension of its sailing operations through December 18, 2020. After that date, the line plans to restart cruising with Grand Classica from the Port of Palm Beach, FL.
In an official statement, Oneil Khosa, the line's CEO, said:
“We’re very pleased with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision to lift its 'No Sail Order' on October 31, 2020. The past few months have been an incredible challenge for the cruise industry at large, and we’re thrilled to welcome our guests aboard for what we know is a much-needed getaway to Grand Bahama Island."
That said, the U.S. CDC has not officially announced its intention to let the 'No Sail Order' expire after October 31 or whether it will extend that order. A recent conference call by the White House Coronavirus Task Force with top industry leaders, however, may have an affect on any upcoming decision, expected by month's end.
Khosa said that while his company is eager to return to sea, the overall health and safety of guests and crew remain the top priority. "Instead of returning to Grand Bahama Island onboard Grand Celebration, we’ve decided to return onboard Grand Classica, which features larger deck space and nearly 100 fewer staterooms."
He noted that the guest-to-space ratio onboard the Grand Classica also is one of the highest in its class and rivals many other ships in the industry. In addition, the ship's capacity will be capped at 60 percent, which will help with social distancing.
For its restart in December, Bahamas Paradise will return with Grand Classica sailing to Grand Bahama Island. Khosa said that the line will announce details of its return to Nassau at a later date.
Stressing the lack of any COVID-19 cases on its ships, he said that line has followed all required guidelines, including adhering to strict requirements for onboard crew members and installing top health/safety protocols.
"We will continue to work closely with the CDC, the World Health Organization and the Bahamian government as we prepare to return to Grand Bahama Island," Khosa said, while also expressing appreciation to the line's partners and crew.