Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line could be among the earliest oceangoing cruise operators in the United States to restart operations. It has announced plans for a sailing leaving Palm Beach for Grand Bahama on November 4, just after the end of the Cruise Lines International Association’s voluntary suspension of cruising on October 31.
Bahamas Paradise is not a CLIA member, and it had previously aimed to restart operations on October 1 – the day after the end of a legal moratorium issued by the CDC, but well before the end of the industry’s voluntary suspension. It has since moved back its plan due to the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been planning our anticipated return to sea for October; however, as we continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and communicate with the Bahamian government on their plans to allow leisure guests to return, we have determined that a further extension is in the best interest of our guests and crew,” said company CEO Oneil Khosa. “While it is disappointing that we are unable to sail as planned, we believe this decision will ensure the health and safety of our guests and crew.”
Khosa pointed out that Bahamas Paradise is one of the few cruise lines that has not yet reported a single case of COVID-19 on board, and he said that the company is complying with strict health and safety protocols.
The line will restart operations with one of its two cruise ships, Grand Celebration, and its second vessel will return to service early next March. As an incentive to book now, it is offering the public a “buy one cruise, get one free” deal over the Labor Day weekend. All passengers who book with a departure date between January 1 and April 30, 2021 will be allowed to sail again for free at any time between mid-August 2021 and the end of February 2022.
“Now more than ever, we can all use a getaway but we know that times are tough for so many, given all that has happened this year,” said Khosa. “With our new [offer], we’re excited to give travellers the chance to book two vacations for the price of one.”
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