Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line confirmed in a statement provided to Guardian Business yesterday that it has indeed sold its Grand Celebration vessel and will focus its business on two-night cruise and stay packages to Grand Bahama when the company is able to sail again.
The statement revealed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recently released protocols for the start of cruise travel proved rigorous and led the company to realize that it would have to scale down and focus its operation.
“After evaluating the current climate and conducting an in-depth review of the incredibly strict protocols now being imposed on cruise operators by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have concluded that we should start sailing again in a controlled, thoughtful manner,” the statement noted.
“To this end we have sold Grand Celebration and when we resume cruising, we will do so with a focus on our core two-night Grand Bahama Island micro-cation cruises onboard one ship, Grand Classica.
“The decision to focus on one ship will make it easier for us to implement all necessary safety protocols and ensure that our business is sustainable long term, so that we can continue providing a safe and enjoyable vacation to our guests well into the future.”
On Wednesday, several cruise line-focused websites reported that Bahamas Paradise sold its Grand Celebration ship for scrap and the ship was heading to a ship breaking yard in India to be dismantled.
Maritime tracking websites corroborated those reports, showing the cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic en route to India.
Maritime tracker cruisemapper.com showed the vessel just outside the territorial waters of The Bahamas, while marinetraffic.com documented the ship’s itinerary as sailing for Bhavnagar, India.
Like larger cruise lines, Bahamas Paradise has not sailed with passengers since the COVID-19 pandemic caused the CDC to shut down the industry in March. It has suffered financial challenges in the eight months since.
Massive cruise lines like Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have been raising hundreds of millions in debt financing over the period to keep their operations afloat. But smaller operations like Bahamas Paradise have only been met with huge payables and no income.
The company stated it continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and is in constant communication with the World Health Organization, the Bahamas government and the CDC.
“At Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the safety and well-being of our guests and crew is always our top priority,” the statement noted.
“We appreciate the understanding and support of our guests, partners and crew as we work through this unprecedented time.”