While cruise lines continue to look at home porting outside of the US because of the strict guidelines put in place by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that prohibit cruise travel, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced last week that it will begin sailing from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama from July 2 with two-night cruises.
The cruise line’s Chief Executive Officer Oneil Khosa said in a statement that the company’s website is now back up and open for bookings.
“The past year has been incredibly challenging for the cruise industry and as an independent, family-owned and operated boutique cruise line, this has been particularly difficult for us,” said Khosa.
“That said, we are pleased to announce that our website is now live and accepting bookings for sailings beginning July 2, when Grand Classica will make her much-anticipated return to The Bahamas.”
Khosa said in his statement that the cruise line had no cases of the virus aboard its ships during the one year that cruise lines have been barred from traveling with passengers.
The statement does not mention the company’s vaccination or testing policy for its upcoming cruises. However, Khosa stated that the cruise line has taken the necessary steps to ensure a safe return to cruising.
“We have worked, collectively and in collaboration with our partners in The Bahamas, at the CDC and elsewhere, to carefully and thoughtfully prepare for our return to Grand Bahama Island,” he said.
“Since the initial outbreak of COVID-19, we have remained one of the few cruise lines that reported no cases of the virus onboard our ships and we have worked to install the highest safety protocols onboard Grand Classica, which is now well-suited to fulfill the needs of our guests and crew.”
It was revealed last week that Florida flied a lawsuit against the US federal government to break the stranglehold the CDC has on the cruise industry because of COVID-19.
The state’s Governor Ron DeSantis said the CDC does not have the right to keep cruise lines out of business for as long as it has.
“The industry has taken the necessary steps to ensure a safe, fun experience for travelers and we want to express our gratitude to Gov. DeSantis for his most recent efforts to help us return swiftly to cruising,” Khosa said.
“We also want to thank our partners, crew, the Bahamian government, the travel advisor community and our loyal guests for their support and patience during an unprecedented year. We are ready to return to the waters and look forward to welcoming guests back onboard in July.”