WEST PALM BEACH — Following news yesterday that it has gained CDC approval to conduct a simulated cruise, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has welcomed home the Grand Classica at Port of Palm Beach.
The ship, which has not sailed in over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returned to its home port yesterday, June 3, to begin formal preparations for the cruise line’s anticipated July restart. The main priority now is to begin the vaccination process for its crew, which will begin today at the port.
Grand Classica, which will conduct a simulated cruise with pre-selected, fully vaccinated passengers on June 25, was greeted by company executives, employees and partners, including members of the Port of Palm Beach team. An official statement delivered by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa is as follows:
“This past year has been extremely difficult for the cruise industry and as a family-owned cruise line, we faced a number of obstacles that at times, seemed insurmountable. Our team worked tirelessly during the pandemic, making difficult decisions and working with an innovative, solutions-oriented mindset, to ensure the future safety and enjoyment of those who cruise with us. I am so proud of the collective effort that has brought us all here today.
“I want to specifically thank our partners at the Palm Beach Health Department and the Port of Palm Beach, for their support during some very trying times. I also want to thank each and every member of the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line team, our dedicated crew, our travel advisor partners and the many others who have helped us navigate uncharted waters over the past year.
“To those who have been waiting so patiently for us in our home-away-from-home, Grand Bahama Island, please know how much we have missed you and how excited we are to see you again very soon.
We are delighted to welcome Grand Classica home and cannot wait to welcome our guests back onboard in just a few weeks.”
Port Executive Director, Manuel Almira added: “We couldn’t be more excited to see Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line prepare for the resumption of sailings from the Port of Palm Beach. Before the pandemic, the cruise line was credited for generating more than $100M in local and state revenue and supporting more than 1,300 cruise related jobs. It’s time to get crew members, cruise line support staff and parking attendants back to work.”
Additional details regarding the cruise line’s restart will be shared in the coming days.