A cruise line yesterday said it now plans to resume voyages to The Bahamas on November 4 after extending its return for a further month.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's chief executive, Oneil Khosa, said in a statement: “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.
"At this time, we plan to resume operations on November 4, 2020, onboard Grand Celebration and on March 3, 2021, onboard Grand Classica. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have remained one of the few cruise lines that reported no cases of the virus onboard our ships.
"We have also followed all guidelines, including adhering to strict requirements for onboard crew members, and installed the highest safety protocols in the industry across our fleet. 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," he continued.
"We will continue to work closely with the CDC (US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as the World Health Organisation, as we prepare to return to Grand Bahama Island and Nassau. We appreciate the patience of our partners and crew, and we look forward to welcoming guests back onboard soon.”
The Grand Celebration and Grand Classica sail to Freeport and Nassau respectively, meaning that Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will not return to the Bahamian capital until next year.
The company's latest delay came after Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents the major cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean, confirmed that its members have extended their voluntary suspension of sailing from US ports until at least October 31.
That represents a further month’s delay to the CDC imposed ‘no sail’ order, which is currently due to expire on September 30, as the CLIA warned that the industry’s restart hinges on COVID-19 conditions in a US market that supplies most of its members’ passengers.