Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has chartered its only vessel, the Grand Classica, to the Louisiana power company Entergy to deploy it to New Orleans, Louisiana, immediately. The charter will enable the energy company to house more than 1500 workers, technicians, engineers, and other front-line workers to help the recovery efforts after Hurricane Ida left large parts of the state without power.
The cruise line informed guests who were booked on the cruise that the ship would be used to house workers and would be redeployed immediately.
Grand Classica Can Act As Recovery Headquarters
Using a cruise ship in recovery efforts to house workers or act as a headquarters is something that Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is no stranger to. In 2017 the cruise line helped out in the recovery efforts in St. Thomas by housing FEMA workers onboard Grand Celebration who had been working on the island when Hurricane Irma hit it.
The company’s CEO, Oneil Khosa, said to West Palm Beach TV the Grand Classica will be used this time and will act as a floating city as relief efforts continue:
“We will be able to provide it for their crisis management center, all the management there if needed they can make the ship headquarters. We have power, we have food, we have air conditioning, and we have highly trained staff.”
Louisiana has been hit hard by the Hurricane that struck the area last week. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without power, and more than 1,500 workers helping out in the recovery efforts have been sleeping in trucks and vans due to a lack of suitable accommodations. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line said in a letter sent to guests booked onboard the ship:
“Today, we entered into an agreement with Louisiana power company Entergy to immediately deploy the Grand Classica to New Orleans, where it will house 1,500+ front line workers as they push to restore power to the region for the hundreds of thousands of people left without electricity.”
Besides offering housing for the workers, the ship also carries relief supplies that will help in the efforts.
Cruises Canceled For the Near Future
Due to the redeployment of the vessel, Bahamas Paradise cruise line has had to cancel all cruises for the near future, but did not specify when cruises would resume:
“As a result of this immediate requirement for us to sail to New Orleans, we are unable to operate our normal service at this time and we must now cancel your pending cruise. We know this news will be tremendously disappointing, but I hope you will understand the decision we have made today.”
The cruise line is offering guests several options to either re-book or re-schedule their cruise. Guests who have been affected will be receiving a future cruise credit, with automatic price protection on a cruise of their choice; this includes all amenities, promotional offers, and packages that the guests had bought. The offer stands on any cruise until December 31, 2022, except the New Year’s Eve cruises.
Guests willing and able to move their cruise to a new date instead of canceling their voyage altogether will receive a free cruise certificate for a complimentary cabin for two people, which can either be used on another cruise or bring friends or family along on a new cruise.
The Grand Classica is a 52,926 gross tons cruise ship sailing under the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line flag on two-day voyages from Palm Beach in Florida to the Bahamas. The vessel can carry 1620 passengers at maximum capacity.
She was previously known as the Costa Classica and Costa Neo Classica before being bought by Bahamas Paradise in 2018. Grand Classica resumed service only last month, on July 22, sailing between Palm Beach and Grand Bahama.