FEMA Paid $25.8 Million to Charter Grand Celebration

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chartered Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration for a 90-day period for a charter rate of $25,750,000, according to the contract between FEMA and Bahamas Paradise (Paradise Cruise Line Operator).

The contract was obtained by Cruise Industry News through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The 1,500-passenger vessel spent the 90 days docked in St. Thomas from September through mid December, providing accommodations to survivors and first responders following a number of devastating hurricanes that hit the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Per day, the charter rate was approximately $286,111.

By comparison, a similarly sized ship from a major contemporary cruise company should be able to generate between $25 and $26 million in gross revenue for a 90-day operating period, according to historical finance performance reported by publicly-traded cruise companies and analyzed by Cruise Industry News. In other words, FEMA got a fair deal.

In addition to the charter, Bahamas Paradise was out in front among cruise lines answering the need for aid following the hurricanes in September, offering accommodations and hot meals to first responders while the ship was docked in Palm Beach.

The ship returned to service just before the holiday season, continuing to offer a two-day program from Palm Beach to the Bahamas. The company is expanding, with a second ship, the neoClassica, expected to join its fleet this spring.

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