Margaritaville Resorts & Hotels will operate a cruise brand in 2022, and announced a partnership with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
The Margaritaville Paradise, the former Grand Classica, will launch service on April 30 after what is expected to be an extensive refit at Grand Bahama.
The Florida-based hotel group has long been rumored to be looking at entering the cruise industry and now gets in with an existing marine and hotel operations base that can be mixed with its hotel and resorts brand and client database.
The vessel will sail under the Margaritaville at Sea brand, and the hotel group anticipates adding more ships, referring to the Margaritaville Paradise as its first vessel.
The company said the Margaritaville Paradise will continue operating two-night sailings from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
“To me, the only thing better than being on a beach by the ocean, is to be on the ocean. Now you can follow in our wake,” said singer, songwriter and best-selling author, Jimmy Buffett, in a prepared release.
“Margaritaville at Sea will be a new, exciting, and fun way for guests to escape and vacation in Margaritaville,” said John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville. “From oceans to lakes, Margaritaville has an organic tie to the water and with Margaritaville at Sea, we’re able to put our iconic lifestyle, resort experiences, and elevated service directly on the sea. We look forward to seeing guests on, and in, Paradise.”
“We’re excited about this new partnership as we launch Margaritaville at Sea out of the Port of Palm Beach. We are incredibly proud of what we’ve built at Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and are appreciative of our loyal customers and trade partners who have stood by us through so much. We’re excited about this next phase of our evolution, rebranding as Margaritaville at Sea. The collaborative concept will add a different dimension to the cruising industry, appealing to a new audience of travelers,” added Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, who will serve as CEO of Margaritaville at Sea.
“Margaritaville at Sea will provide guests with Margaritaville’s authentic culture, entertainment, and food en route to a beautiful destination in Grand Bahama Island. The experience will be complemented by an unmatched, personalized approach to guest service from start to finish via valet service and exclusive cruise terminals for smoother embarkation and disembarkation. It’s the perfect partnership in paradise,” Khosa said.
While multiple sources in the industry told Cruise Industry News earlier this week that Margaritaville bought the cruise line, Bahamas Paradise denied this and in a statement said the ownership was “100% still the same.”