Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Is Offering Free Evacuations To Bahama Grand Island
By Danielle Dorsey
Florida-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines is helping stranded Bahamians escape Hurricane Dorian’s devastation with free evacuations. The cruise line is taking supplies, first responders, and evacuees in Florida to Grand Bahama Island.
In a statement to CNN, the cruise line said that the Grand Celebration ship will also allow Bahamians to evacuate to Florida free of cost, provided they have the proper documentation.
CEO Oneil Khosa told the news channel that, “Apart from the Bahamas we have no other home, so it was like the destruction was in our backyard. We felt like we had to do this for the people of the Bahamas and the island of Grand Bahama, especially given our history with the island.”
According to Bahamas Paradise, the cruise line will be the first ship allowed to dock at Freeport and will be delivering emergency personnel to Grand Bahama Island, including electricians and firemen, in addition to supplies.
“We have a lot of people on the ship today who will have a major positive impact on the recovery of the island,” Khosa said.
The Grand Celebration provided similar assistance during Hurricane Irma and acted as a base for St. Thomas.
The cruise line is requesting that specific items be donated to their warehouse in Riviera Beach, Florida. They are raising relief funds in partnership with the Mission Resolve Foundation.
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise lines have also departed for the Bahamas with supplies that include generators, water, cleaning supplies, clean sheets, and towels. In press release statements, both companies committed to donating $1 million each to relief efforts on the islands.
Disney Cruises is matching these efforts with a $1 million donation of their own, with Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger saying, “We hope our $1 million donations will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together.”