(Updated 10:50 a.m. EDT) -- Bahamas Paradise has announced its first test cruise will be delayed until July 8, with sailings expected to resume aboard Grand Classica from the port of West Palm Beach by July 10.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line had received approval in early June from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct a test cruise prior to its anticipated return to service. Originally scheduled for June 25, Bahamas Paradise updated the simulated voyage date to June 28 before delaying it once again until July 8 after a crewmember tested postitive for COVID-19.
The sailing -- which Bahamas Paradise notes are not open to members of the public or media -- will take place aboard Grand Classica with a small, private group of pre-selected passengers who have been fully vaccinated.
The ship will sail from its homeport of Palm Beach Florida to Grand Bahama Island on a two-night voyage. In keeping with CDC regulations, this test cruise will focus on all aspects of the onboard experience, and will test dining, entertainment, leisure activities and shore excursions in Freeport, Bahamas.
The test cruise route is required of cruise ships that will not meet a 95 percent threshold of vaccinated passengers. A Bahamas Paradise spokesperson indicated to Cruise Critic it would not require mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 aboard Grand Classica.
Bahamas Paradise operates two-night sailings between West Palm Beach and the Bahamas aboard the 1991-built Grand Classica. It previously operated a two-ship fleet until Grand Celebration was sold for scrap last year due to the ongoing global health pandemic.