MS Grand Celebration Heading To Scrapyard In India

Nov 16, 2020

Several news sources reported that the Bahamas Paradise cruise ship MS Grand Celebration, was sold for scrap for an undisclosed sum and the vessel is heading to the world's largest ship breaking yard Alang-Sosiya in India.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Chief executive Oneil Khosa initially denied the sale saying the information is 'all false' and he is looking into its origin, reported TradeWinds on November 12. However, despite his claim, several facts suggest that the ship is heading for scrapyard including the reported final voyage by MarineTraffic Automatic Identification System which says that the ship departed Freeport and is heading for Bhavnagar, India.

Grand Celebration rumors started when a shipbroker listed the vessel as being sold, but the company quickly came to deny it publicly. Cruise Harbour News reports that an Indian worker at Alang Scrapyard revealed that the ship is expected to be beached on the first week of January if tides permitting, which corresponds with the AIS data of the ship's estimated time of arrival at the scrapyard on January 3, 2021.

Another document supporting this claim was posted on the Cruise Law News Facebook page by one of the fans, who shared a report about the latest sales and purchases by the Greek shipbroker Allied. You can see the MS Grand Celebration in the list of ships sold to an undisclosed buyer.

During the global shutdown of the cruise industry, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line was in the news spotlight regarding the treatment of its crew and refusing to pay the shipboard employees while they continued to work. 

Several crew members shared a document that they claim were forced to sign on March 18, 2020. According to this document, the crew needed to sign that "The Corona Virus is a worldwide pandemic beyond the control of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, resulting in stoppage of its operation and contract revision. As such, crew voluntarily request to stay on board instead of choosing to fly home. By choosing to stay onboard during the stoppage of operations crew agrees to remain onboard without pay until the government has lifted restrictions to return home or until Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line returns to normal operations."

According to one crew member, shipboard employees were pushed to sign this document and were told that if they don’t sign they will make sure that immigration will cancel their visas.

The company denied the claims but later has agreed to pay $875.000 to settle a class action lawsuit brought by 275 crew members who claimed they were unpaid for months.

Three months after the court settlement the crew are still waiting to be compensated, reports Miami Herald. According to Miami Herald a lawyer representing Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line said the company needs to raise money for the settlement fund as it struggles to stay afloat, and that bankruptcy is a “possibility.”

This month Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has taken down all the content of the official website and stopped taking online cruise reservations. However, as the company said, reservations could still be made over the phone.