Margaritaville devotees get sea option

America’s large band of fans of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, a casual dining American restaurant chain, a chain of stores selling Jimmy Buffett-themed merchandise, and casinos with lodging facilities, can now take holidays at sea under the same brand.

A 30-year-old cruise ship has been rebranded Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (IMO 8716502)Jimmy Buffet himself gave a performance at an industry preview at the end of last week. It started its maiden voyage on May 14th, heading for the Bahamas.

The cruise ship had arrived back at the Port of Palm Beach, Florida, on May 10th after undergoing an extensive refurbishment and rebranding during an overhaul at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport.

The cruise operation is a rebranding of the former Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which has operated from the Port of Palm Beach since 2016.

The cruise company will continue to provide the marine operations while marketing will be provided by the Margaritaville resort company.

The first cruises are operating for two nights from Florida to Freeport in the Bahamas, where the company is offering a land stay option, or a return to Florida for a mini three-day cruise. Before the pandemic Bahamas Paradise had been carrying 4m passengers annually on the short cruises, but during the pandemic the company sold one of its cruise ships for scrap.

The 52,900 gt Margaritaville at Sea Paradise started life in December 1991 as the Fincantieri-built Classica, The Costa family sold the company to Carnival Corporation in 1997, which has continued to operate and expand the company as its Italian cruise brand.

1991-built, Bahamas-flagged, 53,015 gt Margaritaville at Sea Paradise(still referred to as the Grand Classica) is owned and managed by Costa Crociere SpA of Genoa (Equasis details). It is entered with American Club (referred to as Margaritaville At Sea Paradise) on behalf of Classica Cruise Operator Ltd (named as the new owner). AIS reference is now Margaritaville ASP. As of May 15th it was at Freeport, Bahamas, having arrived that morning.