Pictured above: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line was quick to lend a helping hand with Hurricane Dorian relief efforts on Grand Bahama Island.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is appealing to vacationers not to turn their backs on Grand Bahama Island in its hour of need.
The company, which has two-night sailings linking the Port of Palm Beach, Florida, with Freeport in the Bahamas – is hoping tourists return to Grand Bahama island to help kick-start the tourist trade that’s the backbone of its economy.
Grand Bahama was hard hit by September’s Hurricane Dorian, which has left as many as 1,500 Bahamians missing, but Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa says the southwestern part of the island – home to the port and beaches and commercial activity – was largely spared, and there’s no reason tourists should now shun it.
The cruise company suspended its regular program after Dorian, but has now resumed its regular schedule.
“The worst thing you can do is not go to the island,”
Khosa says of the rebuilding, adding every visitor to it who buys a drink in a bar or takes a taxi or buys a meal is injecting money into a tourism-dependent economy.
Those who explore Freeport-area beaches and its commercial zone will be hard-pressed to notice hurricane damage, he continues.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line sent two shiploads of volunteers and relief supplies to Grand Bahama after Dorian, where among other things they helped serve 12,000 hot meals.
The volunteers helped with numerous other projects, including distributing water and food and rescuing dogs that suddenly found themselves on their own.
Tourists who sail with it now to the island can spend their time doing regular tourist activities or working on volunteer projects. Those wishing to volunteer work needn’t prearrange it, with island groups on hand to receive them.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line also offers hotel stays for those wanting to extend their Grand Bahamas stays. Plans now call for the stays to be made available Nov. 1 at the local Viva Wyndham.