*Editors Note: On June 3, the CDC told Cruise Critic that Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line does not have full approval to run the test cruise. We will update or adjust this story if more information becomes available.
(Updated 4 p.m. EDT) -- Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line received approval Wednesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct a test cruise prior to its anticipated return to service on July 2, 2021.
The sailings -- which Bahamas Paradise notes are not open to members of the public or media -- will take place June 25 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 sailing. 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.