A Parrothead’s paradise: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville empire is getting into cruises
Get ready to be nibblin' on sponge cake and watchin' the sun bake from the deck of a cruise ship.
That's right, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is getting into the cruise business.
The company behind hotels, resorts and restaurants themed around Buffett's famed 1977 song on Wednesday announced it would add Margaritaville-themed cruises to its lineup starting in 2022.
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Dubbed Margaritaville at Sea, the company's new cruise program will begin in April with sailings on the 1,680-passenger Grand Classica, a 30-year-old ship that is being rebranded as Margaritaville Paradise, the company said.
Originally built for Costa Cruises, the 10-deck-high vessel currently is operated by West Palm Beach, Florida-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which will be a partner in the new venture.
In its announcement, Margaritaville said the new Margaritaville-branded sailings would offer the same "fun, escapism and state of mind" as is found at its other venues.
"To me, the only thing better than being on a beach by the ocean, is to be on the ocean. Now you can follow in our wake," Buffett said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
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Margaritaville said Margaritaville Paradise would sail to Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas out of Palm Beach, Florida, starting on April 30.
The ship will undergo a multimillion dollar overhaul in advance of the sailings that will bring Margaritaville's signature casual-luxe design to the ship's cabins and public areas, the company said.
The overhaul will include the addition of Margaritaville-themed venues such as a LandShark Sports Bar, a Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop and a 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar.
The venture is being done in partnership with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which is known for quick, two-night getaways to the Bahamas out of the Port of Palm Beach. Grand Classica is the line's only ship.
"We're excited about this new partnership as we launch Margaritaville at Sea out of the Port of Palm Beach," Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa said in a statement. "We are incredibly proud of what we've built at Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and ... excited about this next phase of our evolution."
Khosa, who will serve as CEO of Margaritaville at Sea, said the rebranding of Grand Classica as a Margaritaville-themed ship would "add a different dimension to the cruising industry, appealing to a new audience of travelers."
Margaritaville Paradise will make its debut with two-night getaways to Grand Bahamas Island from the Port of Palm Beach, the same itinerary offered by Grand Classica under its previous branding.
The new partnership isn't the first time the Margaritaville brand has appeared at sea. Norwegian Cruise Line has had Margaritaville-themed restaurants and bars on some ships in recent years.
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