Grand Classica

Grand Classica (formerly Costa neoClassica and Costa Classica) is a cruise ship for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. She was built by Italian company Fincantieri Shipyards in 1991. On board are two restaurants, 9 bars, 2 swimming pools, and 4 whirlpools. The ship left the Costa fleet in March 2018 after being sold to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and began sailing on April 13, 2018 as the Grand Classica.[2]

Grand Classica docked in Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1991–2014: Costa Classica
  • 2014–2018: Costa neoClassica
  • 2018-On: Grand Classica
Port of registry:
Builder: Fincantieri (Overall Construction), Cammell Laird(Additional Midsection Completed But Never Added)
Launched: 2 February 1991
Completed: December 1991
Acquired: 7 December 1991
Maiden voyage: 17 December 1991
Renamed: 2014, 2018
Status: In service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 52,926 GT
Length: 722 ft (220 m)
Beam: 102 ft (31 m)
Draught: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Decks: 14
  • 18.5 knots (normal)
  • 20 knots (maximum)
  • 1,308 passengers (normal)
  • 1,680 passengers (maximum)
Crew: 620
Notes: [1]

2000 Lengthening Refit Cancellation

A major refit of the Costa Classica was scheduled to have taken place between November 2000 and early 2001. In the summer of 1999, Costa contracted the United Kingdom shipbuilder Cammell Laird to construct a new 146ft/44.8m midsection to lengthen the ship to 870ft/265.4m. The lengthening would also see a refit of the ship's interiors. The new section was constructed and ready for the ship's arrival. However, Costa cancelled the refit when the ship was due to arrive. This contract cancellation was in part responsible for causing the shipbuilder to go into receivership in April 2001. The constructed section that was built was never added to the ship. It was later sold and demolished for scrap.[3][4][5]

Refit as the Costa neoClassica

The Costa Classica underwent a refit in 2014 to join the Costa neoCollection as the Costa neoClassica. It retained its original design while its sister ship the Costa Romantica underwent a 90 million refurbishing to become the Costa neoRomantica. The sister ship received a complete overhaul which saw the increase in tonnage and additional cabins. [6]

Sale To Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines

On 2 August 2017, Costa Cruises announced that the vessel had been sold to an unnamed buyer and will leave the Costa Cruises fleet in March 2018.[7] On 13 December 2017, it was revealed that the ship had been purchased by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, who would rename the vessel Grand Classica. The ship began sailing out from the Port of Palm Beach starting on 13 April 2018. The ship currently operates 2 day round trip cruises to Nassau along with the other line's sister ship, the Grand Celebration which sails to Grand Bahama Island. [8]

Incidents and accidents

MSC Poesia collision

On June 6, 2008, MSC Poesia and Costa Classica collided in the Adriatic Sea near Dubrovnik, after the anchor line became slack on MSC Poesia and she went adrift. There were no injuries, and the damage was minimal. Both vessels continued on their scheduled itinerary with no delays.

2009 passenger disappearance

A Hong Kong woman and her son disappeared while on a cruise from Beijing to Fukuoka in July 2009. A source confirmed three letters have been found in their cabin concerning the distribution of their belongings. Travel agency Hong Thai Travel confirmed the pair were among 35 tourists who boarded the cruise liner in Tianjin and its tour guide realized the pair were missing on 7 July. Costa Crociere said it had reported to law enforcement bodies in Korea, the mainland and Japan.[9]

2010 collision near Shanghai

On 18 October 2010, Costa Classica collided with the Belgian-flagged vessel near the deep water channel of the Yangtze River as it returned to Shanghai from Cheju, Korea. Several passengers reported to the infirmary with minor injuries. Three passengers were sent ashore for further medical checks. News images show a gash along the starboard side of Costa Classica that stretched about 60 feet and well above the ship's waterline. Costa Classica docked a few hours after the incident and passengers on the current voyage of the ship were disembarked.[10]

Costa Classica then sailed to Changxing, China to undergo an emergency drydock. It took just 96 hours to complete repairs and then she resumed her service.[11] Next voyage was resumed in Hong Kong on October 25 with two days short where Manila Port was cancelled.

2012 Mainland visitors were banned from entering Sanya, China

On 24 January 2012, more than 300 mainland visitors were banned from entering Sanya, China from Costa Classica. Those affected vowed their passports had been inspected by the staff on the cruise, but they were not told beforehand concerning their visa problem. Conflicts arose on the ship while hundreds and thousands of visitors were lining up to leave the ship. Costa Classica refused to take the responsibility of the fault and to compensate for the loss of other passengers not involved. Most passengers were forced to shorten and cancel their trips at Sanya due to the delay and chaos.

2019 Grand Classica banned from entering Havana, Cuba

Viva Travel, a Florida-based travel agency, chartered the Grand Classica for what was advertised as a Valentines Day cruise to reunite Cuban exiles with their relatives aboard the vessel. Despite claims by the cruise line and travel agency that they had secured the necessary governmental approvals, the ship was denied entry and diverted to Nassau, Bahamas. [12]


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