What Happened to the Grand Celebration Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

The Grand Celebration cruise ship was originally built in 1987 as the Nieuw Amsterdam for the Holland America Line, but was sold to the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in 2015. The cruise ship had been a popular choice for cruisers looking for an affordable adventure in the Bahamas and Caribbean.

The Grand Celebration was a 2,200-passenger vessel with a total of 952 cabins. It had plenty of amenities on board, including four restaurants, an outdoor pool and sundeck, a fitness center, casino, spa and shopping area.

In March 2020, the Grand Celebration was preparing to embark on its first voyage of the year when it was suddenly shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ship’s owners decided to lay it up in Freeport, Bahamas until further notice.

For months, there were no updates from the cruise line about when or if the ship would ever sail again. Then in August 2020, it was announced that the Grand Celebration had been sold to scrap metal buyers for $2 million. The ship had been stripped of everything that could be recycled or resold before being towed away from Freeport.


The Grand Celebration cruise ship has officially been retired after 33 years of service. After being shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020 and then sold off for scrap metal six months later, it is no longer available as a vacation option for travelers looking to explore the Caribbean and Bahamas.