December 18, 2019
MSC Cruises’ new private island in the Bahamas
MSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa. Their ships sail year-round in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, and their seasonal itineraries include Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, South America, Southern Africa, China, the Dubai, Abu Dhabi and India. The MSC Cruises experience embodies the elegant side of the Mediterranean to create unique and unforgettable emotions for guests, through the discovery of the world’s cultures, beauties and tastes. MSC Cruises translates its passion for the sea into a commitment to excellence in hospitality, professionalism, dedication and mastery of every single detail to ensure the complete happiness and satisfaction of each and every guest.
MSC Cruises recently welcomed the very first guests to the fantastic Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, their new private island destination in The Bahamas. The island’s opening is a major milestone for MSC Cruises. As part of a multi-faceted restoration strategy, they have managed to transform the island from what once was an industrial sand excavation site into a stunning tropical destination. MSC Cruises has also worked with environmental engineers and other experts to revitalize the surrounding ocean beds, marine life and endangered coral.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, says: “Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles – beliefs that shape everything from how venues are built, to how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. Having the first guests arrive on the island is a moment of great pride for all of us at MSC Cruises. We wanted to create something sustainable for our guests, with a higher purpose. Ocean Cay is not just a holiday island; it is a unique marine reserve where people and nature thrive in harmony.”
Upon arrival at Ocean Cay, guests are welcomed by endless sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and some of the most immaculate white-sand beaches. From early morning until late evening, they will have plenty of time to soak up the spirit and authentic beauty of The Bahamas and enjoy their stay as they wish. There are many shore excursions that guests can choose from and explore that are designed to discover the marine life close up, such as snorkelling, stand up paddleboarding, and kayaking; have a luxurious spa treatment or relax in a private cabana; stroll the Bahamian village with authentic Bahamian arts and crafts by local artisans; grab a bite at the complimentary Seakers Food Court or from one of six food trucks located around the island; enjoy cocktails and drinks from multiple bars around the island, and catch one-of-a-kind evening events such as traditional Junkanoo parades and lighthouse light shows.
The environmentally-sound development of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is a unique and great accomplishment. It took nearly three years to complete and the island is now a destination capable of delivering the best possible guest experience and meeting the Company’s uniquely ambitious environmental targets. Seven thousand five hundred tons of scrap metal was removed and a team of expert divers and marine biologists, who were present throughout the clean-up process, carefully removed individual hard coral colonies from debris on the ocean bed and relocated them to an approved location outside the construction area. Actions were taken to create a biodiverse and sustainable environment and more than 75,000 plants and shrubs were planted across the island.
MSC Cruises has even more plans for this beautiful place in the next few months. They will also introduce a Conservation Centre on the island, which will serve as an active base for coral education and research. The natural, unspoiled beauty of the ocean and beaches is at the heart of the Ocean Cay experience. The eco-friendly and sustainable practices on the island, as well as the designation of the surrounding waters as a flourishing marine reserve, are built around MSC Cruises’ commitment to protecting, restoring and conserving the ocean and its ecosystem.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has been designed to immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas. This unique private island destination allows guests to connect with the natural world and its beauty, feel the warmth, fun, and hospitality of the Bahamian spirit and immerse themselves in an ecologically-intelligent atmosphere.