MSC Cruises today broke ground on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, marking the official commencement of the works that will turn this former industrial sand extraction site back into its original pristine state. Located south of Bimini in The Bahamas, the island is set to become a natural paradise exclusive to MSC Cruises guests as of November 2018.
The development of the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is part of MSC Cruises’ €9 billion investment plan, which includes the building of up to 11 next-generation smart ships coming into service between 2017 and 2026. The first phase of development of the marine reserve will now begin as the island is cleared of existing industrial infrastructure so it can be turned again into a pristine marine reserve.
Speaking at the Groundbreaking Ceremony, Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, commented: “Working in partnership with the Government of The Bahamas, our aim is to turn an industrial wasteland into a thriving environment for man and nature alike, bringing the island and its surrounding waters back to their original state. In so doing, we will substantially grow our group’s already strong investment in the Bahamian economy, offering long-term employment opportunities to the local population.”
He continued: “Bearing testament to our ability to innovate, a purpose-built berth and pier will allow our cruise ships to dock directly at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Thus the island will de facto become an extension of the ship.”
Pierfrancesco Vago was joined by Perry Gladstone Christie, the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, along with other Bahamian ministers and government officials at the official Groundbreaking Ceremony.
Gianluca Suprani, Head of Global Port Development and Shore Side Activities at MSC Cruises, added: “Located merely 65 miles east of Miami, Florida, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has 11,400 feet of beautiful coastline and crystal blue waters teaming with unique marine life. The island has some of the finest aragonite sands in the world and once the work is completed, its surrounding waters will be home again to beautiful corals and rich aquatic life. It will become a truly exclusive destination for MSC Cruises guests to experience the best the Caribbean has to offer.”
At 95-acres in size and with 11,400 feet of pristine beach front guest will have the opportunity to enjoy multiple beaches, a vast, calm lagoon, the harmonious lines of the typical houses of a Bahamian village and much more. The crown jewel of Ocean Cay will be the aquatic sport activities, suitable for adults and children.
In addition, a part of the island will be dedicated to families. The more romantic cruise goers will be able to visualize their wedding on the northern beach or simply take a stroll at sunset. For MSC Yacht Club guests, an exclusive spa and wellness sanctuary with private bungalows and massage huts has been designated to the northwest corner of the island.
MSC Cruises excursions will include an underwater exploration of the MSC Marine Reserve with its astounding tropical underwater life. During your Caribbean cruise, you will also be able to independently snorkel and swim in the waters of Ocean Cay.
The attractions of this unique island will also include seaside restaurants and tiki bars. A second island, linked to the main island, will host the Ocean Cay Yacht Club and Spa, where you will be able to relax under the expert hands of masseurs in rooms shielded by dense vegetation.
A comprehensive landscaping plan will see more than 80 indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs, planted on the island, returning to their lush natural habitat.
The new MSC Seaside and other MSC Cruises ships operating in the Caribbean will call Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve regularly on their itineraries from November 2018 onwards.
For an introduction to MSC Seaside, the ship that follows the sun, please click here.