MSC Cruises’ new private island in the Bahamas, The Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, has entered into its final stage of construction as the first trees were planted on the island. This new tropical cruise destination in the Bahamas is scheduled to open in November 2019.
MSC Cruises is also in the process of creating a sea bed around the island, which will soon be populated with vibrant marine life that guests can also discover. A few highlights of the island will include:
- 75,000 native shrubs and plants to be planted on the island
- Over 200 environmentally-friendly structures, including bars and restaurants as well as housing for staff living on the island
- A pier that allows ships to dock directly along the island so that guests can simply walk on and off the island/ship at their leisure
- Stunning panoramic ocean views of the beautiful Caribbean waters
With the landscaping work underway, over 75,000 native shrubs and plants will be planted including more than 60 types of indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs to create a lush, tropical environment.
Work on over 100 environmentally-friendly structures will soon begin, which will include bars and restaurants as well as housing for employees and staff who will live on the island. Work on the lighthouse will also be underway shortly – set to become an iconic landmark of the island and a focal point of the evening’s entertainment for guests.
One of the island’s most distinguishing features will be a pier that allows the ship to dock alongside the island so that guests can simply walk on and off at their leisure throughout the day and evening. MSC Cruises has designed each aspect of the island to create an authentic, immersive Bahamian experience that will allow visitors to immerse themselves in this beautiful environment.
With the ambition of creating a protected paradise and restoring the natural coral around the island, MSC Cruises is working in close collaboration with environmental auditors, Bahamian environmental experts and other entities to ensure that best practices are followed. Plans are underway for a marine laboratory to be situated on Ocean Cay, which will research climate change-resistant coral in hopes of providing insights to similar island habitats.
The Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve project has been developed to create a positive long-term impact both on the environment and in the communities of the Bahamas. MSC Cruises has been sourcing materials locally wherever possible, and by project-end, around 800 Bahamians will have been directly and indirectly involved in the construction of the island.
Up to 140 Bahamians will be recruited for permanent operational jobs on the island covering a range of different roles including management, technical staff, island attendants, lifeguards and rescue divers. Local vendors will also provide resources for the many shore excursions offered to guests.
Solidifying MSC Cruises’ commitment to the Bahamas, the island marks its permanent presence in the region. In restoring Ocean Cay to its former beauty to match the unparalleled beauty of this region, MSC Cruises hopes to further enhance the already positive image of the Bahamas as a must-visit tourist destination throughout the world.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will open November 2019 with four MSC Cruises ships calling at the island on different days. More information about the guest experience will be revealed in the coming months.