Cruise NewsMSC CruisesMSC Cruises' New Private Island in the Bahamas Will Open Later This...

MSC Cruises’ New Private Island in the Bahamas Will Open Later This Year

Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises’ new private island destination in the Bahamas, will open later this year on November 9, 2019. The island’s main feature will be the stunning natural beautiful of crystal blue waters, soft white sand, and a local ecosystem that will allow guests to connect with and appreciate nature.

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With Ocean Cay (pronounced key), MSC Cruises is transforming a former industrial sand-extraction site into a vibrant marine reserve. The company has hauled tons of debris out of the surrounding waters and a coral nursery is being established to encourage and sustain the growth of new coral. Overall, the vision is to create a sustainable destination that allow guests to connect with the surrounding nature.

Guest Experience: On the island guests will enjoy:

  • Seven beaches, including a smaller family lagoon for younger guests to enjoy.
  • A variety of shore excursions to explore nature’s beauty, including snorkel safaris, kayak tours and paddle boarding.
  • Entertainment activities day and night.
  • Docking right on the island, so guests can easily move on and off the ship to refresh and enjoy evenings on Ocean Cay.
  • A variety of food and drink options including a buffet, casual food carts and a variety of bars with different atmospheres, and an ice cream parlor.
  • Island shopping with a Bahamian Shop & Market, hosting authentic arts and crafts by local artisans
  • Spa services on the island with a selection of body and facial treatments

With over two miles of beautiful white sandy beach shore formed from the world’s best aragonite sand, guests will be spoilt for choice with seven distinct beach areas, each with their own allure and character. Guests can either escape with warm sand between their toes and the sound of the ocean, or be more active with beach games and water sports.

Sun beds will be available on all beaches, and some beaches will offer cabanas that can be rented for the day. The Great Lagoon’s shallow crystal-clear water is perfect for protected swimming and water sports, while the smaller family lagoon is designed for younger guests to enjoy, offering very shallow, calm water and plenty of games. At over half a mile long, the Great Bimini Beach is the largest stretch of beach on the island, as well as the place to go to enjoy a variety of water sports.

For those looking for a really special experience, Ocean Cay guests are able to privately rent a smaller island close to the main body of land for the day, which will include: a private boat that will take the group to the island and remain at their disposal; and a marquee, sun beds and loungers and food and drinks. Near the island is an old shipwreck, making it a wonderful spot for snorkeling.

One of the key highlights of Ocean Cay is that the cruise ship will remain in port into the evening since the island is conveniently located just 65 miles south of Miami, allowing for a range of incredible evening experiences. Once the sun goes down guests can enjoy night time activities such as stargazing on the beach or romantic sunset catamaran tours to bring the day to a very special close. The entertainment on the island will focus around the iconic Lighthouse with breathtaking sunsets and with live music or DJs and a surprising visual experience that will further enhance the atmosphere.


A key part of the island experience is a specially designed retail concept created to reflect the overall vision of the island. Across four distinct shopping areas, guests have the opportunity to take home unique and special souvenirs or find vacation essentials that they may need.

The Bahamian Shop & Market hosts authentic arts and crafts by local artisans and Bahamian companies to perfectly complement the spirit of the Bahamas. Meanwhile the Ocean Cay Trading Post offers a wide selection of exclusive Ocean Cay souvenirs and gifts inspired by nature with items for adults and children ranging from T-shirts, caps, beach items, towels and accessories.

Guests will be able to purchase essentials for the whole family from the MSC Shop, with a range of MSC Cruises branded products such as hats, flip flops, towels, beach bags, sunscreen and lip balms. Guests will also find a number of exclusive partnership products highlighting the marine and sustainable values of the island. Finally guests can collect pre-ordered essential items at the Welcome Center including Ocean Cay survival kits and other essentials and at the same time gather top tips for a day on Ocean Cay.


For those guests looking to relax and rejuvenate on the island, there will be services provided by the award-winning MSC Aurea Spa with a selection of relaxing body and facial treatments. All the beauty products used on the island are bio-degradable and eco-friendly. Some of the specially-designed treatments include the Ocean Cay Breeze Boost massage, which uses aromatic spray waters with soothing and refreshing properties, mainly aimed at the legs, feet and back — the areas of the body normally more exposed to sun. The Ocean Cay Breeze Facial offers the soothing properties of a calming mask and refreshing spray waters, providing relief for delicate facial skin exposed to the sun.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsMSC CruisesMSC Cruises' New Private Island in the Bahamas Will Open Later This...


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