Cruise News

MSC Cruises’ exclusive Caribbean private island paradise turns over a new leaf ... literally

MSC Cruises has entered the final phase of work on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, its exclusive private Bahamian island that will welcome the first guests in November 2019.

It has celebrated a major milestone in the transformation of the former industrial sand extraction site into a flourishing marine reserve and private island destination with the planting of the first trees.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
More than 500 tons of industrial waste and scrap metal have been removed during the island clean-up Picture: Conrad Schutt

With uninterrupted 360° horizon views of crystal blue waters and some of the most spectacular white sandy beaches in the world, the island will be a highlight of MSC Cruises’ Caribbean itineraries.

After visiting the island to plant one of the inaugural trees, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “It was a very special moment to be on the island together with the team that has been working non-stop on this incredible project to see how our vision is starting to take shape.

“Words cannot convey the unbelievable natural beauty of our island, and it is only when you have stood there for yourself, surrounded by nothing but beautiful ocean with nothing else on the horizon, that you can really understand what we are accomplishing here.

“I can’t wait to welcome in one year’s time our first guests to this truly magical place.”

With the landscaping work underway, more than 75,000 native shrubs and plants will be planted with more than 60 types of indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs to create a lush, tropical environment.

Work will shortly begin on more than 100 environmentally-friendly structures, which will include bars, restaurants and housing for employees and staff who will live on the island. Work will also start on the island lighthouse – 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 to simply walk on and off at their leisure throughout the day and evening.

Among all of this, the stunning ocean access will undoubtedly stand out as the highlight of the island experience. MSC Cruises is in the process of recreating the seabed surrounding the island, which will soon be repopulated with a great variety of vibrant marine life.

Mr Vago continued, “We are already seeing the return of the marine life that is usually so prevalent in this area. We are seeing an abundance of lobster, conch, stingrays and other fish and by the time we finish the work the waters around the island will be again teeming with life and new coral.

“As a company with such a rich maritime heritage, preserving the oceans is of the highest importance to us and this is a wonderful opportunity to protect a little piece of paradise and allow our guests to experience it.”

During the island’s clean-up, more than 500 tons of industrial waste and scrap metal have been removed, with the final underwater debris clean-up about to begin.

A shallow water lagoon will be created in the centre of the island to provide a fun area for families to relax and while away the day. The island will also feature eight world class beaches each with a different character, ambience.

Posted on 17th November 2018 at 12:52 pm in Cruise News | Cruise Lines | Mediterranean Shipping Cruise Line (MSC) |

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