MSC Cruises To Create Exclusive Bahamian Marine Reserve Island Experience For Caribbean Cruise Guests
MSC Cruises, have unveiled ambitious plans to create an unprecedented exclusive marine reserve island experience in the Bahamas.
The visionary project was officially launched on 16TH December 2015 in the Bahamian capital Nassau, where Prime Minister Perry Christie and MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago signed a 100-year lease agreement that will enable MSC Cruises to occupy and develop the island, to be called Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Cruises is committed to protecting the waters it navigates and, as one of the most ecologically conscious cruise liners in the world, will invest around USD 200 million in creating a flourishing natural haven from a desert island.
Over the next two years MSC Cruises will work hand-in-hand with the Bahamian Government and ecologists to develop the cay into a thriving marine reserve that will harmoniously coexist with the local ecosystem.
MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago commented: “This is a natural progression for our company, which is growing very rapidly, and we are thrilled about providing this totally new experience for our guests in the Caribbean.”
“Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and its exclusive offerings will be a magnificent extension of our shipboard experiences. We are scrupulous about ensuring every decision we take keeps each of our ships true to the promise of our brand, offering the authenticity and quality our guests expect. This is what made us the leading brand in many of the markets we operate, including across Europe, South America and South Africa. We will apply the same thinking and attention to detail to our Caribbean offering, of which this exclusive marine reserve will become a cornerstone, because we know our guests will be bowled over by this industry-unique experience.”
At 38.5-hectares in size, and with 3.5 km of pristine beachfront spread across six distinct beaches, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will be the biggest and first island development by any cruise company in the Caribbean.
In addition, it will offer a multitude of other key distinguishing features. For example, a purpose-built berth and pier allows MSC Cruises guests to step off the ship straight onto the island at leisure with ease.
This unique feature will be especially useful as guests experience the island’s night life, in particular live music and entertainment at the 2,000-seat amphitheatre, and many restaurants and bars. In addition, the ship and all on-board services will stay open while berthed at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
All installations and experiences on the island, which lies 32 km south of Bimini and just 104.5 km east of Miami, Florida, will be fully sympathetic to the culture and traditions of the Bahamas. An architecturally faithful Bahamian village will be created with plentiful restaurants and bars offering local specialities, a variety of shops and an inviting arrival centre with island-themed music gazebo.
As well as all the must-have water sports and beach games, other highlights include:
- A family beach with kids’ restaurant, play areas and other useful facilities
- A charming inland lagoon for absolute tranquillity
- A thrilling zip wire crossing the island
- A pavilion for weddings and celebrations
Getting around the island will be a breeze, thanks to a network of walking and running paths, bicycle rentals and other stress-free transport options.
For MSC Yacht Club guests, the northwest corner of the island has been set aside and designed to provide the ultimate luxury experience. Facilities include an exclusive spa and wellness sanctuary, with private bungalows and massage huts where guests can relax and enjoy the island in world class style.
MSC Cruises plans to break ground on the development in March 2016, and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will open to guests in December 2017.