MSC Cruises has unveiled ambitious plans to create an exclusive marine reserve island experience in the Bahamas.
The project was launched last week in the Bahamian capital Nassau with Prime Minister Perry Christie and MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago signing a 100-year lease agreement that will enable MSC Cruises to occupy and develop the island to be called Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
The development will measure 95-acres in size with 11,400 feet of beachfront spread across six distinct beaches. In addition, as the only marine reserve island experience, it will offer a multitude of key distinguishing features.
For example, a purpose-built berth and pier right on the seafront means that MSC Cruises guests will be able to step off the ship straight onto the island. Since a unique part of their visit will be the island’s night life in particular live music and entertainment at the 2,000-seat amphitheatre and many restaurants and bars, guests moving at leisure between ship and island will be especially convenient. In addition, the ship and all on board services – including the casino – will stay open while berthed at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
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.
Also, 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.
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
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.
The Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve project will offer a permanent MSC Cruises presence in the Bahamas, for which the company plans to recruit 240 Bahamians in various roles over 2016 and 2017. The cay will be ideal for all MSC Cruises ships serving the Caribbean region, notably MSC Divina and the under-construction next generation ship MSC Seaside (launching December 2017), both sailing from Miami, plus MSC Opera and MSC Armonia, sailing from Havana, Cuba. In addition, the company will open a crew training school in Nassau to provide local manpower for the growing number of MSC Cruises ships sailing the Caribbean.