MSC have officially announced that Ocean Cay Marine Reserve will now open in October 2018. The official ground breaking ceremony will be on October 6th in presence of the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, the Right Honourable Perry G. Christie, and other high dignitaries from the country’s government.
This is a project that will be the biggest island development by any cruise company in the Caribbean and the only marine reserve island experience. MSC have been working closely with the Bahamian government and ecologists to transform a 95-acre former sand extraction station which lies 20 miles south of Bimini and 65 miles east of Miami.
Executive chairman of MSC Cruises, Pierfranceso Vago, stated before the beginning of the process: ‘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’.
MSC have invested around $200 million in the development which will feature six beaches, a 2,000 seat ampitheatre, numerous water sport options, walking and running paths, and a Bahamian village with shops, restaurants and a music gazebo. It will provide a purpose-built berth and pier on the seafront to enable passengers to step straight off the ship onto the shore.
The Italian cruise line have stated that the development will be sympathetic to the culture and traditions of the Bahamas and they are committed to protecting the waters it navigates. The landscaping will include 80 indigenous Caribbean trees, flowers and shrubs, and will feature restaurants and bars offering local specialities.
The calls that MSC Seaside and MSC Divina were formerly scheduled to make to Ocean Cay Marine Reserve between December 2017 and the new date of its grand opening to guests will be substituted by calls to Nassau.
Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, stated: ‘As we sat out to finalise construction plans for this one-of-a-kind destination, we realised that to ensure the level of quality and attention to details in both infrastructure and services that our guests have rightfully come to expect from MSC cruises, it was only appropriate to allot a longer time frame. In fact, it was hard not to want to further enrich this unique beach destination with new and additional unique services for our guests.’
What are your thoughts to the news? Are you excited at the prospect of a private island with MSC? Are you desperate to visit it yourself or are you already booked onto MSC Seaside’s maiden voyage next year? Leave us your comments!