Coming Soon: A New Caribbean Island! | Cruise News – Dec. 17, 2015
Coming Soon: A New Private Island!
MSC Cruises becomes latest cruise line to create an exclusive island experience for cruise guests.
Cruise News – Dec. 17, 2015
MSC Cruises has unveiled ambitious plans to create a private island experience in the Bahamas for its guests. The project was officially launched December 16 in 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.
Over the next two years, MSC Cruises will work hand-in-hand with the Bahamian government and ecologists to develop the cay, which will coexist with the local ecosystem. The approximately $200 million island investment will result in 95 acres that will include 11,400 feet of pristine beachfront spread across six distinct beaches.
Ocean Cay Marine Reserve will feature a purpose-built berth and pier right on the seafront, which means guests will be able to step off the ship straight onto the island and not have to take a tender. All onboard services, including the casino, will stay open while docked at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
The island, which lies 20 miles south of Bimini and 65 miles east of Miami, will feature more than 80 indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs; a Bahamian village; numerous restaurants and bars serving local specialties; a variety of shops; and a 2,000-seat amphitheater. 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.
For getting around the island, there will be a network of walking and running paths, bicycle rentals, and other easy transport options. Other highlights include a family beach with kids’ restaurant, play areas, and other facilities; a tranquil inland lagoon; a zip wire crossing the island; and 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 cay will be ideal for all MSC Cruises ships serving the Caribbean region, such as 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.
Guests aboard MSC Seaside’s maiden voyage from Miami will be the first to visit the island. The line recently announced the opening of sales for the inaugural season of MSC Seaside.
Photos: MSC Cruises
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