MSC Cruises breaks ground on Ocean Cay in the Bahamas

MSC Cruises breaks ground on Ocean Cay in the Bahamas
The Right Honourable Perry Gladstone Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas (right) joined Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman (left), at the groundbreaking Ceremony

MSC Cruises broke ground on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas on 16 January.

MSC Cruises’ executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago joined the Right Honourable Perry Gladstone Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, at the official groundbreaking ceremony along with other Bahamian ministers and government officials. Construction workers will now start to clear the existing industrial infrastructure building the facility, which is due to open in November 2018.

“Working in partnership with the Government of The Bahamas, our aim is to turn an industrial wasteland into a thriving environment for man and nature alike, bringing the island and its surrounding waters back to their original state,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “In so doing, we will substantially grow our group’s already strong investment in the Bahamian economy, offering long-term employment opportunities to the local population. Bearing testament to our ability to innovate, a purpose-built berth and pier will allow our cruise ships to dock directly at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Thus the island will de facto become an extension of the ship.”

Billed as the biggest island development by any cruise company in the Caribbean, the 95-acre island will be located 32km south of Bimini and 104.5km east of Miami in Florida. It will reflect the culture and natural landscape of the Bahamas by offering indigenous Caribbean plants and trees; a traditional Bahamian village; restaurants and bars offering local specialities; shops; and an arrival centre with island-themed music gazebo.

Other highlights will include a 2,000-seat amphitheatre; watersports facilities; bicycle rentals and beach games; a family beach with a children’s restaurant and play areas; a lagoon; a zip wire crossing the island; walking and running paths; and a pavilion for hosting weddings and other celebrations. MSC Yacht Club guests will also have exclusive access to a spa and wellness sanctuary with private bungalows and massage huts on the north-west corner of the island.

“Located merely 65 miles east of Miami, Florida, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has 11,400ft of beautiful coastline and crystal blue waters teaming with unique marine life,” said Gianluca Suprani, head of Global Port Development and Shoresde Activities at MSC Cruises. “The island has some of the finest aragonite sands in the world and once the work is completed, its surrounding waters will be home again to beautiful corals and rich aquatic life. It will become a truly exclusive destination for MSC Cruises guests to experience the best the Caribbean has to offer.”

MSC Seaside and other MSC Cruises ships operating in the Caribbean will call Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve regularly on their itineraries from November 2018 onwards.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
18 January 2017

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