MSC Cruises’ private island and marine reserve will educate guests on coral reef preservation (Image: MSC Cruises)
MSC Cruises has revealed new details about its marine reserve, Ocean Cay. The private island will offer guests bars, lagoons, separate beach areas, shopping offerings and spa treatments.
MSC Cruises has turned a former industrial sand extraction site near Miami, Florida into a marine reserve and island, allowing guests to get closer to nature with activities such as snorkel safaris, kayak tours and paddle boarding. The island is surrounded by 64 square miles of protected waters and a coral nursery is being established to encourage the growth of new coral. ‘Edutainment’ programmes will be available to teach guests about ocean protection and the preservation of coral reefs. There are also plans for the island to house a marine laboratory that will research climate change-resistant coral.
“Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will bring something new and unique to our Caribbean itineraries from Miami and Havana and is set to become a truly memorable highlight for our guests,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “We have created a guest experience that complements the breath-taking natural beauty of this remarkable part of the Caribbean.”
“There was no need for us to build extensively on an island that already had the ingredients of a natural paradise. However, we have undertaken extensive work to clean-up the island, removing tons of historic industrial waste and helping to return the beaches and the entire 64 square miles of protected waters surrounding the island to their pristine state.”
In order to minimise waste, there are only two dining options ashore: a buffet offering a variety of cuisines, including American classics and Bahamian flavours; and food carts providing guests with smaller, street food-style dishes. Guests will also be able to dine in their ship’s eateries. In addition, there are several bars on the island and an ice cream parlour and coffee bar, the Authentic Bahamian and the Lighthouse.
Ocean Cay provides over two miles of beaches split into seven distinct beach areas, as well as two lagoons for more protected swimming and water sports.
Other activities include visiting the four shopping areas, featuring the Bahamian Shop & Market where guests can purchase artisanal gifts, the Ocean Cay Trading Post offering nature-inspired souvenirs, and the MSC Shop with a range of island essentials. MSC Aura Spa will also offer body and facial treatments using biodegradable and eco-friendly products.
The island will welcome its first guests in November of this year.
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