MSC Cruises has announced a comprehensive development plan for Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Private Island in The Bahamas to enhance the guest experience and contribute to marine conservation.
The investment, valued at $100 million, marks a new chapter for the private island destination, which has been an example of sustainable and environmental stewardship. MSC Cruises transformed the former sand excavation site into a marine reserve and now aims to take that development even further.
Enhancing Guest Experience and Marine Conservation
MSC Cruises and the Bahamian government have signed a new agreement where the cruise line will invest a further $100 million into its private island resort, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve.
The development plan, unveiled during a ceremony in Bimini attended by Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis and other key officials, is poised to generate substantial economic benefits for The Bahamas.
This initiative will create numerous construction jobs and long-term employment opportunities on the island, a significant contribution to the local economy.
Prime Minister Philip Davis said to Eyewitness News: “My government has fully embraced the development of our Family Islands. Whether through capital infrastructure projects, partnerships, or in support of private sector investments like this one, we are committed to developing and growing the economy of every island in our archipelago.”
“This project represents the kind of corporate responsibility effort and environmental stewardship we want to see from all major developmental projects moving forward.”
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, a former industrial sand excavation site transformed into a flourishing marine reserve and private island destination, will see a series of enhancements designed to elevate the guest experience.
New amenities for MSC Cruises’ guests include the introduction of pavilions where guests can undertake watersport activities and island tours. There will also be a diving and snorkel center and additional dining options.
The development also includes new accommodation facilities for the island staff, which is set to increase from 150 to 280 employees. Additionally, MSC Cruises has pledged to support the LJM Maritime Academy and the University of The Bahamas, fostering the training and development of Bahamian seafarers.
Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
A central component of the expansion is the establishment of the MSC Foundation’s Marine Conservation Centre. This facility will serve as a hub for coral reef research and education under the Super Coral Program, featuring interactive pavilions, a lecture hall, and coral exhibition tanks.
The Super Coral Program on the island represents a critical effort in understanding and fostering coral reef resilience across the tropical Western Atlantic.
The expansion will also include the installation of a third solar farm and an advanced wastewater treatment plant, which will help MSC Cruises achieve its goals for zero greenhouse gas emissions for Ocean Cay.
A comprehensive landscaping plan will further enhance the island’s ecosystem, featuring native and adaptive plant species for erosion control and vegetation improvement.
With the new additions and enhancements, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will become an even more important example of how tourism can be done sustainably in the Caribbean, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, ecological awareness, and amenities.
Those looking forward to visiting Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve during the winter 2023-24 season will have ample choice. MSC Cruises will deploy five ships in the North American market – MSC Divina, MSC Magnifica, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seascape, and MSC Seashore, all making stops at Ocean Cay.