Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
GENEVA — Buzz for MSC Cruises’ new private island in the Bahamas continues to build, with new details about family-friendly and luxury amenities just announced.
Opening in less than four months, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve spans 64 square miles and will offer eight beaches, nine bars, an ice cream parlour and a coffee shop upon completion.
Ocean Cay’s natural beauty will be the centerpiece of the guest experience, however, restoring the island was no easy task, said MSC, which spent nearly four years transforming the former sand-extraction site.
But with just months to go until it welcomes its first guests in November, MSC has unveiled new exciting details that appeal to all types of travellers. They are as follows:
• The Spa at Ocean Cay: Created exclusively for Ocean Cay, this unique luxury spa concept is designed to immerse guests in their natural surroundings, providing a start contract to the authentic Balinese MSC Aurea Spa onboard MSC’s ships. The spa will offer various massage options, AVEDA products, and a range of on-trend fitness sessions such as morning beach yoga, SUP yoga and sunset yoga.
• Seakers Family Cove: This paradise for kids will feature a shallow lagoon, a sandy beach for games, and organized games and activities featuring the new DOREMI Explorer mascot. These include sand castle contests, kite building, treasure hunts and a family sporting challenge. Seakers will also include dedicated teens programs and the Seakers Food Court, which serves American classic dishes that will complement the island’s food trucks.
• Evening entertainment: After the sun sets, the area around the iconic 98-foot red and white lighthouse will come to life with a breathtaking light show, fire pits and a traditional junkanoo parade inspired by the historic Bahamian festival. Guests can also enjoy stargazing with an astronomy-themed experience with an astronomer guide.
• Ocean discovery: Guests won’t find the typical motorized water sports on Ocean Cay, but rather a range of natural ways to enjoy the ocean. This include stand up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking and scuba diving with PADI qualified instructors. They can also book a snorkelling & secluded island getaway to the nearby cay, which also includes a visit to a private beach.
• Environmental Restoration: MSC Cruises commissioned a Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) that provided a short-term overview of the waters around Ocean Cay. Now that the waters are protected and the island is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is returning to normal. The hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive, with plans already underway to establish a coral nursery on the east side of the island.
From November 2019, all MSC Cruises ships from Miami will call at Ocean Cay as part of their Caribbean itineraries. For more information go to mscoceancay.com.