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GENEVA — Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has welcomed its very first guests, marking a major milestone for MSC Cruises.
The former industrial sand excavation site in The Bahamas welcomed passengers of the MSC Divina and MSC Seaside last week. Upon arrival, they were greeted by sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and white sand beaches, and had many shore excursions to choose from, including snorkelling, standup paddle boarding and kayaking.
Also available to guests are luxurious spa treatments, private cabanas, a Bahamian village with arts and crafts by local artisans, complimentary food at Seakers Food Court and six food trucks, multiple bars, Junkanoo parades and a lighthouse light show.
Said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises: “Having the first guests arrive on the island is a moment of great pride for all of us at MSC Cruises. We wanted to create for our guests something sustainable, with a higher purpose. Ocean Cay is not just a vacation island, it is a unique marine reserve where people and nature thrive in harmony.”
Ocean Cay took nearly three years to complete, during which 7,500 tons of scrap metal was removed. A team of expert divers and marine biologists also removed individual hard coral colonies from debris on the ocean bed and relocated them to an approved location outside the construction area. More than 75,000 plants and shrubs were planted across the island to create a biodiverse and sustainable environment.
In the coming months, MSC Cruises will also introduce a Conservation Center on the island, which will serve as an active base for coral education and research.
All four of MSC Cruises’ North America-based ships – MSC Armonia, MSC Divina, MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia – will call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve on different days.