The project was officially launched on December 16 in the Bahamian capital Nassau, where Prime Minister Perry Christie and MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago signed a 100-year lease agreement that will enable MSC Cruises to occupy and develop the island to be called Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Over the next two years, MSC Cruises will work with the Bahamian Government and ecologists to develop the cay, a onetime sand extraction station, into a marine reserve that will coexist with the local ecosystem.
The company said it would invest approximately USD 200 million in creating “a flourishing natural haven from a desert island.”
MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago commented: “Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and its exclusive offerings will be a magnificent extension of our shipboard experiences. We ensure every decision we make keeps each of our ships true to the promise of our brand, offering the authenticity and quality our guests expect.”
At 95-acres in size and with 11,400 feet of beach front spread across six distinct beaches, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve will be the biggest island development by any cruise company in the Caribbean.
MSC Cruises plans to break ground on the development in March 2016 and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will open to guests in December 2017.
The Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve project will offer a permanent MSC Cruises presence in the Bahamas, for MSC Cruises ships serving the Caribbean region, notably MSC Divina and the under-construction next generation ship MSC Seaside (launching December 2017), both sailing from Miami, plus MSC Opera and MSC Armonia, sailing from Havana, Cuba.