Famous for its exotic destinations, world class service and luxurious ships, Swiss owned MSC is no stranger to innovation. Now, the line has wowed the industry with the announcement that in 2017, it will begin work on a brand spanking new £134 million ‘island marine reserve’ in the heart of the Bahamas.
Featuring a 2000 seat amphitheatre, a glut of gourmet restaurants and bars, an on-site zip line and a boutique spa, the new cruise terminal will be nothing short of spectacular. Plans are already well under way, with MSC Cruises confirming it’s signed a 100 year lease deal with local officials.
At just 65 miles east of Miami, the new private cruise terminal is wonderfully accessible, and will no doubt make a regular appearance in the line’s Bahamas based itineraries. When it’s complete, passengers will be able to saunter off the ship and straight onto the sandy shores of the idyllic island.
According to line representatives, visitors will be able to kick back, relax and take part in a myriad of “Caribbean-inspired experiences”. Guests will be able to stroll through a traditional Bahamian village, cool off in a refreshing inland lagoon, explore a network of walking and cycling paths, and even celebrate weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions under a purpose built pavilion. In the North West corner, MSC Yacht Club guests will be treated to even more luxury, with private bungalows, massage huts and more.
An ethical and eco-friendly development
The line has pledged to invest a huge £134 million into the transformation of the island, labelling it the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve project. The cash will be used to transform the 95-acre island into an eco-friendly playground, with a focus on switching from “resource exploitation to resource conservation”.
It’s the biggest Caribbean based island development in the industry, and puts MSC at the forefront of innovation. According to MSC, there will be an undying focus on ensuring that the development is able to “harmoniously coexist with the local ecosystem”. Part of this commitment includes the incorporation of native flora, with ecologists advising on over 80 types of indigenous trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs. For the local community, the development will employ over 240 people, fund the development of a new Nassau school and offer education in the tourism sector.
Ready for a slice of MSC paradise?
The island marine reserve is reserved for exclusive use by MSC ships, which means you’ll have to cruise with the company if you want to step foot on its shores. Check out the huge range of MSC Cruises itineraries here!
Image via Flickr Creative Commons. Photo credits: Christian Lambert Photography, Roderick Eime