There’s just one year left before MSC Cruises’ private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first guests. As construction nears completion, an important milestone has just been reached: the planting of the island’s first trees. The lush paradise will offer 360 degree horizon views of blue water and some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches in the world.
MSC’s Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago visited the island recently to personally plant one of the first trees, and commented “It was a very special moment to be on the island together with the team that has been working non-stop on this incredible project to see how our vision is starting to take shape. Words cannot convey the unbelievable natural beauty of our island, and it is only when you have stood there for yourself, surrounded by nothing but beautiful ocean with nothing else on the horizon, that you can really understand what we are accomplishing here. I can’t wait to welcome in one year’s time our first guests to this truly magical place, a one-of-a-kind island experience that will set new standards for a private island experience in the Caribbean.”
Over 75,000 native shrubs and plants will be planted, including over 60 types of indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers, and shrubs. Soon, work on over 100 eco-friendly structures will begin, including bars, restaurants, and housing for employees who will live on the island. Work on the iconic landmark of the island, the lighthouse, will also begin shortly.
One of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve’s most distinguishing features will be a pier that allows the ships to dock right alongside the island. This means there will be no tender boats to worry about to get from the ship to the island and back.
MSC is currently in the process of recreating the seabed surrounding the island, which will soon be repopulated with a variety of marine life. Guests that visit will have the chance to swim in the warm shallow water, snorkel, dive, or take a boat trip to one of the neighboring deserted cays. During the island’s clean-up, over 500 tons of historic industrial waste and scrap metal have been removed. A shallow water lagoon will be created in the center of the island, and the island will include eight distinct beaches.
By the time the project ends, around 800 Bahamians will have been directly and indirectly involved in the construction, and up to 140 Bahamians will be recruited for permanent operational jobs on the island in a variety of roles. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will open November 2019 with four ships calling there on different days.
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