MSC Cruises has unveiled further details of its private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, set to open in the Bahamas in under four months time. Ocean Cay is founded on a commitment to ecological principles and will offer guests the opportunity to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through edutainment programs.
The island is situated within protected waters spanning 165 square kilometres but the ambition is to further extend this to ensure an even greater impact. A former industrial site once used for sand excavation, the island is being returned to its previous state, with the hope that coral will once again return and thrive. Plans are underway to establish a coral nursery on the east side of the island with the hope of propagating even more coral, particularly the more endangered varieties. Nearly 90 different species of fish around the island as well as lobster, sea turtles and rays.
In addition to paving the way for the future of the island’s ecosystem, work is well underway to finalise the guest experience and welcome new guests in November.
Discover the Ocean
Visitors won’t find the typical motorised water sports on Ocean Cay, with the destination to offer activities such as stand up paddle (SUP) and kayaking. For those who wish to discover the marine life up close there will be the opportunity to book a snorkeling & secluded island getaway. This 1.5 hour trip to the nearby cay will allow guests to either snorkel on their own or for an enhanced experience, follow a snorkel guide while they point out all of the colourful and exotic marine life in the area.
For those who are a little more adventurous, scuba diving will also be available with PADI qualified instructors.
Located at the northern tip of the island is The Spa at Ocean Cay. This unique new luxurious spa concept has been created exclusively for Ocean Cay and is designed to immerse guests in the elements, providing a contrasting experience to the authentic Balinese MSC Aurea Spa on board the ships.
The spa offering will stay true to the environmental principles of the island and the products used will be from AVEDA, a beauty brand known for its natural products and environmental commitments. Guests looking for head to toe pampering can choose from different massage options and then simply relax in the stylish treatment room listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the ocean breeze.
A range of on-trend fitness sessions will also be available for those looking to connect with their inner zen. Choose from morning beach yoga, SUP yoga on paddle boards and to round off the day, sunset yoga.
The island has been designed to offer a family friendly experience with the Seakers Family Cove – a paradise for kids with a shallow lagoon to play in and a beautiful sandy beach for games. All of the beaches on the island will be monitored by lifeguards to ensure safety for all and this will give parents peace of mind.
The MSC Cruises Kids Club staff will organise games and activities throughout the day at the Seakers Family Cove. The Seakers Food Court is located conveniently close by for the families. Serving American classic dishes and kids’ favourites, the buffet will be complimentary as it is on board.
There are other options available on the island from the food trucks and guests can also easily return to the ship throughout the day to take advantage of the full range of dining options on board.
After sunset, the area around the iconic 30-metre red-and-white lighthouse will come to life. Guests will be able to enjoy a light show that can be experienced from the bar, or those wishing for a more chilled atmosphere they can watch the show from the beach around one of the firepits. A traditional junkanoo parade will get people in the party mood. This is inspired by the historic Bahamian festival and is a feast of colourful costumes, music and dancing.
For those guests still wishing to immerse themselves in the natural world, the remote nature of the island means that the heavens will offer their own entertainment and guests can book an astronomy-themed adventure.
From November 2019, all MSC Cruises ships from Miami will call at Ocean Cay as part of the Caribbean itineraries.
More details at mscoceancay.com