MSC Signs 100 Year Lease On Bahamian Island

Open Jaw

MSC Cruises has unveiled plans to create a private island experience in the Bahamas.


The project was officially launched 16DEC in Nassau, where Prime Minister Perry Christie and MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago signed a 100 yr. lease agreement that will enable MSC Cruises to occupy and develop the island that will be called ‘Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.’ The island is located 32 km south of Bimini.


Over the next 2 yr. MSC Cruises will work with the Bahamian Government and ecologists to develop the cay, a onetime sand extraction station. The cruise line says the project will “transform the local economy base from resource exploitation to resource conservation.”


MSC says it will invest approximately $200 million in “creating a flourishing natural haven from a desert island.”


MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago commented: “This is a natural progression for our company, which is growing very rapidly, and we are thrilled about providing this totally new experience for our guests in the Caribbean.”


At 95 acres in size and with 11,400 ft. of beach front spread across 6 distinct beaches, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve will be – by a large margin – the biggest island development by any cruise company in the Caribbean.


A purpose-built berth and pier right on the seafront means that MSC Cruises guests will be able to step off the ship straight onto the island. The ship and all on board services will stay open while berthed.


The ability for guests to move at leisure between ship and island will be especially important as MSC has plans for nightlife to be an important part of the island experience, including live music and entertainment at a 2,000-seat amphitheatre and many restaurants and bars.


Among other amenities, the MSC private island will feature:


  • Landscaping featuring more than 80 indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers & shrubs.
  • An architecturally faithful Bahamian village, plentiful restaurants and bars offering local specialties, a variety of shops and an arrival centre.
  • For MSC Yacht Club guests, an exclusive spa and wellness sanctuary with private bungalows and massage huts. 
  • A family beach with kids’ restaurant and play areas.
  • A zip-line crossing the island.
  • A pavilion for weddings and celebrations. 


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.

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