When visiting the new private island of MSC Cruises in the Bahamas, passengers will now be able to learn about the oceans' protection and preserving coral reefs. The cruise company is working to establish a roadmap for the marine resources' restoration around the former industrial site that was once used for sand excavation, including species and habitats present in the region. This is planned to include restoring endangered corals, as well as other conservation and educational programs.
MSC Cruises' Ocean Cay island is located within protected waters spanning 64 mi2 (166 km2) but the ambition is to extend this to ensure a greater impact. Now that the waters around Ocean Cay are protected, the seabed is returning to normal. The hopes are that the coral will begin to thrive and plans are underway to create a coral nursery on the island's east side.
As of November, all MSC cruise ships homeported in Miami FL will call at Ocean Cay as part of their Caribbean itineraries.
An ecological assessment commissioned to provide an overview of the waters around Ocean Cay has identified a total of 88 different species of fish around the isle, as well as sea turtles, rays, and lobster.
- Ocean Cay is the productive habitat for conch (sea snail) and steps are taken to ensure the protection.
- No motorized water sports are allowed, with water-based activities based on kayaking and paddleboarding.
- Snorkelling is available on a 1.5 hour trip to the nearby cay and scuba diving (PADI qualified instructors).
- A spa is offered along with yoga sessions.
- Lifeguards will monitor the beaches on the island with a shallow lagoon (Seakers Family Cove, specially designed for young kids).
- Evening entertainment consists of a light show about a 30-meter high red & white lighthouse and Bahamian-style festival.