MSC Cruises announced a new opening date for Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve - the line's new private island destination in the Bahamas: December 5, 2019. Previously, MSC had expected the destination to be ready to receive travelers by mid-November. However, last-minute operational challenges and adverse weather slowed down the completion, the company said.
MSC cruise ships that had been scheduled to visit the island before December 5 will be rerouted to alternative destinations in the Caribbean or will add a day at sea, the line said. All passengers will be compensated for the missed visit to Ocean Cay.
The challenges included Hurricane Dorian, its impact, and the demobilization of 600 workers, along with further adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds and heavy swells, which caused additional delays. Additionally, heavy weather in early November 2019 required a part of one of the beaches to be reinforced.
Last-minute issues with the completion of the second breakwater, the leveling of the sand in certain areas, and the landscaping aspects to be in line with the environmental criteria of MSC Cruises, have created further last-minute issues that could impact the passenger experience, MSC revealed.
During the coming months, MSC Cruises is due to introduce a Conservation Center and coral nursery on Ocean Cay, which will serve as a base for coral education and research.