MSC Cruises, the Geneva based cruise shipping company said it is transforming a former industrial sand extraction site into a marine reserve and private island destination that will exist in harmony with the local ecosystem in the Caribbean.
“Ocean Cay has been designed to immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings. The vision is to create a sustainable destination with activities that allow guests to connect with nature as well as providing opportunities to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through dedicated edutainment programmes,” the company said in a statement.
Around the island lies 64 square miles of protected waters and a coral nursery is being established to encourage and sustain the growth of new coral. Plans are underway for a marine laboratory to be situated on Ocean Cay that will research climate change-resistant coral in hopes of providing insights to similar island habitats.
Gianni Onorato, CEO said in the statement: “Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will bring something new and unique to our Caribbean itineraries from Miami and Havana and is set to become a truly memorable highlight for our guests. We have created a guest experience that complement the breath-taking natural beauty of this remarkable part of the Caribbean. There was no need for us to build extensively on an island that already had the ingredients of a natural paradise. However we have undertaken extensive work to clean-up the island, removing tons of historic industrial waste and helping to return the beaches and the entire 64 square miles of protected waters surrounding the island to their pristine state.”