Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Island Market

Caribbean: Cruise Ship Company Plans New Private Island Venture

The Swiss-based, global shipping line, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC), is reported to have invested over USD 200 million on private island in the Caribbean, reported to be Ocean Cay.

  • MSC Cruises has invested over USD 200 million into transforming a Caribbean island into a private cruise ship destination
  • The Swiss-based shipping line is reported to have bought a 100-year lease on Ocean Cay, a 100 acre island in the Bahamas
  • Private islands have become an increasingly popular fixture within the cruise industry, with the likes of Norwegian, Caribbean and Disney all owning an island of their own
(Islands in the Bahamas by F. Vladi)

(Islands in the Bahamas by F. Vladi)

MSC Cruises seals the deal on Bahaman Private Island

The Swiss-based global shipping line, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. is reported to have invested over USD 200 million in transforming a paradisiacal private island in the Bahamas into an exclusive private cruise ship destination.

Local reports suggest that the company has purchased a 100-year-long lease option on Ocean Cay, a 100-acre-island in the Bahamas, some 32 kilometers to the south of Bimini and 105 kilometers to the east of Miami.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve Set to Open in 2017

According to a representative of the company, the island – soon to be known as the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve – is home to a breath-taking, 3.5 kilometer-long coastline which boasts some of the “best beaches in the world”.

Having signed the lease-agreement with the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, MSC is now set to commence a two-year renovation of the island, which will see the construction of a 2,000-seat amphitheater, a wedding pavilion, a spa, a huge children’s play area as well as a diverse array of restaurants and bars.

USD-200-Million Development Includes Landing Pier

More importantly, MSC also intends to build a pier, allowing the company to dock their ships directly on the island – a huge advantage over other island-owning cruise-liners, who are forced to tender their ships at sea, before ferrying guests over to the islands by dinghy – an expensive and time consuming process.

If all goes to plan, the company expects that the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will be ready to receive visitors by December 2017.

Trend for Private Island Cruises Continues

Private islands have become increasingly popular amongst the cruise ship industry, with a large number of the most famous ocean liners investing in islands to boost the popularity of their routes.

Norwegian Cruise Lines were the first to start the trend in 1977 with the purchase of Great Stirrup Cay and were soon followed by the likes of Disney (Castaway Cay), and Royal Caribbean (Coco Cay). For more information, see our article about Private Islands for Cruise Passengers.

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