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Cruise ship giant MSC reveals a sneak peek of its £157m ‘island marine reserve’ in the Bahamas

From industrial site to paradise: Cruise ship giant reveals a sneak peek of its £157m ‘island marine reserve’ in the Bahamas ahead of its November opening

  • MSC Cruises has given a sneak peek of what its eco-friendly island resort is set to look like in a video teaser
  • The former sand extraction site in the Bahamas is set to open in November to passing MSC ships
  • Highlights will include an inland lagoon, six beaches, restaurants, bars and shops

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Four years ago we revealed renderings of MSC Cruises’ new £157 million ($200 million) eco-friendly island resort in the Bahamas.

And now, with just over 120 days to go until it opens, the Swiss-based company has revealed a sneak peek of the progress being made via a video teaser partly shot by a drone.

The former sand extraction site is being turned into a 95-acre island paradise called Ocean Cay, with 75,000 plants and 160,000 tons of rock having been shipped in to aid with the transformation.

 

MSC Cruises has given a sneak peek of what its eco-friendly island resort is set to look like in a video teaser

Diggers and cranes in the footage can be seen navigating the sandy plot of land, with resort buildings taking shape. 

Meanwhile, underwater shots highlight how the build project is already helping to regenerate marine wildlife in the area.

One worker – part of a 500-strong team working day and night – explains: ‘Having put these rocks in, the lobsters are everywhere.’ 

MSC says its vision for the island is to ‘immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas’, while helping to protect the fragile ecosystem.   

The former sand extraction site is being turned into a 95-acre island paradise called Ocean Cay

The former sand extraction site is being turned into a 95-acre island paradise called Ocean Cay 

The video shows trees and plants - there are 75,000 in total - being put in place

The video shows trees and plants – there are 75,000 in total – being put in place 

MSC says its vision for the island is to 'immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas', while helping to protect the fragile ecosystem

MSC says its vision for the island is to ‘immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas’, while helping to protect the fragile ecosystem

It explains that now that the waters around the island are protected and it is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is ‘returning to normal and the hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive’.  

Researchers recently identified 88 different species of fish around the island as well as lobster, sea turtles and rays. 

The protected waters currently span 64 square miles but the plan is to ‘extend this to ensure an even greater impact’. 

MSC’s ships will stop at Ocean Cay after disembarking from Miami as part of its Caribbean itineraries. 

Passengers will be able to step off the ship straight onto the island, where they can choose from six beaches and stroll through a Bahamian village with restaurants, bars and shops. 

The ambitious island project has been more than four years in the making

The ambitious island project has been more than four years in the making 

MSC says that now that the waters around the island are protected and it is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is 'returning to normal and the hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive'

MSC says that now that the waters around the island are protected and it is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is ‘returning to normal and the hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive’

MSC Cruises said the destination will employ 240 people and a new school in Nassau, the country’s capital, will train locals to work on its ships

MSC Cruises said the destination will employ 240 people and a new school in Nassau, the country’s capital, will train locals to work on its ships

Other highlights include an inland lagoon, walking and cycling paths and a pavilion for weddings and celebrations. 

The north-west corner of the island has been reserved for MSC Yacht Club guests, who will have access to a spa with private bungalows and massage huts. 

In a bid to protect the waters, a range of non-motorised water sports will be on offer at Ocean Cay, with stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling and diving on the agenda.  

MSC Cruises said the destination – located 20 miles south of Bimini and 65 miles east of Miami – will employ 240 people and a new school in Nassau, the country’s capital, will train locals to work on its ships.

Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie and MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago signed a 100-year lease agreement in 2015.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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