MSC Cruises will develop its own island in the Bahamas as it looks to bolster its offering in the Caribbean.
The island, called Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, will be developed over the next two years.
MSC will invest $200 million on developing the 95 acre island, which has 2.4km of beach front.
The island will have a purpose-built berth and pier, a 2,000-seat amphitheatre, restaurants and bars. All on-board services for ships docked at the island – including the casino – will stay open while berthed at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Yacht Club guests will have access to an exclusive area of the island which will be transformed into a spa and wellness sanctuary, complete with private bungalows and massage huts.
The island will also be fitted out with watersports, a zip wire across the island and a pavilion for weddings.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the line, said: “This is a natural progression for our company, which is growing very rapidly, and we are thrilled about providing this totally new experience for our guests in the Caribbean.”
“Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and its exclusive offerings will be a magnificent extension of our shipboard experiences. We are scrupulous about ensuring every decision we take keeps each of our ships true to the promise of our brand, offering the authenticity and quality our guests expect.
“This is what made us the leading brand in many of the markets we operate, including across Europe, South America and South Africa. We will apply the same thinking and attention to detail to our Caribbean offering, of which this exclusive marine reserve will become a cornerstone, because we know our guests will be bowled over by this industry-unique experience.”
MSC Cruises plans to break ground on the development in March 2016, and it will open to guests in November 2017.
The company plans to recruit 240 staff from the Bahamas. The cay will be ideal for all MSC Cruises ships serving the Caribbean region, including MSC Divina and the under-construction next generation ship MSC Seaside (launching December 2017), both sailing from Miami.
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