MSC Cruises has delayed the opening of its private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve over concerns the destination is not ready to host passengers.
The line will now welcome passengers to the island in the Bahamas on November 20 after scrapping four calls.
MSC had planned calls on November 9 on MSC Meraviglia, November 15 on MSC Seaside, November 16 on MSC Meraviglia and November 17 on MSC Armonia – all with paying passengers on board.
Speaking on board MSC Grandiosa on Tuesday, Antonio Paradiso, the line’s the UK and Ireland managing director, said: “The launch has been pushed back because the experiences were not quite up to the standard that we wanted it.
“We have given ourselves an extra 10 days to make sure that the guest experience is in line with what an MSC product is. It is a brand new island so it will take time.”
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MSC Cruises set to open Bahamas ‘Marine Reserve’
Paradiso said Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve – which is 65 miles off the coast of Miami – showed how MSC Cruises was taking sustainability “seriously”.
“We have had hundreds of people planting the trees on the island and a coral keeper who is in charge of restoring the coral to help bring the fish back,” he said. “We are bringing back nature.
“The idea is to show our customers the natural beauty of a bohemian island.”
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will feature eight beaches, including the main beach where water sports will take place.
Lectures on the work the line has done on the former sand excavation site will be available on the island for visiting passengers.
Every MSC ship sailing from Miami on a Caribbean itinerary will call at Ocean Cay.