A cruise ship! If the phrase alone recalls images of the Las Vegas Strip on the seven seas, prepare for the surprise of your life. MSC Cruises—the Swiss-based, world’s largest privately owned cruise line—is embarking on a journey that may begin to change how you view the industry as a whole. A journey of conservation, restoration and eco-consciousness. A journey that beings with Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, a Bahamian island 65 miles east of Miami. Here, on what used to be an industrial site used for sand excavation, the company has nurtured the land—removing tons of scrap metal and planting thousands of trees and palms including 22 native Caribbean plant species—to create a biodiverse island paradise.
Most important is the work MSC is doing below the crystal-clear surface. Where the seabed was once rocky and barren, it’s now alive with coral, dotted by conch and populated by a veritable rainbow of fish, sea turtles and spotted rays. And MSC isn’t just creating a pleasing atmosphere for its guests. It is also building a base on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve for marine biologists to conduct scientific research into coral restoration.
So while Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is, on its surface, an island where MSC passengers can enjoy fun in the sun, it is also an island that is paving the way for many, many more years of fun in the sun—and under the sea.