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The World’s Most Ambitious Island Restoration

MSC Cruises | 2:34

The World’s Most Ambitious Island Restoration

Tim Gibson

17 March 2020

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MSC CRUISES have been working with experts to convert a former sand extraction site into an island resort and marine reserve.

The development of the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has taken more than three years and included the planting of 75,000 shrubs, trees and palms, as well as the relocation of 400 coral colonies.

Above: Most of the resort's buildings were pre-fabricated.

Located 112 kilometres off the coast of Miami, the man-made island has been designed so that resort guests can be immersed in the natural beauty of the Bahamas, while supporting conservation of the surrounding environment.

The project team have ensured that 95% of all planted species are native to the Bahamas.

MSC Cruises proceeded with the project after identifying a desire for more purposeful travel and eco-friendly holiday options amongst passengers. 

Above: The resort has retained a Bahamian architectural style.

The island has 107 structures, most of which are modular or prefabricated. The construction process has taken 13 months and employed more than 500 people.

163 square kilometres of the resort is a dedicated marine reserve.

7,500 tonnes of scrap metal were removed during the clean-up process and expert divers carefully relocated individual hard coral colonies from debris on the sea bed into a new conservation area.

Above: The island is a former sand extraction site.

The resort contains an array of facilities including a spa, private cabanas, beaches, fitness centres, a lighthouse, restaurants and retail spaces.

MSC Cruises have constructed a dock allow cruise ships to dock directly on the island. 

All buildings have been designed in Bahamas-style architecture.

MSC Cruises are also planning a conservation centre on the island, run by marine biologists, that will become an active base for coral education and research.

You can see more of Ocean Cay's construction in this video by Bouygues Construction:

 

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