Looking for a beach vacation? Need an emergency escape from the working world for a few days? Want to get away?
Have you ever visited a private island paradise?
Just 60 nautical miles from the Florida coast sits a private island that offers snorkeling with marine life, treks to the top of a lighthouse, paddleboarding, massages, dance parties, a lighthouse light show, beaches, and plenty of fun.
Ocean Cay: A Marine Haven
Ocean Cay is a marine reserve in the Bahamas, a 100-acre island surrounded by a 64-square-mile marine reserve.
Getting There with MSC Cruises
How do you get there? There’s only one way—aboard an MSC cruise. Ocean Cay is MSC’s private island. Nearly all of the company’s cruises from Florida, whether from Port Canaveral or Miami, make an extended stop at Ocean Cay for the cruise line’s guests to enjoy all that this marine reserve offers.
Transforming Industry to Vacation Destination
Ocean Cay is a former industrial sand extraction site, and turning this former industrial site into a vacation destination was no small task. More than 7,000 tons of scrap metal had to be removed, 75,000 plants and shrubs had to be planted, and another 5,000 trees and palms were added. MSC spent nearly a decade working on the island before opening it to guests. In 2015, the company leased it from the Bahamian government for 100 years.
Sustainable Tourism at its Core
One of the top priorities for this private island paradise is sustainable tourism—offering guests a unique experience while benefiting the environment. MSC offers plenty of opportunities for guests to interact with nature while experiencing the sheer beauty of this island getaway. That can happen through snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, taking a float, or just touring the island by foot.
In addition, MSC has undertaken a massive Super Coral Project, aiming to help replenish the waters around the Bahamas with coral that thrives in rising ocean temperatures. This project allows Ocean Cay to serve as a hub for marine biologists to conduct scientific research, with the vision of sharing findings with researchers globally to help repopulate the world’s oceans.
Fun and Relaxation on Ocean Cay
While the company has visions of aiding oceans globally with its research, it doesn’t take much research to know that guests love to have fun and relax on vacation.
That’s an easy mission to accomplish on Ocean Cay. With many of the cruise line’s cruises spending the night at Ocean Cay, guests will have ample opportunity to relax on the beach by day and party it up on the beach at night.
What is there to do at Ocean Cay? Here are 5 things to enjoy on a private island visit.
- A Day at the Beach: Ocean Cay offers 8 different beaches, each with its unique charm. Hang near the ship at Lighthouse Bay to enjoy a day filled with activities, energy, and fun. It’s right next to the ship’s dock and stays busy. Head to South Beach, a lagoon-facing beach featuring calmer waters, perfect for family time. Sunset Beach, the island’s longest, offers a great spot to catch some rays or take a walk. Guests can make the trek to Bimini Beach, on the opposite side of the island from the ship, offering a peaceful and relaxing beach day where beachgoers might wake up from a nap and find they have the beach to themselves.
- Snorkeling and Water Adventures: Throw on a snorkel mask and head into the waters surrounding Ocean Cay. Explore a vibrant underwater world with various fish, sea turtles, coral, and more. After a snorkeling adventure, climb aboard a kayak, or paddleboard, or take control of a jet ski for a thrilling watersports outing.
- Experience the Lighthouse: Yes, there’s a lighthouse on Ocean Cay, but this isn’t your ordinary lighthouse. Climb 165 steps to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of both Ocean Cay and its surrounding waters. If the thought of climbing stairs is no vacation at all, pull up a chair at the lighthouse bar next to it and enjoy your views. What makes the lighthouse on Ocean Cay unique? It’s a multimedia lighthouse, covered in 14,000 LED lights that can withstand the weather. When day turns to night, push the power button, and a one-of-a-kind light show ensues. There’s a street parade and dance party on the beach at night too.
- Watch the Sunset: When was the last time you watched the sunset? You have time for that on a trip to Ocean Cay. Grab a seat, maybe a drink or two, and watch as the sun marks the end of another day of vacation. If your world is filled with constant craziness, this will surely provide a welcome opportunity to slow down. If you’re game and only had a drink or two (not five or six), wake up early the next morning and enjoy a sunrise too. There is truly something indescribable about watching the sun rise and fall over the ocean waters.
- A Day to Do You: Do you enjoy exercising? Skip the treadmill and take a jog around this private island paradise. Are you an adventurer? Explore the island by foot and see what interesting finds you make. Like being pampered on vacation? Get a massage on the beach. Does your perfect vacation include a piña colada? Set up shop at one of the island’s many bars. Your days at home are packed with things to do and people to see. Some vacations are planned to a “T,” with activities from sunup to sundown and then some. A trip to MSC’s Ocean Cay provides a chance to do whatever makes you happy. Enjoy the time away.
Check out a cruise aboard MSC to experience the private island paradise that is Ocean Cay.
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