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Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.jpg PHOTO: MSC Cruises
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in mid-October

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve now set for Dec. 5 opening

MSC Cruises announced that Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is now scheduled to take its first ship on Dec. 5.

The inaugural call was postponed from Nov. 9.

The ships that were scheduled to visit before Dec. 5 are being rerouted to alternative ports or will add a sea day. Passengers will be compensated for the missed call.

The development of the island has been an extremely complex project, the company said.

Adverse weather and operational challenges

While MSC Cruises had anticipated Ocean Cay would be ready to receive passengers mid-November, as the company reached the final stages of readying the island for its opening, some ‘adverse weather conditions and unexpected last-minute operational challenges slowed down the completion of the island.’

Despite Hurricane Dorian and the evacuation of 600 workers, the company said it took measures to remain on track and deliver the project on time. However, in the weeks that followed, further adverse weather conditions with strong winds and heavy swell caused several days of interruptions and created additional delays. This included heavy weather in early November which required part of one of the beaches to be further reinforced.

Sand leveling, second breakwater, landscaping

MSC Cruises added that last-minute issues with the leveling of the sand in certain areas of the island, the completion of the second breakwater and the landscaping aspects created further last-minute operational issues that could impact the guest experience.

The work is an ongoing process and will continue in a multi-phased effort. In the coming months, MSC Cruises plans to introduce a Conservation Center and coral nursery on the island, which will serve as an active base for coral education and research.

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