Updated on September 14, 2016
MSC Cruises announced today it is creating a $200m resort and marine reserve in the Bahamas called Ocean Cay.
The plans for the former sand extraction station, 65 miles from Miami, are said to be the biggest island development by any cruise company in the Caribbean.
Opening in October 2018, Ocean Cay will cover 95 acres with 2.4km of beach. Facilities will include a 2,000-seat amphitheatre as well as restaurants, bars and shops. There will be a zip wire crossing the island and a pavilion for weddings and celebrations.
Ships, such as MSC Divina and the new MSC Seaside, will moor at the island so passengers can come and go as they please.
Work on the development is due to start in October 2016.
The Italian cruise line says it will plant more than 80 indigenous Caribbean trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs, as well as build a Bahamian village.
For Yacht Club guests, the northwest corner of the island will be set aside as a spa and wellness sanctuary, with private bungalows and massage huts.
MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: ‘Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and its exclusive offerings will be a magnificent extension of our shipboard experiences. We know our guests will be bowled over by this industry-unique experience.’