MSC Cruises’ Ocean Cay private island resort in the Bahamas will now open to visitors in early December, the line has confirmed.
Ocean Cay MSC Nature Reserve had been due to welcome its first visitors by mid-November, but the 9 November launch was postponed earlier this week.
MSC said owing to adverse weather conditions and “unexpected last-minute operational challenges”, it had not been possible to get the destination ready for the proposed launch date.
All MSC ships scheduled to call at Ocean Cay before 5 December will either be re-routed to alternative Caribbean destinations or will have an extra day at sea added to their schedule, the line confirmed on Wednesday afternoon (13 November).
Guests will be compensated for their missed call at Ocean Cay, MSC added.
“This has been an extremely complex project as MSC Cruises has been fully committed to developing the destination in the most eco-friendly and sustainable way,” said the line in a statement.
“At the same time, while the company anticipated the island would be ready to receive guests mid-November, as it 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.”
MSC said the first issue owed to Hurricane Dorian, which resulted in about 600 workers being stood down, and further "strong winds and heavy swell" causing several days’ disruption. MSC said the weather also required part of one of Ocean Cay’s beaches to be reinforced.
The second issue, said MSC, involved last-minute efforts to level the sand in certain areas of the island, complete a second breakwater and other landscaping challenges, which the line said “could impact guest experience”.
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