MSC pushes back private island debut until December

Ocean Cay will have seven beaches.

MSC Cruises has postponed the opening of MSC Ocean Cay Marine Reserve, its private island in the Bahamas, to Dec. 5.

MSC had planned a Nov. 9 opening. Earlier this week, MSC said it canceled the first four calls that had been scheduled for paying passengers.

"While the company anticipated that 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 Cruises said.

The 95-acre island near Bimini, has been in the works since 2016.

After Hurricane Dorian in September, MSC said, the island was on track to be completed. However, further adverse weather conditions with strong winds and heavy swell caused several days of interruptions and created additional delays. 

Adverse weather conditions in early November required part of one of the beaches to be further reinforced, MSC said.

Last-minute issues with the leveling of sand in certain areas of the island, the completion of the second breakwater and getting the landscaping aspects "to be fully in line with the company's exceeding environmental criteria," have created further last-minute operational issues, MSC said.

Guests who bought cruises that had been scheduled to stop at Ocean Cay through Dec. 5 will be compensated, MSC said.

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