Above and beyond its plans for theOcean Cay MSC Marine Reserve to open in December 2017, MSC Cruiseshas developed another destination for its guests – Sir Bani Yas Island for 2016/2017 sailings in the Emirates.
MSC has transformed 1.5 miles of the natural island located off the southwest coast of Abu Dhabi into a beachfront oasis exclusive to its MSC Fantasia passengers beginning in December 2016. The destination will offer guests day visits during the winter itineraries.
“Last year we announced the new Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas,” said Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO. “Today’s announcement is further proof of our commitment to enriching our itineraries and to making available to our guests unique experiences that enable them to discover new cultures and beauties. Additionally, this new, exclusive beach oasis experience stays true to our core values to provide our guests excellence in service, the best in entertainment as well as food options that are of the highest quality and always fresh.”
Working alongsidet he Abu Dhabit Ports Authority, MSC Cruises has had the Sir Bani Yas Island in development for more than two years. When completed, it will feature hundreds of palm trees, shaded cabanas and over 2,000 sunbeds stretched out across 387,500 square feet of beach.
Other private island highlights according to MSC are as follows:
• An area just for MSC Yacht Club guests serving snacks and refreshments
• An MSC Aurea Spa zone for massage treatments in sea view huts
• Sports facilities for volleyball and tennis
• A family and kid section with parents pergola
• A Bedouin tent with local arts and crafts
• A relaxing lounge and bar with live music
Plus, the island will offer regional and international cuisine from several stations and barbecues as well as drinks from six bars. There will also be plenty of areas for sunbathing and nature trails to leisurely enjoy or 4×4 expeditions and mountain biking for adventures on the adjacent main island. Watersport options will include snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking.
What’s more, the island is a wildlife reserve with millions of flora and over 13,000 indigenous and endangered fauna. MSC Cruises is working in partnership with local authorities to continue preservation efforts, and excursions will highlight the nature such as horse riding, safari drives and boat tours to spot giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs. Archaeologically, tours will also visit the ruins of an early Christian monastery.
The MSC Fantasia will first call on Sir Bani Yas Island in December 2016 on a number of Dubai and Abu Dhabi itineraries ranging in length from 7 to 14 nights. Other ports include Bahrain, Doha, Khasab, Khor Fakkan and Muscat.