Just 65 miles off the coast of Miami sits a small man-made island called the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Pronounced Ocean “Key,” this little island is made up of approximately 200 acres of sandy beaches and vacation paradise. It was built in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean by MSC Cruise Lines to act as a day-stop destination for its cruise guests. The island has undergone massive renovation changes, including remote logistics on prefabricated housing modules completed by VESTA Modular to prepare the island for both employees and visitors.
The sandy beaches and natural beauty make this private island a perfect stop along MSC Cruise Line’s Bahamas route. Guests are treated to incredible views, unique excursions and crystal clear water that is great for snorkeling and exploring abandoned shipwrecks in the area. To provide its guests with this great experience, MSC needed to build out its infrastructure and develop places to stay. That’s when they turned to the remote logistics experts at VESTA Modular for help!
Our team specializes in providing high-quality modular solutions and turnkey services to customers in remote locations and in areas that make traditional construction techniques difficult. We were able to provide the island with three apartment buildings (including 132 units) and a townhome with four units for MSC’s executives. With help from our manufacturing partners in Florida and Georgia, we designed, engineered and constructed 80 modules off-site in just 90 days, ensuring transportation from the factory floor to the port on Ocean Cay every step of the way. Once on the island, our team installed the modules on-site and completed the buildings with new decks, access ramps, stairs, roofing and siding. Our contribution now plays an integral part of the islands operations and continued success as a tourist destination and bio-reserve.
The island was once a sand excavation site that acted as a dumping ground in the middle of the Bahamas. But thanks to MSC Cruise Lines, the main focus for the land has now shifted to environmental sustainability and the protection of the 64-square-mile marine reserve surrounding the island. By creating a private vacation destination on the island, they were able to fund the restoration efforts.
A team of over 500 experts worked tirelessly to bring the 160,000 tons of rocky shoreline back to life and plant over 75,000 individual organisms. The reserve will remain untouched, and the marine ecosystem will now have a chance to restore itself. To support these efforts, the island will host a bio lab where scientists and college students can monitor the coral’s restoration. With coral reefs dying at an alarming pace all over the globe, conservation efforts like this are essential to promote healthy coral clusters.
The island itself has seen a large transformation since its opening in December 2019, with over 7,000 new trees planted. If you were to fly over it now you would see mostly sand, but over the next decade or so you will find tropical foliage covering the island. A special irrigation system has also been installed, utilizing rainwater collected in upside-down umbrellas to support tropical growth for years to come.
To see more modular building and housing projects, and to learn about our remote logistics services, check out this blog about other modular remote projects completed by VESTA Modular.