MSC Cruises Launches Private Island Destination Off Abu Dhabi | Cruise News – Jun. 1, 2016
MSC Cruises Launches Private Island Off Abu Dhabi Coast
Cruise News – Jun. 1, 2016
MSC Cruises has announced initial details of its second exclusive island destination, the Sir Bani Yas Island beach oasis, which the line says will further enrich its winter 2016/2017 cruise itineraries in the Emirates. The 1.5-mile–long stretch of land on the natural island of Sir Bani Yas — just off the southwest coast of Abu Dhabi — has been transformed into a beach destination exclusively for MSC Cruises guests.
Last year, MSC announced the development of its first private island, the new Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas, and says that it’s been working on perfecting the island of Sir Bani Yas, together with the Abu Dhabi Ports Authority, for more than two years. The beach is on a smaller island connected to the main island by a wooden boardwalk that allows MSC Cruises’ guests exclusive access.
The beach contains hundreds of palm trees, shaded cabanas, more than 2,000 sunbeds, sports facilities, a dedicated family and kids area with a parents’ pergola (a shaded cabana area especially for families and parents), lounge space with a bar and live music, and a Bedouin tent with local arts and crafts. There’s also an exclusive, private space for MSC Yacht Club guests complete with food and beverage service as well as an MSC Aurea Spa area offering a menu of relaxing massages in beachside cabanas with sea views. Spa treatments include the Aurea Del Mare massage with seashells, bamboo massage therapy, and a range of Bali massages.
Island guests will find a selection of food options including regional and international favorites, a beachside BBQ, and exotic cocktails served from six beach bars. Ship food and drink services extend onto the island. There’s also a number of sunbathing spots, walking trails, a 4×4 expedition experience, mountain biking, beach volleyball, football, and water sports such as snorkeling, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, and more.
The island also features one of the region’s largest wildlife reserves, the Arabian Wildlife Park, which is home to more than 13,000 indigenous and endangered animals, as well as millions of trees and plants. MSC guests will have direct access to the natural reserve and a range of specially designed excursions including a horse-riding tour, a safari-style nature drive, and a dhow tour around the island in a traditional powered boat that provides the opportunity to see giraffes, hyenas, and cheetahs in their natural habitat.
There are also ongoing archaeological excavations taking place on Sir Bani Yas island, so guests who want to discover more about the history and the culture of the island can take part in a dedicated tour to the ruins of an early Christian monastery site from 6th century A.D.
Starting in December 2016, MSC Fantasia will add a full day on Sir Bani Yas island to its winter cruise itineraries in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi region.
Photos: MSC Cruises, MSC Cruises/United Arab Emirates
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