Collaboration with local authorities, community groups and partners, such as the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), to share information and integrate policies and strategies helps support sustainable tourism management.
Together, we are promoting a variety of activities to our passengers and delivering greater social and economic outcomes for communities.

Economic Impact

We aim to be a force for good in the communities we visit. We stimulate the local economy by procuring food and beverage items for our ships. Our guests contribute too when they buy excursions, meals or souvenirs from local vendors.
When we develop our private island destinations, including the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Portuguese Island and Pomene, we always give a strong preference to employing local staff to build and maintain shore operations.
In popular destinations, we typically work with tour providers who employ locally and support them as they build their business. This helps to generate jobs and engage with the local community to create shared value.
Cruise passengers spend an average of US$101 per day during shore visits (Cruise Lines International Association, 2019)

Sustainable Excursions

In 2019, approximately 10% of our excursions were with tour operators certified to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards. The GSTC includes two sets of criteria, one for destinations, and one for hotels and tour operators, setting specific requirements to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, as well as ensuring that tourism acts as a tool to ensure conservation and poverty alleviation.

To support these efforts, we are encouraging more city friendly tours, with 118 e-bike tours in 59 cities offered in 2019.

By the end of 2021, we aim for all tour operators used by MSC Cruises at our frequent destinations to be certified to a GSTC certification programme, or to be engaged in the process.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

In December 2019, MSC Cruises’ welcomed its first guests to Ocean Cay in The Bahamas, a stunning tropical island destination created from a former industrial sand excavation site. The vision for the development of Ocean Cay was to restore the island’s original ecosystem and re-establish its pristine state. This involved cleaning up the industrial waste on and around the island, and providing a safe, natural habit for marine life and seabirds.
These activities have been carried out together with an extensive number of stakeholders and partners, including environmental and nature conservancy specialists, marine biologists, coral reef experts, academics and consultants, and Bahamian government agencies.

In 2019, the Government of The Bahamas committed to protecting 64 square miles of waters around Ocean Cay by designating it as a Marine Protected Area (MPA). This means the area will be subject to special management of its marine resources. Its fisheries will come under more restrictive controls to preserve and nurture marine life and eco-systems like coral reefs and seagrass beds.

Find out more about Ocean Cay here.


For us Sustainability means protecting the environment, supporting the people who work with us and choose to travel with us,
as well as the communities and places that we visit and do business with.
Discover our sustainability programme organised around four key pillars: Planet, People, Place and Procurement.