MSC Cruise execs heading to The Bahamas to identify relief needs
MSC Group, the parent company of MSC Cruises, today announced that a high-level delegation comprised of members of its US senior management team as well as leadership of its philanthropic arm, the MSC Foundation, is on its way to Nassau, Bahamas.
A release from the organisation said the objective of this urgent mission is to promptly identify first-hand and through engagement with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organisations the most timely and urgent relief needs and how the Group can support the immediate and longer-term in-kind and funding needs of the local population and businesses as they look to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
MSC is set to open its own private island, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve, in The Bahamas for the 2019/2020 cruise season starting in November.
The island was unaffected by Hurricane Dorian.
Gianluigi Aponte, executive chairman and founder of MSC Group, said: "It is heartbreaking to see the impact and devastation that Hurricane Dorian has brought over The Bahamas and its population. The thoughts and prayers of my entire family are with the people of The Bahamas and their families and loved ones."
"As a family company and one that has lived off the sea for over 300 years, we are fully committed to supporting both immediate and longer-term relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas. Our businesses have long been closely tied to The Bahamas and its people, with a rich history spanning over many decades. We now look forward to supporting their efforts to rebuild and recover in every way we can and through all our businesses."
MSC Group has already pledged its full support directly to Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Preliminary talks have in the meantime begun in earnest on how the Group and all of its arms — from cargo shipping to cruising as well as its charitable Foundation — can support, coordinate and own key logistic aspects of immediate and longer-term relief efforts and their funding.
In this initial phase, in addition to providing and delivering goods of primary necessity, MSC Group's efforts will focus on semi-permanent prefabricated modular housing for the population of the areas most affected by the hurricane as well as making available geared ships for cargo relief service from the US to the Freeport and Marsh Harbour, Abaco container terminals.
MSC Group through its MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has been present in the region for the past 20 years and it has long been the leading cargo import and export operator in The Bahamas. Its local headquarters are based in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
The operation will involve a number of MSC hubs in the region, in the US, the Caribbean and beyond.