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.

Read our sustainability reports:

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.
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.


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.
Cruise passengers spend an average of US$101 per day during shore visits (Cruise Lines International Association, 2019)

Economic Impact

Economic impact | MSC Cruises

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.

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.

Sustainable Excursions

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

We transformed Ocean Cay from an abandoned industrial facility to a pristine destination, creating a remote, natural desert island experience for our cruise guests. Despite the challenges of 2020, the benefits of our environmentally sensitive development became apparent, as the biodiversity increased in both the water, on land and in the air.

During 2020, there was to an increase in avian wildlife and the return of many bird species, including breeding pairs, as well as an increase in migrating populations. Waterbirds including herons, egrets and oystercatchers and are now frequently spotted and there have also been occasional sightings of birds of prey, including osprey and kestrels.
The waters around Ocean Cay are designated as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) which means commercial fishing is restricted and other measures are in place to protect and enhance biodiversity. Our efforts to remove significant quantities of scrap metal waste from the waters around the island has resulted in dramatic improvements in the local ecology and marine life has become more diverse. Now sea turtle sightings are common.
We monitor the coral of the island and have seen increased productivity with numerous species recorded including grunts, jacks, hogfish, angel fish lobsters, crabs, shrimps and moray eels – a positive indication of a healthy reef. Visit the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve website.


For more information, visit the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve website.




Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve


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.