It’s not just China that is radically opening up its coastline to accommodate the increasing desire of yacht owners and charterers to explore regions of the world far off the beaten track. So we linked up with yachting journalists Frances & Michael Howorth and Superyacht World magazine to highlight ten of the newest hubs set to open up a whole new world of yachting.
1. ASIA - Ao Po Grand Marina, Thailand
Location: North-east Phuket, close to major facilities.
Concept: With berths up to 80-metres, the marina is the first phase of a larger development that includes a marina village with restaurants, marine businesses and private villas.
What they say: “Yacht owners and charter companies choose our marina for its 24-hour access with zero tide restrictions and its prime location at the gate of Phang Nga Bay, Phuket’s premier sailing grounds. It is only 15 minutes from Phuket International Airport and major hotels and resorts.” Khun Kasem Chiarasomboon, Marina Managing Director.
|And nearby…||Phang Nga Bay has plenty of attractions off the normal tourist track, including deserted islands with spectacular caves and quiet beaches. Don’t miss Khoa Khien with its ancient paintings visible from the water and the fishing communities on the few occupied islands.|
A 50-metre yacht overnight is 7,019.20 Thai baht (approx €178)
|Berthing Contact:||Derrick van Deventer, Marina manager.|
2. ARABIAN GULF - Lusail Marina, Lusail City, Qatar
Location: North of Doha’s business district
Concept: Ninety-six berths with eco-friendly facilities for yachts from 40-metres. Misting technology will air-condition walkways during the summer.
What they say: “It will set new benchmarks for the yachting experience locally and internationally, and will be the place to be for yacht owners in Qatar and beyond.” Matthew Bate, director of operations for Mourjan Marinas
|And nearby…||Take your pick from deserted anchorages in dramatic landscapes to spectacular dive-sites and hi-tech cityscapes.|
|Guideline cost:||A current promotional offer means a 40-metre yacht can be berthed for QAR 12,469 (approx €2,630) per month. The standard annual rate is QAR 199,500 (approx €42,000)|
|Berthing Contact:||Simon Maree.|
3. NORTH AFRICA - Marina Bizerte, Tunisia
Location: North coast of Tunisia
Concept: Opening December 2011, with space for yachts up to 110-metres. Low-cost fuel, friendly people and a safe, peaceful atmosphere.
|And nearby…||Unspoiled coast with numerous attractions. Try reef diving at Tabarka, or sightseeing in the Roman ruins at Carthage.|
|Guideline cost:||A 50-metre yacht overnight in high season is 517 Tunisian dinars (approx €270). A 50-metre berth for 30 years is €1 million.|
4. NORTH AMERICA - Victoria International Marina
Location: The southern tip of Vancouver Island.
Concept: A boutique marina with 33 floating slips for yachts up to 45-metres, due to start construction shortly in the picturesque Victoria Harbour. There will be concierge facilities for yacht owners and crew. A scenic walkway will connect the marina with Victoria, a beautiful city with cobblestones, horse-drawn carriages, heritage architecture and numerous summer festivals.
What they say: “This is certainly the most exciting marina development in the Pacific Northwest and will be Canada’s first marina catering exclusively to large recreational yachts.” Lachlan MacLean, general manager of marina operations, WAM Development Group.
|And nearby…||This marine gateway offers superb opportunities for spectacular sightseeing, scuba-diving and salmon fishing. You can photograph killer whales in Telegraph Cove, haul in a 30lb sockeye from the Broughton archipelago, or dive the reefs at Hornby Island. Don’t miss the tranquil waters of the Gulf and San Juan Islands, Georgia Strait, the remote fjords of the west coast including the spectacular Desolation Sound, and BC’s Inside Passage that leads to Alaska.|
|Guideline cost:||Unavailable as yet.|
5. ARABIAN GULF - Yas Marina & Yacht Club, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Location: The second massive Gulf development, at the heart of the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit.
Concept: Permanent berths for yachts up to 70-metres and visitors’ berths for yachts up to 150-metres. Owners have direct access to the Yas Yacht Club and Yas Hotel. It is designed to combine the spirit of the Arabian desert with the elegance of Monte Carlo – you’ll even discover a Stars’n’Bars here. For those who want to stay ashore there is a spectacular five-star hotel.
What they say: “The core of Aldar Marinas’ vision is to create a safe, sustainable, enjoyable and rewarding recreational boating culture in Abu Dhabi. We will ensure safe and impeccably serviced berthing for larger vessels at multiple marinas throughout Abu Dhabi.” Paul Lane, general manager, Aldar Marinas.
|And nearby…||There are myriad onshore distractions, with the Ferrari World and Warner Brothers theme parks. The natural islands with unspoilt waterways make for a developing cruising destination.|
|Guideline cost:||For Abu Dhabi GP: AED 113,850 per week (approx €23,800) trackside; AED 103,950 per week (approx €21,700) not trackside.|
|Berthing Contact:||Email: email@example.com |
6. WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN - Port Adriano, Mallorca, Spain
Location: On the south-west of the bay of Palma de Mallorca, nine miles from Palma.
Concept: Currently in the final stages of an enlargement programme that creates berths for superyachts up to 60-metres. Refit and repair areas are being enlarged to include a dry dock, fuelling options and workshops. Philippe Starck has designed the public spaces.
What they say: “The marina has been adapted to the needs of our most demanding clients, and we aim to be a worldwide reference port for superyacht captains and owners.” Isabel Teruel, manager of Port Adriano.
|And nearby…||Just 30 minutes from the airport, it’s an ideal starting and finishing point for a charter. Less than 5km from the port are four of the best golf courses on the island, while Palma has history, culture, nightlife, excellent shops and restaurants. The coastline has magnificent coves nearby in which to anchor. Try Cala Fornells and Portals Vells.|
|Guideline cost:||A 50-metre high-season berth costs €720 per night.|
7. CENTRAL AMERICA - Marina Pez Vela, Costa Rica
Location: Quepos on the Pacific side.
Concept: Room for yachts up to 60-metres with a full-service boatyard – the only one for nearly 800 miles. There are plans to build 200 residences and a boutique hotel with views of the ocean. Slips can be purchased, leased or rented. Rainforest
envelops the region. You can go horse riding, white-water rafting, fishing, surfing or snorkelling, and there are forest canopy tours.
|What they say:||“Marina Pez Vela fulfils a long-standing demand to open up more of Central America to larger cruising yachts. We are providing a new and much-needed marina to serve as a home base.” Jim Bronstien, partner in charge of sales/marketing.|
|Guideline cost:||Berthing cost: $3.00 per foot per day. Monthly rates are $58 per foot. Berths can also be bought.|
|Berthing Contact:||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
8. EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN - Karpaz Gate Marine, Cyprus
Location: In the Turkish part of Northern Cyprus
Concept: Room for yachts up to 60-metres, with duty-free berthing, fuel and maintenance. The layout follows input from many superyacht owners and their captains. Scheduled to open in May 2011.
What they say: “It has always been a priority to ensure that the marina becomes a popular and lively destination for locals and international visitors alike.” Roy Klajman, Marina Managing Director.
|And nearby…||A pristine cruising ground, recently opened up after decades of restriction. Ashore, there are many fine archaeological sites.|
|Guideline cost:||A 50-metre is €45,000 per year.|
|Berthing Contact:||Email: email@example.com|
9. CARIBBEAN - Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, BVI
Location: The north-eastern tip of Virgin Gorda.
Concept: A new sister to the original club in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, with 38 slips for yachts from 30 to 100-metres.
What they say: “We created this marina in harmony with nature, with no dredging. We are proud to be the new base for superyachts cruising in the Caribbean,” David V. Johnson, chairman of Victor International.
|And nearby…||Party at Jost Van Dyke, dive the wrecks, play ashore at the Baths, eat lobster in Anagarda or simply soak up the warm tropical sun in a secluded anchorage.|
|Guideline cost:||Membership is $14,000 per foot.|
|Berthing Contact:||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
10. ADRIATIC - Porto Montenegro
Location: Tivat in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.
Concept: An integrated development of marina and residential village. Amenities include: duty and tax-free fuel, provisioning, yacht concierge service, and crew club. A full-service refit facility is offered by Compositeworks.
What they say: “We are creating a visionary marina and home port that will offer land-based services, facilities and amenities to captains and their crew that mirror the standards guests expect to receive on board a yacht.” Tony Browne, Marina general Manager.
|And nearby…||The Bay of Kotor is Europe’s southernmost fjord with direct access to some of the best cruising in the Adriatic. Rugged mountains rise from the shoreline, shielding sandy beaches and medieval towns clinging to the water’s edge. There is plenty to explore ashore in this World Heritage Site.|
|Guideline cost:||€439 for a 50-metre yacht overnight in high season. A limited number of 30-year leases are available. Property buyers can secure a berth at a discounted rate for three years.|
|Berthing Contact:||Email: email@example.com|
Our thanks to Frances & Captain Michael Howorth and the publishers of SuperYacht World for allowing us to reprint this article.