Top 10 new superyacht marinas to compete with the elite
Written by Yachting Pages
Last updated: 23/03/2017
From Port Hercule in Monaco and Puerto Banús in Marbella, to Marina di Porto Cervo and Marina di Portofino in Italy, there is a certain feel of supremacy among the historically popular Mediterranean superyacht marinas. But, with the number of superyachts on the rise, and the desire of owners, guests and even crew to explore and experience new locations all around the world, there are a number of superyacht marinas emerging as challengers to the current set of elite destinations.
Starting from the largest possible LOA and working down, Yachting Pages has taken a look at ‘the new kids on the block’ with this list of emerging marinas, which have started to claim some of the world’s most luxurious superyachts on a regular basis.
Set in the picturesque UNESCO-protected Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, with its diverse landscape and extensive stretches of coastline and mountain peaks, Porto Montenegro is fast claiming a stake to be one of Europe’s most attractive new marinas.
After recent changes at the facility it now offers the ability to berth superyachts up to 250m LOA, with the marina complemented by a retail and entertainment village, which offers luxury waterside residences, a five-star Regent Hotel, numerous restaurants and bars, designer boutiques and more.
It also features a variety of entertainment and services for crew, with over 50 shops, training and sailing schools, sports facilities, a nightclub and crew club with a timetable of activities and trips. The marina also offers lucrative economic advantages, being outside the EU tax and import regulations, tax and duty free fuel, as well as onsite customs/immigration and local repairs services with a shipyard reportedly under development.
From its mountainous landscape, covered with canyons, wildlife reserves and glacial lakes, to its uninhabited islands, secret coves and historical sites, you can be sure the small country of Montenegro will offer something truly distinctive.
A mention of the reformed OneOcean Port Vell is a must. Originally built for the 1992 Olympic Games, the brand new OneOcean Port Vell has recently undergone a multi-million euro development, now offering a five-star facility with 148 berths for superyachts up to 190m.
Situated in the heart of Barcelona, with idyllic views of the city and out across the sea, OneOcean Port Vell offers visiting vessels a perfect base for owners and guests who are hoping to enjoy everything that Barcelona and its nearby destinations have to offer.
Superyachts can berth only a stone’s throw away from world-famous attractions, such as Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter, Passeig de Gràcia and Camp Nou - the home of FC Barcelona, not to mention the city’s beautiful beaches. The MB’92 Shipyard is also nearby, catering to all yacht repair requirements, as well as transport links in place to the international airport.
Guests of the marina will enjoy exclusive access to the private members OneOcean Club, plus there is the ultimate in funky crew lounges located on the water; the place to go for regular crew parties and BBQ’s, making it almost a dream location for superyacht crew.
Set against the scenic background of a UNESCO-world heritage site, and among historic waterfront buildings and a metropolitan backdrop, Grand Harbour Marina is located in the heart of Valetta, Malta, offering berths for superyachts up to 135m LOA. Situated at the centre of the Mediterranean, with Spain and the French and Italian Riviera’s to the west, and Turkey, Greece and Cyprus to the east, Malta offers a good homeport or temporary location for yachts cruising the Med.
The marina is on the doorstep to countless stylish restaurants and bars, as well as the world famous Casino di Venezia on the quayside. Attractions include one of the oldest golf courses outside the UK, and it offers various sporting opportunities with the waters around Malta offering some of the best diving and water sports activities upon one of the clearest blue seas in the Med.
Facilities-wise, the marina offers a host of modern services and amenities, all of which have recently been refurbished to the luxury standards required of today’s industry expectations.
Crew will also feel at home, making use of the luxury facilities and numerous bars, restaurants, shops and sights to see nearby – with the marina itself recommending Cargo as a relaxed crew-friendly bar.
Though only opened in 2009, another marina developed with superyachts in mind is Vilanova Grand Marina in Barcelona. Facing competition from the aforementioned OneOcean Port Vell, it offers berths for yachts up to 120m (393ft) LOA, and is located just outside of Barcelona, further down the Spanish coast. Also only 20 minutes from Barcelona airport, and just over 30 minutes from Barcelona itself, there are a number of local restaurants, luxury shops, impressive architecture and scintillating views here.
Generally known as a peaceful and friendly setting, the marina is a popular location for home porting due to the amount of services and facilities that are available within the marina complex. It offers a 30,000sqm technical area, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, capable of many superyacht repairs, as well as dry-docking.
It is very crew friendly, with many dedicated services nearby, as well as regular special offers, advice, activities and trips on offer, organised specifically for superyacht crew both during the summer and winter seasons.
Though located away from the ‘central hub’ of superyachts in the Western Mediterranean, Limassol Marina is a completely new marina, having only very recently opened. The marina itself has over 600 berths, and can host superyachts up to 110m. It is part of a waterfront development, aiming to create a new thriving hub on the south coast of Cyprus, consisting of 162 luxury apartments and 74 exclusive villas with private berths or direct access to the beach.
It also benefits from luxurious dining and shopping establishments, spa and fitness facilities, and a listed building which houses a marine training school and cultural centre for events throughout the year. Located in the heart of a vibrant city, it is surrounded by a rich history and a diverse, international community, again offering a totally new experience for any visiting superyachts.
Palmarina Bodrum, situated in Yalıkavak on Bodrum Peninsula, was completely rebuilt and reconstructed in May 2011 by PALMALI Group, to accommodate the increasing demand for superyacht berths in the Eastern European region. It is the largest marina in the region in terms of mooring capacity, with space for 620 boats in total, providing more than 70 berths for superyachts measuring 50 metres and above.
The marina is situated along the Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast, which is famous for its fine beaches, mountainous backdrops and significant historical sites. Set among idyllic mountains, Palmarina’s facilities include a plethora of luxury restaurants such as Nobu and Cipriani and luxury award winners Palmalife Marina Hotel and Palmarina Boutique Hotel, the world famous Billionaire Club and 116 high-end brand shops.
Other highlights for both owners and crew include Sailors Pub, Palmarina Bodrum Maritime Museum, art galleries, a natural sea water swimming pool and repair facilities.
It has been reported that the likes of Bill Gates and Roman Abramovich have visited Palmarina Bodrum since its redevelopment, confirming its claim as an elite superyacht marina.
Dubbed as a 'new generation superyacht facility’, and now a popular cruising ground in its own right, Marina di Stabia in Italy offers a great location for berthing superyachts. With state-of-the-art facilities, the marina has over 900 berths for superyachts of up to 100m LOA, and is close to the popular tourist areas of Naples, Sorrento, Capri and Amalfi. It’s also just 20 minutes from Naples International Airport and adjacent to the historical site of Pompeii.
Highlights of the newly developed facilities include the Captain’s Corner pub for crew, a luxurious yacht club with a lounge bar and swimming pool, a restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef, as well as brand new gym and recreational amenities. The marina also has a travel lift, fuel on site, as well as the everyday amenities expected with a new superyacht marina.
Having only officially opened in 2015, Christophe Harbour in St. Kitts is unsurprisingly being labelled as one of the hottest new superyacht destinations in the Caribbean. Located within the yachting hub of the Eastern Caribbean, the marina, which is set in one of the world’s most natural and beautiful harbours, offers berths for superyachts up to 91m (300ft).
The 300-berth marina village sits at the heart of an ultra-luxury resort with a range of facilities that includes an elegant beach club, a spectacular cliff-top golf course, gourmet restaurants and access to the island’s untouched natural scenery and inimitable Caribbean culture.
As a destination, St. Kitts offers the chance to explore anything across its mountain ranges and beachside hiking trails, and offers a wealth of scuba diving and deep-sea fishing opportunities, and sailing excursions.
With charming scenery, towering mountains, archaic castles and cultural delights, Croatia is fast becoming an increasingly popular destination for superyachts that are looking to cruising grounds further afield of the traditional French Riviera. Split in particular offers something unique and original for both guests and crew; whether it’s exploring Diocletian’s castle, walking the quaint cobbled streets, enjoying the vibrant nightlife or drinking cocktails from a rooftop bar with a view over the ancient city, it’s no surprise ACI Marina Split makes the list.
The marina in Split is surrounded on almost every side by a breakwater to protect it from the currents and strong southern winds, and on approach offers views of some of Croatia’s stunning architecture, including the tall bell tower of the Cathedral St. Domnius on Marjan Hill. Offering over 350 berths for superyachts up to 90m, the marina has been modernised in order to offer visiting vessels a certain standard of luxury and includes many shops, restaurants, fuel and repair services, to name but a few.
Not far from the popular Côte d’Azur, and ideally located between Nice and Genoa, Marina di Loano has been developed specifically with superyachts in mind. In April 2014, the marina unveiled a new cutting edge and highly modernised superyacht area dedicated to vessels up to 77m (250ft) LOA.
Facilities are impressive, and the marina plays host to the luxurious Yacht Club Marina di Loano, which hosts countless events set in glorious surroundings, with a view overlooking the marina and surrounding environment. As well as all the expected services and amenities of a new superyacht marina, the Loano-based marina also offers an array of refit and repair services, a large travel lift, a Michelin-star restaurant and opportunities for yachts to be involved in a range of sailing and sporting activities/races.
Loano as a destination has much to offer visiting owners, guests and crew, posing a historical centre with many shops, restaurants and bars for all tastes. Beaches are aplenty, as well as a picturesque seafront and spectacular views along the walkways that link the marina to the town's centre.