Top 10 emerging superyacht marinas to compete with the elite
Written by Nathan Bees
Last updated: 19/12/2018
From Port Hercule in Monaco and Puerto Banús in Marbella, to Marina di Porto Cervo and Marina di Portofino in Italy, there’s a certain feel of supremacy among the historically popular Mediterranean superyacht marinas. But, with the number of superyachts continually 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.
We look at some of the ‘new kids on the block’, listing 10 emerging marinas with ambitious plans for a place at the top table of superyacht marinas in the coming years.
First opened in 2009, Vilanova Grand Marina was developed with superyachts in mind. Located just outside Barcelona, a little further down the Spanish coast than its neighbour OneOcean Port Vell, it offers berths for superyachts up to 120m (393ft). There are a number of local restaurants, luxury shops and historic buildings in the surrounding area, and Barcelona airport is a mere 30-minute chauffeur-drive away for those arriving or departing by air.
Generally known as a peaceful and welcoming place to visit, 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 has a 30,000sqm technical area, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology capable of superyacht repairs and dry-docking.
Vilanova Grand Marina is particularly crew friendly, with many dedicated services nearby. Special offers, advice, activities and trips are offered throughout the summer and winter seasons, to ensure crew have everything they need whilst they visit.
Since opening in 2010, Porto Mirabello has developed an ever-growing popularity within the yachting industry, attracting a vast array of different vessels. Located in the La Spezia gulf, the marina offers berthing for yachts up to 130m (427ft) and all the amenities one would expect from a modern facility.
La Spezia’s natural and cultural beauty makes it an enchanting place to visit, with a diverse range of restaurants, bars and shops nearby to keep visitors busy as they soak up the seasonal sun. Further afield are a number of interesting Mediterranean destinations that are easily commutable from Porto Mirabello, making it a hub for exploration of historical sites such as Lerici, Porto Venere, Cinque Terre and Portofino, and the islands surrounding the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Described as a “jewel for Limassol and for Cyprus” at its opening ceremony in 2014 by then-President Anastasiades, Limassol Marina has over 600 berths and can host superyachts up to 110m (361ft). It’s part of a waterfront development designed to bring a new lease of life to the south coast of Cyprus, with 162 luxury apartments and 74 exclusive villas, all with private berths or direct access to the beach.
Limassol Marina 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 country, Limassol is a city steeped in history and intrigue, providing a completely new experience for visitors to the area.
Palmarina Bodrum, situated in Yalıkavak on Bodrum Peninsula, was completely redeveloped in May 2011 by PALMALI Group to accommodate the increasing demand for superyacht berths in the east of Europe. It’s 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 50m (164ft) and above.
The marina is situated along the Turkish Riviera, affectionately known as the Turquoise Coast, which is famous for its fine beaches, turquoise waters, mountainous backdrops and significant historical sites. Palmarina’s facilities include luxury restaurants Nobu and Cipriani, award-winning hotels Palmalife Marina Hotel and Palmarina Boutique Hotel, the world famous Billionaire Club and over 100 high-end brand shops.
Other highlights for both owners and crew include Sailors Pub, Palmarina Bodrum Maritime Museum, art galleries, a natural seawater swimming pool and repair facilities.
Bermuda’s newest superyacht marina is located on the south side of the Caroline Bay development, offering travellers unprecedented luxury in its refined yet serene environment. Officially opened in early 2017, it can accommodate up to 30 superyachts over 30m (98ft) and 80 smaller vessels.
Once completed, the Caroline Bay development will also feature a luxury Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel, which will bring further prestige to the marina and aid its evolution into a desirable yachting location. As its allure grows, Caroline Bay will become a hotspot for some of the most sleek and stylish superyachts around.
Dubbed a “new-generation superyacht facility”, Marina di Stabia is a popular cruising ground that offers state-of-the-art facilities and over 900 berths for superyachts up to 100m (328ft). It sits close to the popular tourist areas of Naples, Sorrento, Capri and Amalfi, while the historical site of Pompeii is also located nearby. Conveniently, it is also just 20 minutes from Naples International Airport.
Highlights of the newly developed facilities include the Captain’s Corner pub for crew, a luxurious yacht club with lounge bar and swimming pool, a restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef, as well as a brand new gym and recreational amenities. The marina also has a travel lift, fuel on site and all the everyday comforts expected of 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 boasts an ultra-luxury resort with a range of facilities, including 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 provides a wealth of scuba diving and deep-sea fishing opportunities too.
With charming scenery, towering mountains and archaic castles, Croatia is fast becoming a popular destination for superyachts looking to cruise away from the French Riviera. Split, in particular, offers something unique for both guests and crew; whether it’s exploring Diocletian’s castle, walking the quaint cobbled streets, enjoying the vibrant nightlife or drinking cocktails in a rooftop bar with a bird’s eye view of the ancient city. There really is something for everyone in the Croatian capital.
ACI Marina Split is surrounded on almost every side by a breakwater to protect it from the currents and strong southern winds. On approach the marina offers views of stunning architecture, including the tall bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Domnius. It has in excess of 350 berths for superyachts up to 90m (295ft) and has been modernised to bring ACI Marina Split in line with the best facilities in Europe.
Hidden away in miles of unexplored wilderness in southern Costa Rica, it’s thought that Golfito Marina Village is on course to become one of the most fashionable marinas in the world. It’s a private deep-water marina that offers accommodation to vessels exceeding 152m (499ft), making it a picture-perfect haven for global jet setters.
The location’s main appeal lies in the activities it can accommodate in such a tranquil and peaceful setting. For those with a strong sense of wanderlust, exploration of the rainforest is a major draw to berthing in Golfito Marina Village, while its idyllic blue seas allow for uninterrupted surfing and paddle boarding to get visitors up close and personal with the fascinating environment.
Not far from the yachting hubs of the Côte d’Azur, and ideally located between Nice and Genoa, Marina di Loano has been developed specifically with superyachts in mind. In May 2015, the marina unveiled a new cutting-edge and highly modernised superyacht area dedicated to vessels up to 77m (250ft) LOA.
With a view overlooking the sea and surrounding environment, the marina plays host to the luxurious Yacht Club Marina di Loano, which hosts countless events throughout the year. 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-starred 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. The historical centre with its many shops, restaurants and bars is a particular highlight, whilst the beaches and picturesque seafront are the perfect places to relax and admire the beautiful views.
Other emerging superyacht marinas to look out for
As well as our top picks, a number of new marinas are set to open in 2018 to further increase the diverse choice available to superyacht owners. Cala del Forte, Italy, is one, due to open in mid-2018 with berthing for vessels up to 60m (197ft), while Portonovi, Montenegro, is also set to welcome visitors for the first time with a 238-berth capacity for superyachts between 70m-120m (230ft-394ft).
Visit our top 10 emerging marinas and let us know your thoughts!