Portofino, Monaco, St. Tropez, Ibiza, St. Barts. One of the first images that comes to mind when we think of these places are their iconic marinas. Dignitaries, powerful people of wealth, glamorous Hollywood stars and all those who have made yachting their lifestyle consider them their second home. The most famous Regattas and the most talked about F1 Grand Prix, the most exclusive events, but also the most talked about parties in the world are organized there. Just before we set sail for our summer excursions, we take a mental trip to the most expensive, popular, naturally beautiful anchorages around the world.
The once small and picturesque fishing village Capri located in one of the most cosmopolitan traditional destinations, today is probably the most expensive marina in the world. When you see it, your mind automatically travels to the 50s and 60s, when the so-called “dolce vita” took shape in the faces of famous stars such as Rita Hayworth, who visited the island with her husband Prince Ali Khan, but and to the entire international jet set of the time (Onassis, Niarchou and Churchill families) who made the luxurious lifestyle of the Italian South and the Amalfi Coast famous around the world. Protected from the winds thanks to the impressive rocks and the colorful houses that surround it, Marina Grande offers its visitors not only a charming setting but also all the amenities one could think of. Although it cannot accommodate the largest superyachts of the super-rich, but only those up to 60 meters in length, all lovers of cosmopolitanism and yachting want to secure one of the hard-to-find places to moor their boats.
In a sheltered spot on the legendary Costa Smeralda, towards the north of the island, Marina di Porto Cervo is the second most expensive, with daily mooring costs exceeding 2,500 euros. The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Regatta is also held there every year in September. Although the marina has significantly fewer berths than Marina Grande for large yachts (just 60), it can accommodate boats up to 100 meters in length, with an additional 700 berths for smaller vessels. Prince Karim Aga Khan left his mark on this particular area, who, amazed by its beauty, began to buy land and built the first hotel. Since then, Porto Cervo is considered the ultimate destination for those who want to experience wild, expensive parties and the nightlife of the super-rich. One of the most well-known meeting places of the elite is the Billionaire Club founded by Flavio Briatore, the former Formula 1 strongman, who this year, together with the Greek businessman Zanni Francesco, opened his “little brother” in Mykonos.
Her beauty even inspired a song. “I Found My Love In Portofino” (1958), sung by all who dream of romantic walks in the picturesque, leafy streets of Portofino with the panoramically built, colorful buildings that are the most characteristic image of the Italian Riviera. Here the traffic is almost exclusively by boats since the only road that leads to the village, especially during the peak months, is closed to avoid overcrowding. There are only 14 berths for the superyachts and that is why one needs to make a reservation very early.
From the romantic Italian Riviera we are transported to the French Riviera, with its aristocratic air. First stop is Saint-Tropez, “the Marbella of France”, which became particularly well-known around the world from the films of Louis de Fines and Brigitte Bardot. Here the glamor and the expensive lifestyle go to other levels, with the rich & famous of the planet arriving in their helicopters exclusively for one night only in order to attend an exclusive party. One of the most popular events in the area is the October Regatta, in which many classic yachts up to 50 meters in length participate. Although only boats up to 70 meters in length can be moored in the marina, countless larger superyachts congregate in the open sea a little further away.
Casinos, ultra-luxurious hotel units, top restaurants, cafés and bars and indeed some of the best in the world are included in the attractions of the principality of Monaco, which is almost synonymous with yachting and the luxurious life of Para Tin’ Alos. Because the harbor is quite exposed to the winds, two arms had to be built to provide it with protection. From the 70s and on the initiative of Prince Rainier III, additional infrastructure began to be added. Most impressive of all, Port Hercules can accommodate cruise ships up to 300 meters long. Here the event that attracts the most tourists is the Monaco Grand Prix in late May or early June.
If there is one place on the planet known for wild parties until the morning and supreme opulence, it is Ibiza (which together with Mykonos make the perfect summer couple). This is compounded by the fact that the island’s marina is minutes from the legendary nightclub Pacha, which now also operates in Mykonos. And although in all of our minds Ibiza means parties and nightlife, its marina is located near the Old Town (Dalt Vila) which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Here there are 85 berths for boats up to 60 meters long.
Miami Beach Marina: on the opposite side of the Atlantic is one of the most luxurious marinas in the world. There are a total of 400 berths that can accommodate boats up to 76 meters long. Its excellent location at the southern end of the famous South Beach with its lively nightlife offers easy access to downtown Miami and is the best way to reach the Caribbean.
The Golfito Marina Village & Resort is built on the west coast of the beautiful Central American country of Costa Rica, the sheltered port has as its most attractive feature the fact that it is surrounded by virgin rainforest. A real paradise on earth with great restaurants and luxurious villas on the sea, it has 52 berths for boats up to 106 m long.
Marina of Port de Gustavia: if the marinas of the Italian and French Riviera are unapproachable during the summer, as the international jet set en masse moors their ultra-luxury yachts there, those of the Caribbean islands are flooded with people during the winter. The world’s elite spend Christmas and New Year there, especially in Port de Gustavia, St. Barts. It has only 40 seats, so one should take care of it in time.
More than Dubai, the emirate of Abu Dhabi is the one visited by superyacht owners. Here luxury is a philosophy of life and everything is offered to the visitor to the superlative degree, so Yas Marina (227 berths for boats up to 175 meters) could not be an exception. It is also known that some of the largest yachts in the world are owned by the royal families of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, so there could not be a lack of a marina in the area that serves them. Here the event of the year is the holding of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
When completed, the Greece’s most impressive marina is expected to be that of Hellinikon, a landmark on the Athenian Riviera. It will host, among other things, the Marina Galleria, a luxury shopping and entertainment destination (with luxury boutiques, restaurants and a concert hall) designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and spanning 22.000 sq.m. The large project also includes the iconic Marina Tower designed by the architectural firm Foster + Partners.
Even the magazine “Boat International“, which is the bible of yachting, has written about the beautiful marina in Kassandra, Halkidiki, which is located on the premises of the Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort. It is a state-of-the-art marina, which was built with the cooperation of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and which has nothing to envy of those abroad. It has the ability to welcome 81 boats up to 40 meters in length in an environment awarded with the “Blue Flag” of the European Union and the Gold award of the Greek Hospitality Awards.
Sani Marina is a 5* destination in its own right, the Marina has a lively piazza, sumptuous cuisine, various shopping opportunities with many luxury boutiques. Discover 24 international designer boutiques and an array of world-class bars and restaurants to choose from and indulge in the finest gastronomy Greece has to offer. The Sani harbour can accommodate up to 215 yachts, and offers the latest technology to provide a high end service, all year round. Around the Sani Marina is the Sani Resort, one of the most luxurious resorts in Greece, set at the heart of three natural worlds, Sani Resort is an enchanting paradise with a captivating spirit.
Located in the heart of Limassol, Cyprus’ most vibrant and internationally diverse coastal city, Limassol Marina has established itself as a sought-after superyacht destination for visitors worldwide, offering full service combined with an enticing lifestyle epitomised by living on the sea.
Comprised of 650 berths for yachts up to 110 meters in size, Limassol’s luxurious Marina provides every modern convenience and comfort to yacht owners and operators, whether as a home port or cruising destination, and delivers a comprehensive concierge service to cater every need. The project also offers exciting real estate opportunities consisting of exclusive villas and luxury apartments on the sea, with private berths or direct access to the beach.
Positioned at the crossroads of three continents, Cyprus is easily accessible to most European, Middle Eastern and Asian countries by both air and sea, also making it a convenient destination of choice for any operation looking to establish presence in the central or East Mediterranean.
Ayia Napa Marina (Agia Napa CYPRUS) has been designed to heighten the overall berthing experience with premier services and world-class yachting facilities in a truly magical location of the Mediterranean. It is a newly introduced top yachting destination ready to serve the discerning needs of international visitors. The dream-like location and amazing unique infrastructure are beautifully combined with the carefully planned out dock design and high-end amenities, smoothly coming together in a secure environment to ensure utmost safety, comfort and convenience.
Providing ample room for multiple yachts of various sizes, the marina can accommodate yachts of up to 110m in length, while a Dry stack storage facility is available for boats up to 10m in length. The wide array of state-of-the-art facilities of the Ayia Napa Marina berth in Cyprus include 360 wet slips, 160 spaces in the Dry Stack and 80 spaces on the dry dock storage area.
ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove is a prestigious private marina & yacht club located within Sentosa Cove, a premium residential district in Singapore. Built to the Platinum Gold Anchor standard – the highest internationally-subscribed marina standards – set by The Yacht Harbour Association and Marina Industries Association, the marina has been in operation since 2007 and has been accredited Superyacht Ready in 2022 and named Best Asian Marina of the Year seven times since its opening.
The Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club in Hong Kong has a full service Marina that is home to some of the region’s largest luxury yachts; ranging from family day-cruisers, to state-of-the art mega yachts, this beautiful marina is a must-visit site at the Gold Coast. Featuring a comprehensive mix of member facilities, which includes upmarket dining, a well-equipped fitness center, a swimming pool, tennis courts, squash and table tennis facilities, mahjong rooms and a children’s play area – the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club is truly your one-stop destination for all your leisure and pleasure needs.
Other popular yacht marinas:
Flisvos Marina is a large harbour situated on the shores of the Aegean Sea in Athens, the capital city of Greece. Located in the area of Paleo Faliro, Marina of Flisvos is not only the most modern yacht station in the region, but also one of the most popular seafront promenades. Flisvos Marina operates in accordance with the highest international standards, equipped to facilitate the needs required of luxury mega-yachts. The marina features 303 berths with more than 50% able to accommodate yachts over 30m. Flisvos Marina features a variety of shops, offices, restaurants and cafés of high quality and aesthetic, providing customers and visitors with a comprehensive experience.
– $41 billion was the global yacht market revenue in 2020 (up from nearly $40 billion in 2019).
– 310.000 leisure boats of all types and sizes were sold in 2020 (up 12% from 2019).
– 30 million boats the total number of leisure boats worldwide, 90% are small in size, less than 8 meters long.
– 6 million vessels are the leisure boats that are estimated to be in Europe.
– 48 million Europeans regularly participate in activities related to pleasure craft.
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