View of Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena from the River Thames
Whether it’s historic sights, West End entertainment, the draw of one of the world’s most important financial hubs, or the extensive and exclusive shopping, there’s little doubt that London is one of the world’s great cities. However, while its greatness was founded, in part, by the opportunities for trade afforded by the mighty River Thames coursing through its heart, it has remained something of a blind spot on the superyacht destination map.
A closer look, however, reveals a wealth of opportunities for superyachts in London. To pass under Tower Bridge, take in the sights in the heart of the capital and stay under the lights of London’s business districts is a magical experience that few destinations can match. Moreover, London can take yachts with up to a 54 metre air draught, and up to 200 metres LOA.
The Docklands area provides great access to the key Olympic sites, with the O2 arena, Greenwich Park and the main Olympic Park all within shouting distance. Transport opportunities are also excellent, with London’s City Airport a stone’s throw away, and a heliport upstream at Battersea offering an alternative route in and out.
London Docklands is offering superyacht owners like Paul Allen the chance to spend their Olympic nights in the smart, thriving business district of Canary Wharf.
Now linked by a new pontoon bridge to Canary Wharf’s Montgomery Square, the recently landscaped Wood Wharf, will provide close up access for onlookers wanting to view the yachts in residence.
The site will offer these visitors high-end amenities, and easy access to the vast array of smart shops, restaurants and bars in Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf also has excellent tube links – likely to be the quickest and easiest mode of transport in the area during The Games. It is one stop on the Jubilee line from the O2 arena at North Greenwich and three stops from Stratford and the Olympic village, while the DLR offers transport to other Olympic venues.
Canary Wharf / Wood Wharf
T: +44 (0)207 517 5550
THE ROYAL DOCKS
The Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock are collectively the largest enclosed docks in the world, with a water area of nearly 250 acres and an overall estate spanning 1,100 acres of east London, just outside the Thames Barrier. The Royal Docks are next-door to London City Airport and about 2.5 kilometres from the Olympic site – a convenience that will become extremely exclusive in July 2012.
Harnessing the potential of its privileged location, the docks’ authorities have developed Royal Albert Dock to offer berths and facilities to a limited number of superyacht owners during the Olympics, with a view to creating permanent superyacht facilities.
‘With room for 25 big boats, we can accommodate more, but I’m keen to maintain its exclusivity,’ says Jeff Houlgrave.
Indeed Houlgrave’s inspiration for the site was for it to be a ‘mini Goodwood’ in terms of temporary landside facilities, with a VIP lounge, VIP parking, a concierge service from MGMT will provide food, flowers and other requirements, crew facilities including a lounge and bar, 24 hour security, and a transport hub for pick-ups and drop-offs.
It is normally a short drive to the Olympic site, although the area is likely to be more congested than usual during the Olympics. Visit Transport for London for information on specific road closures, that may affect journeys in the area.
For this reason – and because its always more pleasant to travel by water than road – Royal Docks will provide its clients with access to river transport to the Stratford stadium. The boat base will be located a very short drive away, at the end of the dock near the 02 Arena.
T: +44 (0)7786 910833
So, with the Olympics literally around the corner, now is the time to make those last minute plans, and with tickets firmly in hand, start looking forward to what will undoubtedly be a summer to remember.
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