How Superyacht Marinas are Reacting to the Coronavirus Pandemic
by Olivia Michel
To prevent the further spread of coronavirus, countries across the world have closed their borders to visitors by plane, car or train. However, for those currently at sea the COVID-19 situation is changing on a case-by-case basis, and a number of countries are now looking to reopen their ports for yachts and charters.
For those seeking travel advice a number of marinas have assured visitors that, while cruise ships may be barred from entry, superyacht berths may be open or operating with a reduced staff.
The chairman of Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, Dr. Victor Chu, has stated that while reducing contact between staff and clients is a priority, "our marina network is very much open". The chairman has reassured those planning to visit any of the Camper & Nicholson Marinas in the Med or Caribbean that the brand is "proactively working to ensure a safe and secure environment for our berth holders, visitors and local partners".
CEO of IYC Stefanos Makrymichalos explained to Business Insider that the reason behind the continued operation of superyacht marinas was the difference in passenger count between cruise ships and superyachts.
'There are upwards of 12,000-plus cruise passengers traveling through major cruise ports a day, while yachts on average host only four to 30 passengers' said Makrymichalos. The comments of Makrymichalos echo those of charter brokers who have suggested that a well-maintained superyacht may be able to provide a safe holiday option.
Read on to see how individual marinas throughout the world's superyacht hubs are reacting to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Port Hercule, Monaco
Monaco's yachting hub, Port Hercule, is still closed to international arrivals, but those whose yachts are permanently berthed in the port are now able to move freely through the country’s waters.
Port Vauban, Antibes
The French Riviera superyacht marina, which can accommodate yachts up to 170 metres, has announced that site monitoring will continue with a reduced staff.
Porto Montenegro, Bay of Kotor
Located in the UNESCO-protected Bay of Kotor, yachts up to 250 metres can berth at Porto Montenegro. It has been confirmed by staff that "all our marina services are still on disposal to our clients". The marina is currently implementing a "virtual marina reception" so that visitors can communicate from a safe distance.
Camper & Nicholsons Grand Harbour Marina, Malta
The marina remains open for yachts up to 100 metres and a WhatsApp group has been created so that crews can communicate with marina staff while social distancing. Grand Harbour PR and event manager Emma Cassar has commented that while "our country is on lock-down and the yachts cannot leave" the WhatsApp group is being used for "sharing ideas and information about what is happening at the marina".
Puerto Banús, Marbella
Operation of the port is officially suspended, with jetties remaining closed movement of vessels within the port also suspended.
Camper & Nicholsons Limassol Marina, Cyprus
Limassol marina, which can host yachts up to 110 metres, remains open but with new safety measures in place. Marina Manager Tom Lord comments, "Our teams are working hard both remotely and on-site, to ensure that we maintain our ability to serve our customers and residents to the best of our ability, while prioritising public health and staff welfare through strict adoption of all WHO personal hygiene guidelines".
Port St Tropez
Activities in the port of St Tropez are currently suspended until further notice, with movement within the harbour forbidden and the refuelling station closed. An on-call system is available in case of emergency.
Camper & Nicholsons IC Cesme Marina, Turkey
Superyachts up to 60 metres can still berth at this Turkish marina, which remains open with the addition of three doctors on stand-by. All staff members have their temperatures checked daily and customers are encouraged to reduce face-to-face contact by communicating with the marina via email, phone, WhatsApp and Skype.
Newport Marina, Rhode Island
Able to accommodate yachts up to 50 metres, Newport Marina reopened on May 6 to domestic yachts and aims to be ready for welcoming transatlantic/international arrivals by the end of May.
Miami Beach Marina, Florida
Miami Beach Marina has 400 slips for yachts up to 76 metres. Staff have confirmed that the marina will remain open but with reduced hours of operation and extra cleaning procedures in place.
One Island Park, Florida
Designed solely for superyachts, One Island Park is able to accommodate yachts measuring up to 244 metres. The marina has remained open with reduced hours and extra checks for newcomers.
Caribbean and South Pacific Marinas
Christophe Harbour, St Kitts and Nevis
Director of yachting Aeneas Hollins has confirmed that, although the marina remains open, vessels entering the marina are required to file a Declaration of Health 24 hours ahead of arrival, with no roaming allowed on shore until a Health Officer has cleared the yacht.
Denarau marina, Fiji
Denarau marina has continued to welcome superyachts up to 85 metres to dock in its 56 berths throughout the pandemic. However, each vessel must be cleared by quarantine teams before disembarkation. Should ships not be cleared by the Quarantine Authorities, refuelling and restocking of supplies are still be allowed in open sea.