LFStyle talks to Anella Alcott, Commercial Director of OneOcean Port Vell
Port Vell has existed since Roman times. The Marina, originally named Marina Port Vell, was built in 1992 for the Olympic Games, intending to accommodate small boats. In 2010, Salamanca Group, a London-based private banking group, acquired Marina Port Vell and converted it into a Superyacht Marina. OneOcean Port Vell opened in January 2015 with the vision of creating the leading Superyacht Marina in the Mediterranean, Barcelona being increasingly recognised as a destination for yachts. LFStyle spoke to its Commercial Director Anella Alcott about the Port and the city’s transformation.
LFS: What have been some of the main challenges during the construction process?
AA: The nature of the project, featuring buildings constructed over the water, required the use of more than 500 columns, composed of piles measuring over 13 metres long to create strong supports in the sea on top of which were built two buildings and six quays, one quay being almost half a kilometre long. To supply the Marina with electricity required a new electric line to be established in the city, an addition which has benefitted the neighbouring area of Barceloneta.
LFS: How many berths does the Marina offer and what size yachts do they accommodate?
AA: OneOcean Port Vell comprises 165 berths from 5 to 190 metres in length. The Marina regularly welcomes some of the biggest superyachts in the world, and in summer 2016 welcomed the biggest superyacht in volume and the second largest superyacht in the world to date.
LFS: Would you say that the berths are a good investment, similar to Barcelona property?
AA: Berths in Barcelona represent a good investment. OneOcean Port Vell holds a unique value, being one of few marinas on the Med with berths up to 190 metres for sale and furthermore being in the very centre of a fun and diverse city. The Marina is seeing a constant increase in berth occupancy – compared with 2015, summer stays in 2016 increased by 45% for all yachts over 30 metres and by 227% for yachts over 80 metres. Considering the limited number of berths available in Europe of the dimensions suited to the most popular yacht sizes, and with the growth in the number of new large yachts being ordered for construction each year, the value of a berth at OneOcean Port Vell is assured by its rarity and increasing demand. The Marina offers berth leases up until 2036, whereas many concessions on the Med are shorter in duration, meaning you can benefit from the market evolution over more years.
LFS: Is the Marina generally full to capacity?
AA: The Marina is usually at full of capacity during the winter months as yachts are in “shut-down” mode, carrying out routine maintenance and repairs in preparation for the summer cruising in the Mediterranean, with yacht crew preferring to spend their quiet period in a fun location like Barcelona. Summer sees a lot more movement in the Port with yachts picking up the yacht owners and guests at the Marina or visiting during a cruise around Spain and the Balearic Islands, for example.
LFS: What proportion of yachts are (mostly) permanent compared to those which visit on a seasonal basis?
AA: The activity of the yacht depends on the season. During the summer approximately 25% stay for extended periods of time with about 75% constituting short stopovers or embarkations. In winter on average 80% of stays are long-term.
LFS: Where do most of the yachts come from?
AA: Yachts visit from all over the world. Whether it’s a small sailing yacht coming from New Zealand and circumnavigating the globe or a superyacht stopping over in Barcelona before crossing to the Caribbean for the winter, the Marina is the ideal place to meet and greet international people.
LFS: Aside from the appeal of OneOcean Port Vell itself, what is the lure of the city of Barcelona for yacht owners and captains?
AA: Barcelona offers sun all year round and provides a never-ending supply of entertainment, including 23 Michelin-starred restaurants, prestigious shopping boulevards, Barcelona Football Club matches, popular concerts and important historical and architectural attractions. The local cruising ground and proximity to the Balearics makes Barcelona an attractive and diverse addition to any cruising itinerary.
LFS: How do you think the transformation of the Port has helped the city as a whole?
AA: The Marina has opened up another access to Barcelona by sea, bringing in a new wave of high-spending tourist in the form of yacht owners, guests and crew. The Marina and the growth of the nautical sector in Barcelona in general has meant the creation of many new jobs. Businesses throughout the city are increasingly interested in developing business in the Barceloneta area of Barcelona, near to the Marina and its guests, the Soho House brand being one example, having recently opened a “House” nearby, recognising the surge in luxury clientele coming to Barcelona often via the Port. Wealthy, international people are becoming accustomed to Barcelona, often introduced to the city for the first time when they visit on their yachts. Barcelona is one of the top destinations for conferences. People are noticing the opportunities for business and property development in Barcelona and are buying their own properties and setting up their companies here, investing money in the city.
LFS: Are there more stages of the Marina development to come?
AA: Construction of the Marina was officially completed in September 2016 with the inauguration of the last Quay to be built; Fishermans Quay, seeing the addition of eight new superyacht berths from 30 to 80 metres in length. The Marina may see further development in the near future, having been recently chosen as the venue for the MYBA Charter Show from the 24th to the 27th of April 2017, and for the next 3 years.
LFS: What is MYBA charter show?
AA: MYBA Charter Show is the most important Yacht Show in the Mediterranean for charter brokers and charter vessels operating commercially. The event sees brokers from around the world gather to view an exposition of charter yachts with a view to booking charters on such yachts for future charter clients. The show will attract around 1,200 international people.
LFS: What are the main amenities and services offered by OneOcean Port Vell?
AA: The Marina features first-class facilities for guests and crew, including: a 24-hour gym; a crew lounge with sun terrace; a Business Hub comprising marine-related companies, business and conference facilities; co-working spaces; and OneOcean Wellness, a spa, hair and beauty centre offering a vast treatment menu, personal trainer and fitness classes, for onboard also. The Marina is also home to OneOcean Club, an exclusive restaurant and bar, hosting live music on occasions.
LFS: What do you think makes OneOcean Port Vell different to other leading Superyacht Marinas?
AA: OneOcean Port Vell holds a unique value, its location being right in the heart of one of the top cities in the world and being one of few marinas on the Med with berths up to 190 metres for sale, and one of few with a TPA permit. It also boasts the rare status of being fully ISPS compliant, ensuring high security in the very centre of a fun and diverse city. The nautical infrastructure surrounding OneOcean Port Vell is better established than in some Ports on the Med, with one of the most important shipyards being situated next door and with many nautical business in the city specialising in crew training courses, chandlery, food provisioning, yacht insurance etc.
For more information about OneOcean Port Vell visit their website.
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