Porto Montenegro – new Adriatic Pearl

| February 24, 2011

Project overview

The number of large yachts under construction has more than tripled over the past ten years. Few marinas in the world can accommodate superyachts (vessels over 24 metres in length) let alone offer onshore provisions and crew services to complement the standards of the facilities found onboard. Porto Montenegro will aim to redress this issue by becoming the Mediterranean‟s most comprehensive nautical facility – the premier home port for all yachts, regardless of their size.

Borne out of the vision of its chief investor, Canadian businessman Peter Munk, Porto Montenegro’s state-of-the-art marina utilises the existing infrastructure of the former Yugoslav naval facility upon which it is built. It will feature 630 berths for yachts, including the largest superyachts, and will provide the highest level of service and amenities for vessels of all sizes – including nearby dry-dock and repair facilities. In addition, the development will create a vibrant coastal community of waterfront residences, hotels and restaurants, shopping, water sports and leisure facilities.

Porto Montenegro Marina © Porto Montenegro

But this is just a part of the story – the rest is the destination itself. Porto Montenegro lies within one of the world’s most idyllic nautical playgrounds: the Bay of Kotor. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Bay of Kotor is Europe’s southernmost fjord and the largest natural harbour in the eastern Mediterranean. Its 100 kilometres of coastline twist inland from the open waters of the Adriatic on the southern edge of the Dalmatian coast. Rugged mountains rise from the shoreline, shielding the sandy beaches and medieval towns that cling to the waters‟ edge. With Venice and the Croatian archipelago to the north, Corfu and the Ionian Islands to the south and the eastern coast of Italy to the west, the bay also offers easy and direct access to some of the best cruising in the Mediterranean basin.

Porto Montenegro is a transformational development that is committed to its contribution towards the realisation of a new Montenegro. The development draws on Montenegro‟s great nautical attributes and will create a lasting, sustainable industry generating jobs, government revenues and investment opportunities.

The destination

Montenegro lies east of Italy‟s south east coast and is bordered by Serbia, Albania, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Its unspoilt interiors and dramatic mountainscapes slip into the azure waters of the Adriatic, along 293 kilometres of coastline. Independent from Serbia since 2006, Montenegro is a young but stable democracy with an open economy.

Despite its unspoilt natural beauty and central location – in the heart of the Adriatic, and within 2-3 hours of most European capitals – Montenegro has ony recently experienced an upsurge in the popularity it enjoyed in the 1950s and 60s. Then a haven for film stars such as Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Kirk Douglas, 21st century Montenegro is again re-establishing itself as a high-end destination. A focused government drive and investment from five star operators including Kempinski and Aman Resorts (currently revamping the stars’ favourite resort-island retreat of Sveti Stefan) has resulted in Montenegrin tourism currently growing at the highest rate in the world.

Montenegro’s Adriatic coast opens into Europe’s southernmost fjord – the Bay of Kotor – home to Porto Montenegro. Its palm-lined shores and lush mountainous backdrop lie at the heart of the best emerging cruising ground in the Mediterranean basin. Prized as a naval base since the days of the Roman Empire, the bay existed for centuries as the boundary between Christianity and Islam. Today, it is more lauded for its natural beauty and its historical and cultural treasures; these include the UNESCO World Heritage towns of Perast and Kotor (above, left and right) and folkloric islands of Lady of Our Rocks and St George.

Its stunning coastline is only the start of Montenegro’s 14,000 square kilometres of natural wonders: from white-water rafting down the Tara River – Europe‟s deepest canyon (second only to the Grand Canyon in Arizona) – to exploration of the glacial landscapes and the deep canyons of UNESCO listed Durmitor National Park, home to Europe‟s last virgin black pine forest. Lazy summer days lounging on the vast sandy beaches of the Ulcinjska Riviera (up to 13 kms / 8 miles in length) are easily replaced by winter skiing in Kolasin (80 kilometres / 50 miles from the coast). Other sports range from paragliding with the eagles in the Bjelasica Mountains to windsurfing amongst the pelicans on the vast Skadar Lake – the largest freshwater lake in south eastern Europe and home to the biggest bird reserve in Europe.

Over 70% of the country is covered by mountains greater than 800 metres in height. Exploration of the undiscovered interiors, however, reveals a far more diverse image of serene and wild beauty: high alpine pastures strewn with hidden lakes and glaciers; fairytale waterfalls, rocky grottoes and ice caves; dense primeval forests and lush blueberry fields. Linked by over 3,000 km of ancient paths and hiking trails, all the delights of this unspoilt natural wilderness lie within 100 km of Porto Montenegro.

The marina

Porto Montenegro Marina © Porto Montenegro

Prior to joining the founding team at Porto Montenegro, Marina Manager Tony Browne spent 10 years at sea as a yacht captain, personally sampling the highs and lows of the world‟s finest marinas and ports. “All too often, the services for the crew off the yacht didn’t even half measure up to the facilities on them,” he says.

The thinking behind Porto Montengro is very different. The marina integrates full yacht and superyacht servicing capabilities with a vibrant waterfront village in the heart of one of Europe‟s most picturesque nautical regions. State-of-the-art operations extend from services essential to superyacht crew to leisure facilities geared to the whole community. The marina will also run a high-speed water taxi service along the coast and to and from the airport (Tivat, 7 km).

Marina Benefits, Facilities and Accessibility

The marina is situated within southern Europe’s deepest fjord. Berths depths range from 4.5 to 16 metres and are afforded excellent protection by the bay‟s mountainous surround and the inclusion of bespoke breakwaters. As a result, tide variation is low and currents are dissipated.

Porto Montenegro Marina © Porto Montenegro

The marina offers state-of-the-art mooring facilities to homeport vessels as well as those navigating Montenegro‟s waters on a temporary vignette. On-site duty-free fuelling, 24-hour marina concierge and Porto Montenegro Sports Club will be complemented by a nearby superyacht refit and repair facility (currently scheduled to be redeveloped on the site of a former commercial shipyard across the bay in Bijela, in partnership with CompositeWorks shipyard from La Ciotat, France, leading super yacht refit operator.). Other onsite facilities include Sunseeker office, Freedom Maritime chandlery with comprehensive logistics assistance for any chandlery, safety and engineering needs and Porto Montenegro Concierge and Yacht Assist program designed to ensure safe and enjoyable stay of marina visitors. In addition, Knightsbridge Schools International from London will operate the school within Porto Montenegro‟s nautical village, offering bilingual English-Montenegrin instruction based upon International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes.

Porto Montenegro is within a three-hour flight of most European capitals and served by three international airports – the nearest, just 7 km away. This ease of access extends waterside, with the marina just a day‟s sail from some of the Mediterranean‟s best cruising grounds, including the Croatian islands, making it the ideal starting point for yacht charters. Back at home port, skippers have the dual advantage of berthing close to shore or seeking anchorage in the privacy of the bay.

Maritime Training

Porto Montenegro is 10 minutes from the Azalea Maritime Training Centre, offering basic and advanced STCW 95 courses year round as well as those on security, medical response, engineering and English language. Azalea also features state-of-the-art bridge and engine room simulators.

Entry Permits

Porto Montenegro will be an official port of entry, from summer 2010. Vessels must purchase a vignette (permit) to use Montenegro’s navigable waters. Vignettes allow unlimited access for periods from one week to one year. Unlimited vignettes may be issued in any single year, each allowing the captain to successively alter the passenger list to four times the total compliment that the yacht is allowed to carry. To expedite clearance, a vessel may forward its crew and passenger list, along with supporting documentation, to the Harbour Master 24 hours in advance of its arrival.

Porto Montenegro Marina © Porto Montenegro

Lifestyle

In addition to all the facilities necessary for the yachts to be cleaned, fuelled, repaired and refurbished, Porto Montenegro offers owners, crew and guests an entire lifestyle: accommodation and provisions, shops and entertainment, culture and history, mountain amenities plus sizable tax benefits – right on the doorstep of one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful aquatic playgrounds.

The vibrant village community being created in the heart of Tivat will encompass all the facilities necessary for 21st century life. Retail and commercial elements will combine with public facilities including a local Farmers‟ Market and international school. The waterfront will feature wide promenades, a five star hotel, restaurants and cafes plus a 200 square metre Marina Club. Wireless internet access exists throughout the whole town. In time, the development will also grow to include a casino and sports complex.

Porto Montenegro’s retail facilities mix local crafts and produce with international brands. Shops will be clustered in zones, from high quality yet affordable stores and cafes to exclusive designer boutiques, located around the beautifully landscaped Palace Square. There will also be an amenity shopping area for residents.

Porto Montenegro Marina © Porto Montenegro

Montenegro’s lack of heavy industry and low density urban areas mean that the country is awash with quality, organically grown food. Authentic local restaurants mainly specialise in fish dishes, with a strong Italian influence embedded during four centuries of Venetian rule. Turkish and Italian influences further exist through the country‟s rich “café culture”: locals like nothing better than to socialize over a cup of coffee in cafes that spill onto paved piazzas.

Beyond Tivat, the region’s diverse – and largely undiscovered – cultural, historic and natural appeal offers a true sense of discovery as well as the interest of year-round activities. The marina village is within 100 kms of two ski resorts as well as many exhilarating outdoor pursuits and attractions. An 18-hole golf course is currently under development a few kilometres from the marina. Jointly owned by Porto Montenegro, the course will offer priority access to marina residents and guests.

You could find more information about Porto Montenegro at:
www.portomontenegro.com

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Category: MARINAS

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