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New superyacht marina in St George officially opened

George’s Marina and Superyacht Dock, which opened recently, brings a promise of a prosperous future for Bermuda. Tourism authorities have noted a continuous rise in visitors to the island, including an increase in yacht traffic.

St. George’s Marina Development Ltd has revitalized an old cruise ship terminal by adding a 170ft concrete dock capable of accommodating 10 superyachts. An additional 140ft floating dock will be installed next week. The marina also features 650 linear feet of dockage for smaller yachts, 10 stern-to berths for superyachts with mooring systems, a marina reception, lounge, food and beverage facilities, an internet café, a duty-free fuel dock, and sewage pumping services.

Although specific economic impact figures were not disclosed, owner Mark Soares, speaking at the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by politicians, dignitaries, and community members, emphasized that the facility would significantly bolster the economy. He mentioned that two superyachts visiting the island would generate an economic benefit equivalent to that of a visiting cruise ship, as reported by the Royal Gazette.

According to the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), an 80m-90m superyacht contributes approximately US$50,000 to the economy per week, and this figure increases to US$127,000 per week if the owner is present.

Premier David Burt expressed, “One of our significant commitments was to construct a world-class marina that would serve as a catalyst for Bermuda as a superyacht destination—a step forward in the ongoing economic renaissance in the Olde Towne. This new marina takes advantage of Ordnance Island’s strategic location and prominence and will provide exceptional amenities to yachting visitors while creating job opportunities beyond construction, such as in the new lounge.”

The marina has been highly anticipated, with construction commencing in 2021 and originally scheduled to open in June of the previous year. The initial construction cost of US$2.7 million nearly doubled to US$4.12 million, and the final budget figure remains undisclosed.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, attributed the cost overruns to the current inflationary cycle. He stated, “This accomplishment not only represents the government’s unwavering commitment to the superyacht charter industry but also reaffirms our dedication to the ancillary industries that will thrive alongside it.”

Burch highlighted the role of the Super Yachts and Other Vessels (Miscellaneous) Act 2019 in facilitating vessel permits for transit, cruise, and superyacht charters. The legislation also included updates to existing rules to accommodate various sizes of superyachts, making it easier for them to obtain permits for cruising and chartering.

Earlier this month, the BTA announced that during the first quarter of 2023, tourists spent approximately US$41 million in Bermuda, as the island continues to recover from travel restrictions imposed during the Covid pandemic.

Yacht arrivals have shown a year-over-year increase, with 25 superyachts visiting in the first three months of this year, resulting in an estimated economic impact of US$1.72 million. In the same period last year, 22 vessels visited.

Regarding St. George’s Marina, Soares mentioned that they haven’t observed a rise in the number of yachts yet. However, out of the five yachts they have hosted thus far, both the length of stay and the number of yachts with guests aboard have increased.

Situated in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site of St. George’s, the St. George’s Superyacht Dock provides berths for alongside and med moor vessels up to 150 meters in length. It is conveniently located near the airport, restaurants, shops, nightlife, and only 5 minutes away from the recently opened St. Regis Bermuda Resort and Five Forts Golf Club. Being the closest marina to the open Atlantic Ocean and just minutes away from Bermuda’s only entry into the reef line, the St. George’s Superyacht Dock is an ideal destination for superyachts looking to explore Bermuda.