The 65m private yacht Ambrosia, based in Hong Kong, is a massive leap from the usual 30m visitor to Macau, explained Li Yong, superyacht consultant at LY Superyachts, who assisted in the mooring.
“Hong Kong and Macau are not good locations for large yachts now, because they are still getting all the berth places ready. They don’t have a good support service such as repair facilities yet; it's fairly standard, and far from perfect.”
But Macau is ideally positioned to benefit from the establishment of new marinas, which will soon open for business in nearby Guandong province in China, Hong Kong and also Macau itself. Yong said there would be one marina in Macau that could accommodate superyachts ready by 2014 and two in Hong Kong by 2015.
“In the future Macau will get better for superyachts. As the largest yacht ever come to Macau, Ambrosia is a really good starting point for Macau’s yachting business”.
Those hoping that Macau, featured in James Bond’s Skyfall and a world mecca for gambling (revenue from gambling surpassed that of Las Vegas in 2006) will help trigger a nascent Chinese yachting culture, could be disappointed however.
“Some wealthy Chinese buy yachts and have a lot of berth places in mainland China, but you can’t cruise to Hong Kong or Macau, you can only stay in China waters,” said Yong.
But the small state could still see larger yachts matching Ambrosia’s size once marinas are ready. Traffic will come from those cruising South East Asia or from yachts making a trip from Hong Kong or Guandong. For now large yachts are easily accommodated at the government owned North Tang, a tender ride away from the Macau Yacht Club, but for short stays only.