The owner of Golden Eagle is heavily involved in the development of Porto Montenegro, so by necessity Captain Conquest has been also. Golden Eagle has berthed in Porto Montenegro for the past three winters and as such has seen the port’s development first hand.
“It’s developing quickly. It’s doubling in size over the next twelve months, by which time we’ll see a brand new five-star hotel and new berth extensions to accommodate superyachts of up to one-hundred-and-fifty metres. We’ve got a comprehensive sports centre with a gym, tennis and squash courts and a bowling alley, as well as restaurants, bars, cafes and many stores that cater to day-to-day needs. It’s also right on the doorstep of Croatia which is probably one of the best places to go cruising in the whole of the Med. There’s an airport right next to the marina, so owners can fly in on their private jets and be on the boat within ten minutes of landing,” explains Captain Conquest.
However, while Captain Conquest explains the facilities are excellent – the WiFi in particular is of the highest standard, something very important to crew today – what he is most excited about is its differences. It’s a new port and it provides new experiences, he says. “To be honest, coming back to Antibes you feel at home with the industry to a bigger degree, but there are drawbacks. Antibes is expensive, it’s claustrophobic, there are loads of people around and you can’t park a car anywhere. Porto Montenegro is different. If you want to party and club every night it’s probably not the place for you – however throughout the summer there are several open-air nightclubs, and many a beach bar to keep you entertained until the early hours. Year-round we do have some good parties – it’s a small community so you all become good friends and enjoy the more relaxed pace Montenegro has to offer. There are some great restaurants in and around the port – seafood is especially good in the bay – and a growing collection of fashion boutiques; not run of the mill Gucci or Ralph Lauren, but high-end independent labels. So they’re trying to do something slightly different,” Captain Conquest explains.
There is still some way to go, explains the captain, for example improvement of the availability of high-end yacht suppliers and better transport links for the crew, but living expenses are a great deal less, he explains. “I won’t say it’s roses all the time, but on the plus side what they’re putting into the marina’s development is tremendous. By next summer the building work for the major developments will be completed. It’s still a nice place to be now, but it will certainly take a huge step forward in the next twelve months.”
So, as owners and captains look to expand their cruising territories and find those less crowded berths, Porto Montenegro is one to watch.