As a businessman with such a long history of chartering yachts, it was almost inevitable that he would eventually fall into a yacht-related project. And what a project Porto Montenegro turned out to be. Since opening in 2009 the marina development, has been an undeniable success. “I’ve got an active business mind and when you sit on a boat you have plenty of time to think,” he says. Having worked in the hospitality industry Munk well understood how capital intensive hotel ownership can be and how a greater occupancy necessitates further investment to keep the offering at the required high standard. “I realised that the same docks in Porto Cervo that I first went to in 1972 had undergone no change and yet what used to cost three dollars per metre for a night now costs thirty dollars a metre,” he tells us. “To me it seemed like a very exciting business prospect.”
Seeking the advice of George Nicholson, a long-time industry friend, Munk was assured by him that Montenegro was what he describes as ‘the most protected and the finest inland bay on the whole of the Adriatic’ and that it held huge potential as a superyacht destination. At that time it must have taken vision to see what the abandoned communist naval base could become. Sold on the idea, Munk brought together a group of fellow investors, himself the majority shareholder, and so work began. The rest, as they say, is history.
It was the Porto Montenegro project itself that saw Munk make the step into ownership after so many years of chartering. “George [Nicholson] saw the boat for sale and said to me ‘this is your boat’. So I went to the boat show straight away and I bought it!” he remembers. Built in 1990 by Picchiotti, 43m Golden Eagle served as a floating office and hosting space in the early stages of the project. Today she is more of a family yacht, and Munk usually spends around six weeks a year cruising on board, continuing that long tradition of family time afloat. A favourite cruising ground is the Dalmatian Islands and the coastline. “Compared with how it was ten years ago it’s much busier now,” he says. “But there is magnificent water, a huge number of islands and little old restaurants and fisherman – all the things you dream about when you think of yachting.”
Read the full interview with Peter Munk in issue 11 of The Superyacht Owner