Porto Montenegro has launched an online platform to serve marina crew during the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform allows for everything from eSailing to virtual fitness and quiz nights, with the aim of closing the distance and boosting morale among crew and its wider online community.

Montenegro currently has a relatively low number of confirmed cases and recorded deaths. “The Government of Montenegro have reacted quickly to limit further spread of the virus and only essential works and services are being carried out within the marina. Crews remain able to carry out works on board as normal,” began Roddy Blair, Marina Manager at Porto Montenegro. “In line with national and international recommendations, people are staying at home and isolating, and as a result, the marina is quiet during this period. 

“The borders are currently closed to arriving yachts with the exception of those with Montenegrin crew on board.  Porto Montenegro remains in dialogue with government institutions on how and when these measures can be eased without compromising the significant efforts made to limit the spread of COVID 19.  As everywhere, we are hoping for a return to the ‘New Normal’ as soon as prudently possible,” Blair continued.

Many app users have already attended a ‘Stay fit during COVID-19’ calorie awareness and nutrition session, engaging in Q&A, and regular Active Mondays and Fridays offer a live workout session from 6pm. ‘Chatty Tuesdays’ take place from 7pm each week, whereby a key speaker is invited to partake in an online seminar offering educational and motivational advice on a range of topics, while Thursdays see an infamous quiz night from 7pm.

The online platform offers a host of sessions, such as the eSailing series taking place every Wednesday and Saturday. Users can access the series via the Virtual Regatta platform, giving keen sailors the opportunity to win a day’s sail on a J70 this summer whilst partaking in a sport with an interactive twist.

“As a world-leading marina and nautical tourism destination, Porto Montenegro is doing what it can in order to help our resident marina guests make the best of the current situation we all find ourselves in,” began Tony Browne, Marina Director at Porto Montenegro. “This is, of course, headlined by our close collaboration with the Government of Montenegro and the municipality of Tivat, so as to ensure our guests are well informed and that we are all following the guidelines and regulations set forth.

"Challenging times call for innovative thinking, which is why we have come up with some interesting solutions for our renowned ‘Crew Club Calendar’. We like to think of it as essential physical distancing whilst remaining social..." - Tony Browne, Marina Director - Porto Montenegro

“Challenging times call for innovative thinking, which is why we have come up with some interesting solutions for our renowned ‘Crew Club Calendar’. We like to think of it as essential physical distancing whilst remaining social. Our goal is to continue to increase the variety of activities and to start to roll these out to the wider audience so as to help to bring together the crew from all over the Med,” Browne added.

Porto Montenegro has also introduced various new environmentally-friendly initiatives in a bid to impact positively on its natural surroundings. It is the world’s first marina to have received the Platinum accreditation from The Yacht Harbour and Marina Industries Association, due to its continued building and implementation of an environmentally-conscious culture.

Porto Montenegro seeks to minimise its carbon footprint and utilises solar panels to do so, which heat water across a number of service blocks, as well as operating electric vehicles throughout the marina to keep emissions down. “They’re little details, but step by step, they build up the bigger picture...” - Roddy Blair, Marina Manager - Porto Montenegro

Situated within the UNESCO-protected Boka Bay, the marina has many reasons to treat its surroundings with great respect. Porto Montenegro seeks to minimise its carbon footprint and utilises solar panels to do so, which heat water across a number of service blocks, as well as operating electric vehicles throughout the marina to keep emissions down. “They’re little details, but step by step, they build up the bigger picture,” said Blair.

To protect against fires and defend the forests on the shores of Boka Bay, Porto Montenegro has launched its own fireguard boat. The 9.79m vessel, worth 400,000 euros, serves the superyacht marina and local rescue service in the Municipality of Tivat and was founded by local company, Navar Incorporated.

The fireboat was named Jovana, after the daughter of one of Porto Montenegro’s most celebrated employees, Safety and Environmental Protection Manager, Aleksandar Drakulovic. Drakulovic spent the summer of 2017 engaging in fire-fighting activities and the evacuation of endangered peoples from Luštica Bay.

Addressing recycling habits and fighting pollution, Porto Montenegro joined forces with the Seabin project in 2016 to become a pilot partner in its testing and promotion. While the Seabin has been effective in removing floating rubbish from the marina waters, one of the key aims of this project has, in fact, been increasing awareness.

“We have built-in infrastructure for that,” added Blair. “A grey and black water pump-out system is available on all berths over 20 metres and is free of charge. There is also a paper press on site for paper and cardboard, ensuring its efficient transportation to recycling plants. Hazardous waste is collected from the yachts and disposed of through government-approved methods.”

There are many steps left on the path towards the superyacht industry being sustainably-driven. But, as the world marks Earth Day, the growing eco-consciousness of many sectors, and the realistic changes that can be made more immediately, are reassurance that there is still progress being made towards the end goal.

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