- Business - The Algarve’s new superyacht hub

By Conor Feasey

The Algarve’s new superyacht hub

Portugal is relatively untouched by superyachts, but the completion of a new marina on the Algarve could be the catalyst for a new haven in the western Med…

Portugal has remained relatively undiscovered by superyachts, but the establishment of a new marina on the Algarve could mark the beginning of a new sanctuary in the western Mediterranean. Vilamoura World has unveiled plans for a new marina along the Algarve coast in Portugal. Construction of the marina has already commenced, with an expected completion date set for 2024.

The project by the Portuguese luxury resort includes three pontoons accommodating a total of 68 berths, specifically designed for boats ranging between 20 and 40 metres. However, the initiative ultimately aims to meet the increasing demand in this sector and enhance the destination's appeal to a high-net-worth demographic.

“We’re very excited and have received such positive feedback from people and businesses in the region since the announcement. The kind of clients we are looking to attract benefit the economy in a completely different way, so this project becomes not only good for us and the region but for the country itself,” says Isolete Correia, Administrator of Vilamoura World, speaking to SuperyachtNews.

“Don’t get me wrong; there are marinas along the coast, but they don’t cater to bigger boats. So we want to attract those clients who usually pass us by and go to another country.” More importantly, Correia explains that the company aims to create a destination that owners and operators use year-round, leaving their yachts within the marina and taking advantage of the region’s amenities.

The marina itself is ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certified and will have a pump-out system available at each berth. With a focus on sustainability, the marina also features charging stations for electric yachts and tenders. “We know this is an emerging, fledgling market, but it is one we hope grows and can find a home here in Vilamoura,” adds Correia.

“We also have a desalination plant for washdowns and continue to use solar panels where possible around the marina.” The new site will also utilise new digital technologies, such as apps that monitor consumption.

The announcement has piqued the interest of clients of Vilamoura’s current marina too. The original marina itself has been around for 50 years. In fact, it was one of Correia’s first projects when she joined the company 52 years ago and has over 800 berths with some capacity for yachts up to 60 metres.

Despite being the only marina in Portugal for a significant period, business was slow to pick up. “Being the only marina had its faults, as the region itself was more or less overlooked, and it took a long time for us to build up clients,” explains Correia. “But over time, we were able to build up a repertoire of dedicated clients and were able to showcase the region and all it has to offer.”

There is scope to expand too. While Vilamoura’s main priority is to finish its current project first, Correia details that the company will definitely be interested in future opportunities in the region when they arise. The possibility of more superyacht marinas popping up along the Algarve is bolstered by the unwavering support Vilamoura has received from the project’s conception.

“The new marina is the first step of many in what is our plan to make a greater Vilamoura,” adds Correia. “Our goal is to upscale, and we offer a range of golf courses, luxury hotels, and real estate that we will continue to improve too. This is just the kick-off, and there’s so much more to come.”

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