About a month from now, the ground breaking will take place for the transformation of Marina Port Vell in Barcelona. An existing marina under new ownership, Marina Port Vell is intended to become a home, not simply a destination stop, for megayachts in the Mediterranean.
Marina Port Vell is now under the management of Salamanca Group, which has business interests throughout Europe, Brazil, China, and Africa. It specializes in private equity, investment advisory, and risk-management services, among other things. For the new marine division, Salamanca Group has brought in experienced individuals in the yachting industry. Specifically, there’s Gabriel de Sandoval, serving as Marina Port Vell’s general manager. He’s further president of the Spanish Marinas Association and vice president of the European Marinas Association. Also part of the team is Norma Trease, heading up sales and marketing for Salamanca Marina. Trease has a varied background as a consultant and journalist, additionally serving on the Governing Council of the Professional Yachtsman’s Association and the executive board of the International Superyacht Society.
Salamanca Marine and the overall Salamanca Group are redeveloping Marina Port Vell to feature more berths for megayachts. Compare the illustration above to the photo below of the marina as it exists today. By next September, there should be 150 slips for power and sail craft starting at 33 feet (10 meters). Marina Port Vell expects the most demand from owners of megayachts in the 197- to 295-foot (60- to 90-meter) range. As a result, the marina will provide 30 berths for them. There will additionally be one or two berths for far larger yachts to 590 feet (180 meters).
Furthermore, Marina Port Vell will include customs and immigration services on site, a crew lounge, a bar and restaurant, security, and concierge services. The latter includes provisioning, travel arrangements, assistance with crew training, and more. “This is going to be the premiere superyacht marina in the Mediterranean,” says Trease. “I think this is going to help yachting throughout the Mediterranean, and in fact throughout the world.”
Marina Port Vell’s management team intends to set it apart in additional ways, too. Martin Bellamy, chairman of Salamanca Group, says, “What we want to do in Barcelona and with MPV is create a marine cluster, and hopefully provide the industry with what will be a very, very good-quality—in fact, I hope one of the best—superyacht marinas in the Mediterranean.” As to that “marine cluster,” Bellamy references the yacht-painting firm Pinmar and the refit and repair yard MB’92, both of which have bases in Barcelona. In fact, MB’92’s facility is adjacent to Marina Port Vell, and Pinmar is a major subcontractor at MB’92. Marina Port Vell and the other two firms will work closely to service marina customers with any shipyard or other technical needs.