The Summer Olympic Games in London start one year from now. Despite that, megayacht owners and charterers have mere weeks left to book concierge services.
If you think that’s too strong a sense of urgency, listen to what Mark Upton, director of yacht-advisory firm MGMT, has to say. Upton and the MGMT team are handling a variety of slip and package requests, with the latter becoming tougher to secure. “Tickets will be sold out within the next six to eight weeks, and all forms of transport within greater London are becoming harder to find, even with just over a year to go!” he says. “The urgency is not the berths, as when they are gone they are gone, but the related services. As you can imagine, London, which is a busy city at the best of times, will experience levels of demand never seen before, resulting in extremely limited availability and very high prices. In order to avoid both of these, it is essential to arrange as soon as possible.”
Upton and others believe upwards of 30 megayachts will attend. While a number of firms are offering services, MGMT has the following available:
*berths at Canary Wharf and Wood Wharf: both are in the heart of London Docklands. MGMT has permission to book slips here before general release and is handling all inquiries for megayachts measuring 35 meters (115 feet) and up. Maximum LOA: 60 meters (197 feet). Number of remaining berths: 20.
* berths at Royal Docks: three docks comprise the Royal Docks, which is also home to the Excel Centre, where several Olympic and Paralympic events will be held. A larger area, the Royal Docks can handle any yacht from 35 to 75 meters (115 to 246 feet) stern-to. “There is currently an allowance for three or four 100-meter-plus yachts, but more can be taken if advance warning is given,” Upton explains. (One hundred meters is about 328 feet.) “Spaces are again selling fast but there is slightly more space in this area so we do not expect all spaces to have sold before September,” he adds.
* yacht-concierge support: “We provide a full support service to any yacht visiting London during the Olympic period,” Upton says, including tickets for the Games, chauffeured cars, spa services, “and of course the water transportation to the Olympic park itself.” The latter is “a very limited offer,” as MGMT made special arrangements for it, so bookings are required by summer’s end.
MGMT can arrange further tailored packages for megayacht owners and charterers as well. Regardless, “We are urging all yacht captains, owners, or managers to contact us even if they are not 100 percent certain of their plans yet,” Upton stresses.