SELA, the national company behind some of the most ambitious lifestyle development projects across the whole of Saudi Arabia, is delighted to announce that JYC Marina this week welcomes the first yachts to berth there on the occasion of the inaugural Saudi Arabia F1 Grand Prix.
This new international motorsport spectacular takes place this weekend from 3rd – 5th December, at the new circuit on Jeddah’s North Corniche – the fastest F1 street circuit in the world. Guests aboard megayachts like M/Y O Pari, 95m, built by Golden Yachts, the 85m Oceanco Sunrays and the 82m Abeking & Rasmussen RoMEA, have been joined by a fleet of over 40 superyachts and smaller units to take part in the fun, for what is going to be an adrenalin-packed weekend, just a stone’s throw away from the JYC Marina.
JYC Marina is the first marina along the Red Sea coast that can accommodate superyachts and megayachts up to 120m in a world-class environment. In parallel, this opening event will give visiting yachts and VIP visitors to the F1 a unique opportunity to preview the premises of the upcoming Jeddah Yacht Club, which will be officially opened around the time when the Saudi F1 GP returns for the 2022 season on 25-27 March 2022.
A project built in record time – an incredible six months from first breaking ground, on an inland site, to welcoming some of the biggest yachts in the world this week – the entire complex is situated in the northern part of Jeddah, only a few kilometers away from the new King Abdulaziz airport and the city center. It comprises JYC Marina, the Jeddah Yacht Club and a collection of retail and F&B outlets on the marina Boardwalk around the basin.
WORLD CLASS MARINA
Capable of berthing over 100 yachts of all sizes up to 120m, JYC Marina epitomizes the future of superyachting on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline. It is the first step into major yachting developments that are to take place in the Kingdom over the next 10 years, stretching from Neom in the North to Amaala and the Red Sea Project further south down to Jeddah and beyond.
Developed by SELA, JYC Marina provides berthing in a safe and secure environment with gated entry and easy access for guests, service providers and ship chandlers. It offers all the necessary supplies of electricity, water and fuel bunkering facilities, in a spectacular modern and functional environment. It has an on-site helipad to make it convenient for guests to arrive and embark or disembark discretely.
One of the key benefits of JYC Marina is that it is recognized by the Saudi authorities as a port of entry into the Kingdom. As such, it provides customs clearance and immigration services to all vessels, including foreign-flagged superyachts that will charter in the area, or stop off to visit this fast-developing destination on their way to the newly opened cruising grounds of the East Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. In addition, once fully operational by the end of March 2022, JYC Marina will provide repair and maintenance facilities within the Marina precinct.
With its highly strategic location, JYC Marina is ready to welcome permanent and seasonal yachts coming from the Mediterranean, the GCC, the Indian Ocean, Asia and beyond. As it is already possible to book short or long-term berthing at Port JYC Marina, interested yachts can enquire directly with the Marina manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORLD CLASS YACHT CLUB
An exclusive members-only establishment, the Jeddah Yacht Club was founded to grow the maritime spirit and lifestyle in Saudi Arabia by providing diverse, world-class experiences across a full spectrum of social, sports and leisure activities. Strategically positioned at the crossroads of historical Red Sea maritime routes, JYC aims to provide a major new platform in the Kingdom for the development of sailing, boating and every facet of the healthy, fun-filled, on-water and sporting lifestyle for its members. It also intends to raise awareness of the need to protect marine biodiversity and ensure the preservation of the Red Sea environment for the younger generations and the local community to enjoy and take care of in their turn.
The perfect complement to JYC Marina, the development of the Jeddah Yacht Club was initiated only six months ago, at the end of April 2021 – designed and built from scratch in record time. As SELA will be completing the final touches to the Club House for its official opening less than a year after the project was launched, the Jeddah Yacht Club team have decided to take advantage of the first F1 weekend to play host to private, invitation-only entertainment and hospitality for future members and Marina guests to discover the premises and facilities soon to be available.
The Jeddah Yacht Club’s architecture has been carefully designed to stimulate the senses and offer its members a rich, marine-inspired atmosphere where they can enjoy the numerous social and nautical activities available. Its mast-and-sail-themed 5,000sqm club house, located by the entrance channel of the Marina, is a beacon, a lighthouse that welcomes visitors to Jeddah’s shores.
In addition to panoramic views of the city, the Jeddah Yacht Club boasts a feast of facilities for its members, which include restaurants, a wellness center, a business center, lounges, concierge services, sailing and nautical activities. Its Beach Club, operated by a team from world-renowned Omnia Club, features an infinity pool with glorious views over the Red Sea.
Another first in Jeddah, the Jeddah Yacht Club will welcome the Jason Atherton restaurant. Famous to gastronomes from London to Shanghai, Mykonos to St. Moritz, this Michelin Star-rated chef is instantly recognized for his cool artistic creations that evoke memories from other times and other places.
Mohideen Nazer, Director Parks & Resorts, SELA: “We’re delighted that the world of yachting now has its first home address on Saudi Arabia’s Red coast. All the teams have worked very hard to give birth to this great Marina and magnificent Club House in record time. This is a small step in our contribution to the realization of Vision 2030 for the Kingdom, but it is nonetheless a major first step to turn the Red Sea Coast into a compelling destination for yachting aficionados to enjoy our amazing cruising grounds”.
Oliver Rees, General Manager Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina (from January 2022): “JYC Marina and the Jeddah Yacht Club will be a perfect home port for private yachts, but also a great place to meet, enjoy sailing and water sports and revel in the quality of services we have on offer. It will also be a gateway to the wonders of the Red Sea, and we are confident that this fantastic new facility will rapidly become a prime waypoint on the global yachting map.”read more
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Big, tall, wide or small, if you’re travelling through Southeast Asia by boat, chances are Singapore will be on your radar. A melting pot of culture and traditions, Singapore has long been one of the most important maritime hubs in the region. Today, it is estimated that almost 1,000 pleasure craft – both leisure and commercial – pass through Singapore’s 105km-long waterway each year. It is SG Marine Guide’s aim to help you navigate through or around Singapore safely and we hope that this website will also encourage you to get out and explore the region’s sensational cruising grounds. Happy boating!
With years of experience, SG Marine Guide is directly connected to the maritime industries in Singapore and across Southeast Asia. If you think we can help you, please get in contact with us. Here is a quick list of skills and services we provide:
However, it pays to accumulate some local knowledge regarding seasonal weather patterns and develop a general awareness of where to go and when, as well as acquainting yourself with what is on offer in terms of guest experiences once you arrive.
With Singapore and Phuket, home to ASEAN’s two conjoined yacht shows, providing convenient gateways to world-class yachting in azure blue seas, it’s perfectly possible to explore destinations ranging from the high-end luxury resorts of Phuket through to Myanmar’s pristine Mergui Archipelago, which remains one of the world’s best kept secrets, and beyond. The shows were conceived to promote the region to the world’s touring yachts and their charter guests, as well as promoting the industry and the lifestyle to the people of Asia.
You can sail from Singapore to the Anambas Islands in Indonesia in a day, arriving in a little piece of heaven that nobody knows about. Cruising the Andaman sea up to Myanmar, Eastern Malaysia, the Philippines and the far eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago certainly takes some beating.
YH Fang, the founder of Yachting Singapore, believes that Singapore is best equipped to support superyachts cruising in the region.
“It’s straight forward and efficient bureaucracy is the envy of many nations. It has established itself as the go to destination for any nautical or maritime related activities, be it re-supply, afloat maintenance or haul out services. A new dimension has been added in recent years and that is the development of MRO (Maintenance Repair Overhaul) service capability, elevating Singapore to the status of aviation service hub in Asia. With shipborne helicopters becoming an essential part of superyacht experience, Singapore’s ability to support these flying machines locally is a big boost to the industry in the region.”
While a reset and recalibration of tourism is needed, the potential of SEA to become a major superyacht destination is perfectly possible with the right support and mindset, according to Richard Lofthouse of Catalano Shipping.
“We need to move away from mass land-based tourism and see the potential of marine tourism,” says Richard. “I’ve never understood why people spend billions of dollars building hotels on islands without tying them into the marine environment.”
“There’s a strong awareness developing of how good Indonesia, Thailand and similar Asian regions are – people are starting to see the mind-blowing potential of what is available.”
Diversity is the USP of the region according to Andy Shorten, a former diving instructor who set up The Lighthouse Consultancy to assist visiting yachts in Indonesia. “Diversity is one of the fundamental differences between this region and the rest of the world,” says Andy, who has lived in Indonesia since 2002. “As you travel from the Maldives through Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea through to the Pacific, each destination changes.”
“Some host global cities, some focus on tourist islands, some have unique cultural experiences and some are purely natural. The rich diversity is key to keeping everyone interested. As facilities and infrastructure improves, the perceived difficulties of visiting these off the beaten track destinations diminish and there is little excuse not to head out to explore the world. That’s a huge reason to have a yacht after all!”
Adam Frost, MD and founder of Seal Superyachts, advises plenty of research and conversation with SEA-based specialists before deciding on an itinerary. “The cultural, ecological and geographical diversity is so vastly different in each South East Asian country,” he says.
“Amazing experiences can be found throughout the region, in Thailand, Myanmar, Maldives, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. The key to exploring the region and choosing what is right for the client is consulting knowledgeable and experienced guides and agents beforehand.”
The best time to cruise in Phuket and Myanmar is during the dry season from November to April, according to Gordon Fernandes of Asia Pacific Superyachts, who has spent the last 23 years based in Phuket.
“It’s always advisable to have a guide on board as guests will then get the best out of the areas they want to visit – and of course, it’s easier to find the premier dive sites too,” says Gordon. “Visiting the national parks is also simpler as the guides will have local knowledge on where to anchor.”
Indonesian sailing is generally year-round, with Komodo best from May to October while Raja Ampat’s dry season stretches from November to April. “In reality, these two areas form less than 10% of the country,” explains Richard, “and while Raja Ampat has probably the most phenomenal cruising grounds in the world, we are still discovering new destinations which is very exciting.”
“I spend a lot of time trying to explain the seasons here to captains. Only yesterday, I had to tell one big yacht that they were heading to Phuket in the monsoon and driving away from Bali in dry season which was news to them!”
While spectacular and unspoilt scenery, fragrant cuisine and empty and uncommercial cruising grounds – compared to Europe and the Caribbean – are the norm, SEA is also starting to develop the infrastructure necessary to attract superyacht owners to the area.
“The region is building more marinas which can berth the superyachts which want to come – we can berth a 130-metre yacht in the Phuket marina,” adds Gordon. “The infrastructure for owner visits is already in place, with airports that can handle large private planes as well as commercial flights, making it easy to get here.”
“We have the marinas and the cruising area but now the region needs more haul out facilities for superyachts as currently we don’t have enough. A couple of projects have started to address this so hopefully we will see more haul out facilities in the future.”
One of the new important developments for Asian yachting is Benoa Marina, which opened in Bali in spring 2020 and has space for three superyachts of up to 90 metres. “It’s the only superyacht marina in Indonesia and while we are still finetuning and improving things, it’s a very promising facility,” adds Richard, who assisted in its development and now manages the marina.
Another bonus SEA offers is a low crime rate, a major factor in appealing to clients who might otherwise be inclined to charter in Europe and the Caribbean. ‘Thailand and Myanmar are very safe – you never see muggings,’ says Gordon. “The rate of street crime is extremely low and the locals are very friendly, hence the reference to the famous ‘Thai Smile’!”
Quite simply, the region offers the best of both worlds; remote and unpopulated islands for solitude, intriguing local culture, serene beach barbecue spots, boutique hotel spas and cool bars and clubs for when you want to dial the pace up a little. “Phuket now has a luxury shopping mall with designer outlets like Gucci, YSL and Hermes,’ adds Gordon, ‘and there are several world class golf courses in the area.”
The largest of the Thai islands, the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’ boasts elegantly-designed resorts, prestigious world-renowned wellness retreats and extensive haute cuisine dining experiences as well as four well-appointed high-tech marinas. An easy sail off Phuket’s east coast around the emerald green waters of magical Phang Nga Bay offers unforgettable sights among the limestone cliffs. With 50 islands easily accessible within a day’s sailing of Ao Po Grand Marina, some of our favourites include Naka Yai, less than 10 minutes away, Yao Noi, with its six star Six Senses Resort, Kudu Yai, a small rocky outcrop, and Koh Chong Lat, which with its impressive 200 metre high sheer limestone cliffs makes for a spectacular overnight anchorage. Says Gordon: “If guests want to party and visit beach clubs, Phuket is the perfect place for the yacht to anchor – but they can also enjoy the local culture by visiting some of the beautiful temples, the old town centre, or an elephant sanctuary.”
Similan and Surin Islands
Head north from Phang Nga Bay and you will find yourself in the splendour of the remote Similan and Surin islands, featuring countless tropical beaches and bays where picture perfect scenery and unbeatable diving abound. “The Surin and Similan Islands in Thailand are great for their beauty,” says Gordon. “In the Similan Islands, you have world class diving with visibility of 30+ metres.”
One of Asia-Pacific’s lesser known regions, Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago comprises of an untouched landscape of mangrove forests, lush jungle, wild shorelines and pristine coves in which to enjoy an immensely private vacation in the most idyllic surroundings. Largely cut off from the rest of the world, the Mergui Archipelago is the perfect escape from the pressures of modern life. “Myanmar is an excellent cruising area as you have over 800 islands and only a few of them have hotels or small villages on the islands,” Gordon reveals. “You can visit islands which are the size of Phuket but there won’t be a single person living on them so you have the virgin rainforest, golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters all to yourself.”
Seal Superyachts’ Adam Frost was responsible for pioneering the opening of Myanmar to marine tourism in 1996. “The Myiek Archipelago holds the top spot for me,” says Adam, who spent 10 years as a charter captain in SEA. “It’s overwhelmingly beautiful and completely untouched. To find true escapism and remoteness is rare these days so being able to anchor at deserted islands and not see anyone for days at a time is priceless. The beaches are stunning and there are literally thousands to choose from. A visit to Myanmar’s islands can be combined with a few days in Thailand, starting your adventure from Phuket. This itinerary gives a perfect balance between being able to visit five-star resorts for lunch, dinner or spa treatments before heading to Myanmar to escape the madding crowds.”
We’ll be looking further at the incredible cruising grounds of Indonesia in a future feature, but suffice to say that with over 17,000 largely uninhabited islands to choose from, Indonesia is fast becoming the go-to superyacht destination in SEA and it’s not difficult to see why. “From turquoise waters and white sandy beaches to rival the Caribbean to the iconic karst pinnacles of Raja Ampat, the natural beauty is stunning and has to be seen to be believed,” explains Nikko Karki of Indo Yachts.
Extending from the Mekong Delta in the south to the Chinese border in the north, cruising along the extensive Vietnamese coastline offers a cultural experience like few others. Experience Ho Chi Minh City, previously Saigon, with its bustling food markets, temple tours and colourful and moving history before heading to Nha Trang, where a new marina has the capability to berth up to 220 yachts. Continue north to sample the historic delights of the lantern city of Hoi An and the undeveloped coastal splendour of Lang Co before arriving in heritage listed Ha Long Bay, whose resplendent towering limestone islands topped with rainforests have wowed visitors for generations.read more