Gibraltar’s position boosted by two substantial superyacht marina projects in Spain

The Spanish region of Andalucía is Spain’s southernmost region, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea in the east to the Portuguese border in the west, has previously been underrepresented in terms of berthing options for large superyachts. But with two major marina developments poised to get underway either side of Gibraltar, that should be about to change.

Construction is about to begin on an exclusive marina in La Linea, the Spanish town that sits directly alongside Gibraltar in the Bay of Algeciras. When complete, the Gran Marina del Estrecho will be one of the most modern marinas in the Mediterranean and a base for superyachts of any length.

The €50 million project is designed to create 80 berths of between 30 and 100 metres in length, along with two berths for cruise ships. It will also see the construction of an esplanade of buildings providing some 11,100 sqm of retail, office and hospitality space along and marine-related service facilities. This will include a Yachting Club that will be equipped with a gym, spa area, restaurant and commercial premises and a large service area for members, including office facilities.

The developers are Grand Sport Dealer SA and the MENONA Group, alongside La Linea City Port SL.
Construction, which is expected to be completed in 2023, will be carried out by Sacyr Construction SA, one of the biggest construction companies in Spain.

A further 60 kms east of Gibraltar, Florida-based Island Group Yachting (IGY) has continued its expansion into the European marina market, with the announcement of a new superyacht marina development in the Andalucian city of Málaga.

IGY has partnered with Ocean Capital Partners (OCP), a leading Spanish company in investment and management of port assets, to commence construction work on a major redevelopment and upgrade to IGY Marina Málaga that will offer superyachts convenient, state of the art berthing in the centre of one of Spain’s most vibrant cities.

Once complete, IGY Marina Málaga will accommodate vessels between 24m and 180m, offering high levels of customer service and crew amenities, complete with features such as International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) security, in-slip waste pump out, waste management, full vessel concierge and power up to 2000amps.

The marina will be developed over the summer of 2021 and open fully before year end, enabling vessels to take advantage of winter berthing starting later this year.

IGY Marinas maintains a global superyacht marina network, with 19 marinas operating in 11 countries, including the US, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Turks & Caicos, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, the UK, France, Italy and Spain. It has around 3,200 total berths under management and welcomes over 8,000 yachts annually to its marinas.

IGY European regional director Simon Bryan told SuperyachtNews that Málaga’s strategic proximity to both the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, as well as Gibraltar – convenient for checking out of the EU ¬– made it an attractive option for the regional and global superyacht fleet.

“In theory, a superyacht could complete a bunkering stop in Gibraltar, then continue to Malaga and check into the EU,” he said. “After an Atlantic crossing, a short 60nm run along the Costa del Sol has a level of appeal, especially when compared to the nearly-two days of steaming to reach the more established Spanish hubs.”

“Vessels transiting the straits of Gibraltar between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic have traditionally called at Gibraltar for bunkering purposes and to complete their EU entry or exit formalities,” said Gabriel Gonzalez, Director at Sovereign Marine. “These two projects strengthen the strategic position of this region and will greatly increase the offering for yachts in transit or berthed permanently.”

“Gibraltar has not only been a very popular destination to complete temporary admission/importation protocols outside the EU customs territory, but also a fully compliant jurisdiction with the Temporary Admission EU directive for the domiciliation of yacht-owning entities and yacht registration. Sovereign Marine can assist with EU temporary importation/admission formalities, as well as offering company formation and yacht registration in Gibraltar.”

On 31 December 2020, Spain and the UK reached an agreement in principle under which Gibraltar will join the EU’s Schengen Area, which allows the free movement of people across 26 European countries – the 22 members of the EU plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

“Under the proposed agreement, the land border between Gibraltar and Spain will go, possibly within six months, with Gibraltar’s air and seaport becoming entry points of the Schengen area. This means that people landing on the Rock will be able to move freely across the Schengen Area without going through passport control,” said Gonzalez.

“Gibraltarians have never previously had this kind of open access to Europe because the UK did not sign the Schengen agreement. It should also mean that it may become possible to fly to the 26 members of Schengen from Gibraltar airport. Previously there were no direct flight links from Gibraltar to the rest of the EU.”

Contact Gabriel Gonzalez
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