Where does one park a floating mansion? Where does one moor a country club on water? Superyachts are the playthings of the rich and famous, and running a superyacht, especially one with a Michelin star chef and nightclub (thank you, Roman Abromovich) can cost almost as much as the yacht itself. A chic marina, a posh port, a high-class harbor –megayachts need to be berthed somewhere, and in high season mooring fees aren’t cheap. Here are 10 of the most expensive, and coveted, places to dock a yacht.
10 Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi: $522 per night
Located on man-made Yas Island, Yas Marina is designed to be the Middle East’s version of Monaco. It’s a 221 berth marina that caters to yachts up to 150 meters; there are 45 berths specifically designed for superyachts. Yas Marina is situated beside Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 Race Track and features a theme park, water park, restaurants, hotels, and luxurious waterfront properties. In 2010, Yas Marina received the Best Marina accolade from The World of Yachts Recognition Awards.
9 Port of Gustavia, St. Barts: $620 per night
Small and pristine, St. Barts is authentic and less built up than other glitzy, jet-set destinations. The French have placed specific permits on construction, which has enabled the island to maintain its charm. St. Barts has only a handful of hotels, the largest of which has 60 rooms. Stars flock to the island because of its super-exclusivity; there are 400 privately owned villas for rent. Port of Gustavia is one of the most elite marinas in the world and a famous destination for Christmas and New Years parties. A few years ago, Beyoncé performed an impromptu, five-song set at the Nikki Beach Club. Celebrities in attendance included Jay-Z, Usher, Lindsay Lohan, and Microsoft founder Paul Allen.
8 Port de Cannes, Cote d’Azur, France: $655 per night (Off Season)
Port de Cannes is one of the largest marinas in the French Riviera. There are nearly 2,000 berths, but more importantly there is no limit when it comes to the size of the yacht; many world-class marinas have length restrictions on mooring, which means owners need to anchor outside of the harbor. While Cannes attracts tourists year round, movies stars, celebrities, and the rich and famous descend on the city for the week-long Cannes Film Festival every May. Bookings for a spot at the Port de Cannes during the event attract a waiting list of at least a year.
7 Miami Beach Marina, Miami, Florida: $1095 per night
Sleek, modern, and super sized, Miami Beach Marina, which is located on Biscayne Bay, has room for 400 yachts and 24 superyachts. However, it’s not just the size of the marina that yacht enthusiasts love, but the five-star amenities; the facility has echoes of a posh and high-class country club, offering casual and fine dining, 24-hour concierge services, a salon and spa, and a heated Olympic-sized swimming pool. Finding a berth to dock a yacht during the Miami Art Basel or Miami Boat Show is almost impossible.
6 Port Hercule, Monaco: $1,489 per night
According to Financial News, the principality of Monaco, which is often described as the second smallest country in the world, is home to more millionaires per capita that anywhere else in the world. Monaco is known for its world-class Monte Carlo Casino; it brings in so much money for the tiny principality that Monaco doesn't have to tax its residents. The opulent Port Hercule has 20 superyacht berths. Peak docking periods include the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show. No matter how wealthy a person is, private jets are not allowed to fly into Monaco, which makes owning a yacht that much more convenient if one feels like trying their luck at the roulette table.
5 St. Tropez, Cote-d’Azur, France: $1,613 per night
French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot put St. Tropez on the celebrity map when she stared in “And God Created Woman,” and ever since that 1956 film the beauty has been known as the temptress of St. Tropez. The small Mediterranean resort is a playground for models, millionaires, and mega-moguls. Despite the glitz and glamor, St. Tropez has been able to maintain some of its Provencal charm. The marina doesn't accept yachts over 70 meters long. Peak periods for docking include the Giraglia Rolex Cup in June and the International Polo Cup in July
4 Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy: $3,100 per night
In 1959, Prince Karim Aga Khan established this super luxe village on the Costa Smeralda as a private retreat for his wealthy family and friends. Architects and landscape designers Jacques Couelle, Luigi Vietti, and Michele Busiri Vici designed the “village.” According to European luxury estate brokerage Engel & Volkers, Porto Cervo is the most expensive location in Europe, with house prices as high as 300 euros per square meter. Today, Porto Cervo is comprised of high-end boutiques and restaurants, as well as the famous Billionaire nightclub. Some of the world’s largest superyachts are seen anchored at Porto Cervo, including Dilbar and Serene.
3 Ibiza Magna, Ibiza: $3,660 per night
Ibiza, a hedonistic destination for the young, rich, and trendy, is also a see-and-be-seen hotspot to anchor superyachts. Ibiza Magna is located near the island’s casino strip and infamous nightclub Pacha. Pacha opened in 1973 and has become one of the most legendary clubs in the word; in 2012, in a poll of the World’s 100 Best Nightclubs, DJ Magazine ranked Pacha third. Indian steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal docks his yacht at Ibiza Magna, as does Russian businessman and investor Roman Abramovich, owner of the Chelsea Football Club. Measuring 557ft., Abramovich’s $1 billion yacht –Eclipse– is the largest private yacht in the world.
2 Marina di Portofino, Italy: $3,335 per night
There is only one road leading in and out of Portofino. This has not only allowed the area to remain unspoiled but added to its gated exclusivity. Located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera, Portofino was a small fishing village before it became an upscale resort for celebrities. Marina di Portofino has 14 berths. The picturesque harbor is a favorite spot for Steven Spielberg, owner of the yacht Seven Seas, as well as Russian businessman and billionaire Andrey Melnichenko. Melnichenko, worth an estimated $11.4 billion, owns one of the most loved and loathed ships on the sea –the 394-foot, 300 million superyacht A, designed by Philippe Starck.
1 Marina di Capri, Italy: $4,000 per night
Located off the Amalfi Coast, the sun-splashed island of Capri evokes glittering images of Sophia Loren, Clark Gable, and Jackie Kennedy enjoying la dolce vita. The tiny island has been a hotspot for the rich and famous since the 1950s, and it's a tradition carried on today by A-listers such as George Clooney, Jay Z, and Beyonce. The marina has berths for 10 superyachts, and it’s not uncommon to see Rising Sun or Pelorus, both owned by media mogul David Geffen, floating at anchor during high season.