Archive for the ‘Luxury Yachts in Malta’ Category

What a sunbather!

August 7, 2012

Largest solar-powered boat arrives for brief tour of the island –

When Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed around the world in the 16th century, he left Spain with 280 men aboard five ships.

Only one ship and some 20 men would make it back. And while sailing techniques have evolved considerably, taking to the high seas remains a resource-hungry endeavour.

Unless you are one of the five crew members aboard the MS Tûranor Planetsolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, which earlier this year made it around the globe without expending a single gram of fuel.

The 100-foot catamaran is covered with more than 500 square metres of high-efficiency solar panels, which are connected to two electric motors found in its hulls.

Everything aboard, from its navigation system to coffee machine, is powered by the sun’s rays. Malta’s beating summer sun meant that the boat was generating more energy than it could store, captain Eric Dumont explained.

He was reluctant to say how much the boat cost to build, although the Guinness Book of Records puts its cost at a whopping €15 million.

Resources Minister George Pullicino paid the boat and its crew a brief visit yesterday morning. As he admired the feat of engineering, Dr Pullicino drew parallels with the increased uptake of solar-generated electricity by Maltese households.

The majestic boat arrived in Malta on Saturday as part of a brief Mediterranean tour. It will be making brief stops in Balluta Bay, St Paul’s Bay and Għadira Bay on Thursday before docking overnight at Mġarr, Gozo.

It will then leave Maltese shores on Friday morning, gradually making its way back to its home berth in Monaco, where it is expected to undergo a revamp based on the lessons learned throughout its round-the-world voyage.

Always welcome

July 31, 2012


The superyacht Vava II, the 33rd largest in the world costing an incredible €127 million, sailed out of the Grand Harbour yesterday. It belongs to the richest woman in Britain, former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli, and was a present from her Swiss husband, billionaire pharmaceuticals chief Ernesto. It has a fold-down beach club, a helicopter landing pad, four boats to ferry passengers to shore and a swimming pool which can be varied in depth to suit requirements of the guests who stay in luxury cabins. It costs around €300,000 to fill the fuel tank.

Vittoriosa to twin with St Tropez

July 25, 2012


Former French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot may not have descended on Vittoriosa in the 1960s, elevating it to an upmarket destination as the icon had done in St Tropez. But one of the Three Cities is benefitting from her celebrity influence many years down the line.

The French Riviera port in the south of France, associated with famous and wealthy guests, may appear to be worlds apart from Vittoriosa but the two cities are about to be twinned and the latter stands to benefit from the link to the exclusive St Tropez brand.

For the first time, the Côte d’Azur destination, often referred to as the “playground” of jet-setters, models and millionaires, has decided to twin with another port and chose the once neglected but recently regenerated Vittoriosa over others in Europe.

For its mayor, John Boxall, the twinning between the “smallest island in the middle of the Mediterranean, the smallest country in the EU, and one of France’s richest cities means a lot”.

Vittoriosa, he maintained, would automatically experience a quality leap in terms of popularity and the link was expected to “boost Birgu”, leaving an impact on its tourism, with the arrival of more superyachts in the marina serving to strengthen its economy.

“The yachting industry is big business,” Mr Boxall acknowledged, adding it led to even more regeneration. He was convinced the town, which already hosts luxury yachts and was still being upgraded, should benefit from the connection with the internationally known seaside resort and so should the country.

The twinning idea was born a couple of years ago through former Maltese Ambassador to France, Mark Miggiani, and Ambassador Pierre Clive Agius has continued in his predecessor’s footsteps.

The hook has been the prestigious regatta Trophée Bailli de Suffren from St Tropez to Malta, which has, since this year, ended at the Vittoriosa Waterfront and should be the yearly finishing line.

Although the two ports would not appear to have much in common, French Admiral Pierre André de Suffren de Saint Tropez (1729–1788), who served with the Knights of the Order of St John, is a common denominator that has been capitalised on.

Thanks to the regatta and the consequent twinning, the two ports could take advantage of each others’ potential, be it history, or tourism, Mr Boxall said.

“Big names have already started arriving in Vittoriosa, thanks to the regatta, and more are expected in the future,” he continued.

While St Tropez enjoyed celebrity status, Vittoriosa – “the cradle of Maltese civilisation” – boasted the history, Mr Boxall pointed out. He was recently invited by St Tropez mayor Jean-Pierre Tuveri for the start of the regatta and to lay wreaths at the admiral’s monument.

The plan is to sign the twinning agreement in the fitting and newly renovated Auberge de France during Birgufest in October, which includes the Birgu by Candlelight event.

Malta becomes biggest ship registry in Europe

January 23, 2012


For the first time in its maritime history, Malta has been confirmed as the country with the largest ship register in Europe.

Following a 16 per cent increase in tonnage, the island surpassed Greece
By the end of the year, 5,830 vessels – a total of 45.6 million tonnes – were registered under the Maltese flag, Transport Minister Austin Gatt has said.

“Following a 16 per cent increase in tonnage, the island surpassed Greece for the first time. Although it’s the smallest European country, Malta has the seventh largest ship register in the world,” he said.

Dr Gatt said that during 2011, the Maltese shipping register generated over €12 million in revenue for Transport Malta alone.

This significant achievement was mainly attributed to the register’s high-service quality which attracted reputable companies, Dr Gatt added. Applicants had to pass through a rigorous selection process and not every owner who expressed interest in joining the register was accepted.

The condition and the age of prospective members are a major factor in the determination of whether they would make it to the register.

Malta’s register listed various types of vessels, including cruise liners like the Royal Caribbean, and super yachts, which registered an increase of 18.6 per cent over the previous year.

Record-breaking 80 entries registered Previous best was 77 in 2008

October 13, 2011

A record has been broken even before the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race on October 22, it was announced yesterday.

Days before final registration for this year’s event, entries have risen to a record-breaking 80 and there are still a few days to go before the last entry can be accepted.

New entries from Italy, Serbia, Slovenia and the UK have pushed the numbers up to 80, three more than the previous record of 77 in 2008.

“We can accept late entries up until October 17 and we do expect one or two more, said Georges Bonello Dupuis, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

“As it is, entries for this year are incredible and we are really looking forward to seeing them all berthed outside our headquarters… the place will be buzzing,” he added.

A handful of boats are here, including previous RMSR line honours and overall winner, Alegre together with back-to-back Rolex Fastnet winner Ran 2.

Other arrivals include the UK Swan 57 Yellowdrama, who’ll be fighting for the new Nautor Swan Cup, Echo, Doppelbock (Germany and UK) and Filando and Tyke from Italy.

Filando’s 14-man crew are here for the first time to take part in a race that they consider “the best offshore regatta in the Mediterranean.”

Many of the entries will arrive this weekend, including the brand new 85-foot Nautor Swan Berenice, from Italy.

While good weather over the weekend will ease the passage of arriving yachts, Bonello Dupuis cautioned: “I expect one or two might have problems but fingers crossed that everyone arrives here safely… they will certainly receive a warm welcome.”

The Rolex Middle Sea Race is organised in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and has been sponsored by Rolex since 2002.

$200 million yacht in Comino – Times of Malta

July 15, 2011

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or

There’s no port like home – Times of Malta by David Schembri

July 14, 2011

The ship at the Grand Harbour, yesterday.

It’s not hard to see why Capt. Paolo Giacomo Reale calls the Amerigo Vespucci “the most beautiful ship in the world”.

Launched in 1931, Italy’s tall ship floats proudly in the Grand Harbour, its octogenarian masts climbing defiantly into the sky above.

“She is like an old lady,” Capt. Reale says, explaining that every year the ship went into the shipyards for maintenance and repairs.

The ship is currently on a tour of the Mediterranean, which serves to train the midshipmen of the Italian Naval Academy, who spend 75 days at sea learning their way around the hundreds of ropes on board.

“The best seafaring formation is taught by sailing,” the captain says from the luxurious officer’s quarters.

“After a year of theory at the academy, they can meet nature, the sea, the wind, the rough sea – they get to learn more about themselves and their limits – and it’s good to know those when you’re 53 metres up a mast,” the captain says.

Of the 400 people on board, 111 are students – and 22 of the latter, the captain is keen to point out, are women.

The tour will take all on board to Haifa, Limassol, Istanbul, Odessa, Sevastopol, Athens and back to Livorno.

With all these ports, what is the most beautiful harbour the captain has visited?

“For every sailor, I think the best port is ‘home sweet home’,” Capt. Reale said.

The ship is also a Unicef ambassador, with its port calls also taking on a humanitarian dimension.

True to form, yesterday the ship hosted the launch of a Mediterranean regatta and seminar to be held in Malta, called Handy Cup, aimed at bringing together 200 young people with a disability from the Mediterranean to race against each other and participate in seminars focused on disability issues.

The event will be held through September 9 to 11, and is being organised by Handy Cup, Inspire with the help of the Italian Embassy in Malta, and the Education Ministry.

The ship will be open to the public from 10 a.m. till noon.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or

Classic yachts grace harbour ‘Ideal berthing location’- Times of Malta

July 12, 2011

Grand Harbour Marina in Vittoriosa last week welcomed a fleet of 18 classic sailing boats taking part in the tenth edition of the annual regatta Trophée du Bailli de Suffren. The fleet set sail from Saint Tropez, south of France, sailed through Porto Rotondo, Sardegna and Pantalleria and finished off at the Grand Harbour Marina on Tuesday.

The participating yachts in the 580 mile, 12-day offshore race ranged in size between 11 and 64 metres. They dated from the 1914 classic Moonbeam IV through to the Atlantic, built last year.

Recognised as one of the most beautiful races in the Mediterranean, the race is reserved for classic yachts and was organised in collaboration with the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

“The Trophée du Bailli de Suffren is a great boat show and we are very proud to have hosted the final juncture of this exclusive classic yacht event,” Vittoriosa Marina manager Ben Stuart said.

“Our Grand Harbour Marina, with Malta’s mediaeval bastions as a natural backdrop, is the ideal berthing location for these amazing boats…”

The race was named after Pierre André de Suffren, an Admiral of the French Navy who came to Malta in 1748 to perform cruises with the Order’s galleys.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or

Superyacht – Times of Malta

June 23, 2011

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The 66-metre super sloop Aglaia basked in the sun at Grand Harbour yesterday. Designed by Dubois Naval Architects, it was delivered to its owner this spring. The Aglaia is shrouded in secrecy; no details have been revealed by anyone involved. What is known is that it has one of the largest composite rudders ever made, constructed by Green Marine.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or

Superyachts bring touch of class to Grand Harbour Marina-Article from Times of Malta by Juan Ameen

April 29, 2011

By Mark Zammit Cordina

Sleek and luxurious, the multimillion dollar superyachts berthed in Grand Harbour Marina at Vittoriosa are richly furnished floating homes equipped with the latest technology and powerful engines. Ranging from the 77-metre long Samar, and the 75-metre long Anastasia to the 33-metre long Daniella, the yachts are regular visitors to Grand Harbour, which has had a very busy four months in what is considered to be a dry spell in the boating season. Not only are superyachts powerful but they are also beautifully furnished with the most expensive materials. A French-owned yacht, which just sailed out of an Italian boatyard, had a smooth wooden deck – the smell of freshly cut trees still in the air. Once past the gangplank, the interior of the superyacht is furnished in a soft grey, with pale wood furniture and chrome trimmings. In the huge master bedroom below deck, a flat screen television set and two red pieces of artwork dominate and give a splash of colour to the room while the en suite bathroom, equipped with shower, tub and granite sinks, offers comfort combined with luxury. The first four months of this year have proved to be quite busy for Grand Harbour Marina with bookings for the berthing of 11 superyachts and another three are expected to enter the marina in the coming weeks. “Eleven might seem a small number but we are speaking of superyachts and, economically speaking, these are among the most lucrative sources for the local economy,” marina general manager Ben Stuart said. “Over and above the economic figures, this is about hosting some of the most impressive boats that are usually sailing round the world.” Boats of this size are usually berthed along the main quay underneath Fort St Angelo, which is reserved for the bigger super­­­yachts. “In fact, ours is the only marina fully-equipped to cater for the largest superyachts that can sometimes reach a length of up to 120 meters. Having boats of this size constantly visiting us confirms the marina as a leading destination in Malta and the Mediterranean,” Mr Stuart said.

For further information, kindly contact 77 Great Estates on (00356) 2125 2455; (00356) 9944 7444; skype: info.77GreatEstates or