Long revered by locals, the Balearic Islands are now starting to develop as a mainstream yacht charter destination. Bespoke Yacht Charter looks at the best way to plan a charter across the Spanish islands and what to look out for whilst in the Balearics.
Located east from mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands are accessible via flights to Palma de Mallorca Airport on Mallorca, Menorca Airport just southwest of Mahón on Menorca or Ibiza Airport on Ibiza. Due to the proximity of the Balearics to mainland Spain, many yacht charter guests also opt to begin their yacht charter in Barcelona, Valencia or Denia.
The Balearic Islands themselves include Mallorca (Majorca), Menorca (Minorca), Cabrera, Ibiza, Formentera and S’Espalmador, with the three most popular islands being Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca. The high season stretches from May to September with July and August being the busiest moments thanks to average temperatures of 27 to 30 degrees.
Spring is a lovely time to visit the Balearics when the fiestas are starting and the weather is warm. Autumn still hovers around 18 to 25 degrees Celsius and you’ll find off-peak seasons still have mild and pleasant weather, making the Balearics an appealing yacht charter destination in any season.
Alexander Coles, Charter Broker, Bespoke Yacht Charter
The Balearic Islands have been ruled by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, and Spaniards, all of whom have left their mark with impressive architecture, diverse cuisine and lasting traditions contributing to the unhurried culture. There are bustling coastal resorts as well as sleepy bohemian villages; you can find pumping nightclubs as well as quiet tapas bars. The clear turquoise waters are ideal for trying out your charter yacht’s water toys – spend a morning paddle boarding, go diving, or snorkel at a treasure chest of beautiful beaches and coves.
The diversity on offer is excellent for all yacht charter guests – whether you prefer to lounge onboard your private yacht during the day and party at night, go shopping, head inland for outdoor activities such as hiking or indulge in a yoga retreat or spa day ashore.
Menorca, located northeast of Mallorca is a quieter alternative to Mallorca or Ibiza. It is a fantastic island to begin your Balearics yacht charter, after which you can visit Mallorca then Ibiza. Mahón, also known as Maó, is the capital of Menorca and a port town with a leisurely pace – the ideal yacht charter base. We recommend Café Mirador with a terrace overlooking Mahón Port to enjoy a pomada (local gin and lemonade) or platter of sobrasada sausage before embarking on your private yacht charter.
First stop for many yacht charters is Palma de Mallorca, known as Palma. Palma de Mallorca is the island version of Barcelona with funky wine bars, stunning architecture and great shopping. It is the perfect jumping off point for any yacht charter to explore the rest of Mallorca. Other towns to visit include Port d’Andratx, Sóller, Alcúdia, Deià or Valldemossa.
Mallorca has over 300 beaches with diverse surroundings such as pine groves, coastal rocks or dunes. Renting a yacht to explore Mallorca is an excellent option to find the best deserted coves and beaches away from the crowds.
Known as the ‘White Isle’, Ibiza is famous for its hedonistic nightlife however it is a fantastic yacht charter destination for relaxation too. Away from the busier southeast coastline, you can find quieter sandy beaches and white washed villages with idyllic settings.
The west coast of Ibiza is sheltered from the prevailing winds from the east and from San Antonio to Es Vedra you’ll have a hard time picking a beach or cove more perfect than the next. Enjoy a romantic meal ashore at Ses Roques restaurant admiring the beautiful view over Cala Conta, anchor in picturesque Cala Porroig with fisherman’s huts fringing the tranquil cove or spend a leisurely afternoon on land at El Chiringuito at Playa Es Cavallet, a chic beachside restaurant with an excellent wine list, mouth-watering cocktails and superb food.
Ibiza’s sister island is just half an hour south by boat and the perks of having your own private yacht charter means you don’t have to abide by the ferry timetables back to Ibiza. With no airport servicing Formentera, there’s generally less crowds and the island exudes a chilled-out vibe with plenty of opportunities to relax on your luxury yacht charter and decompress from daily life once the day trippers leave Es Pujols and return to Ibiza.
Known for its amazing azure waters, there’s no shortage of breath-taking beaches on Formentera including Playa Migjorn in the south and Cala Saona on the west coast of the island. Playa de Ses Illetes will make you think you’re in the Caribbean with fine white sand and transparent turquoise water. Popular with visiting charter yachts and A-listers it is a fantastic place to relax for a few hours, though best visited outside of peak summer when the crowds are busiest.
Regardless of your itinerary when arriving to the Balearics, booking early is key in Spain as few yachts are in the region during peak months, leading to last minute requests, often finding no suitable yachts in the region.
Author: Rebecca Whitlocke
Cristiano Ronaldo, a living legend of the football world and one of the highest-paid athletes ever, has shared pictures of his family holidays aboard a 47-metre Benetti superyacht Africa in the French Riviera. The photos were posted on the social media accounts of an athlete whose yearly earnings were estimated at $109 million (Forbes). Africa is Benetti's FB501 hull, launched in Italy in 2010 and christened Imagination by her original owner. Two years later, she was put on the market through Camper & Nicholsons asking € 22,000,000. After price reduction up to €16,500,000, the yacht was sold through Camper in 2014 and renamed Africa. In 2016, she was listed for sale once again, with the deal closed in January 2018 at the asking price of € 16,750,000. With a beam of 8.5 metres and a draft of 2.8 metres, the yacht boasts interior volume of of 492 GT. Built to an aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure, Africa features exteriors by Stefano Natucci and interiors by Francois Zuretti.The motor yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests across 6 cabins, including a master suite, four doubles and a twin cabin. As to the amenities on-board, Africa is fitted with a spacious Jacuzzi on the sun deck and a fully-equipped gym.According to The Sun, the yacht comes equipped with multiple water toys including two Seadoo RXP-X RS 300 Waverunners jet skis, one Seadoo 260 HP Waverunner jet ski, two F5S Seabobs, paddle board, wake board, and snorkelling equipment.Two MTU engines propel the yacht to a maximum speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 20 knots. Africa's maximum range is estimated at 3,400 nautical miles.
June 25, 2019
Benetti has announced the sale of the first superyacht to fly under Chinese flag, with a certificate issued by the China Classification Society. The 65-metre custom yacht FB270 continues the group’s success in the Asia Pacific area, following the recent sales of a Mediterraneo 116, Fast 125 and 50M custom yachts.Mr. Fu Buming, Port Administration Chief at the Department of Commerce of Hainan province, explains:Hainan is striving to become an international tourist centre, in accordance with the state’s general guidelines and requirements, in order to further develop the city as a first-class port tourism destination with a window to display world-class yachts and innovation within the global yachting industry.FB270 is a custom yacht with a steel hull and an aluminium superstructure. She features exteriors by Giorgio M. Cassetta in collaboration with Benetti in-house design team and Pierluigi Ausonio. The interiors present colourways reminiscent of the sea, beaches and tropical islands, with a design developed entirely in-house by Maria Rosa Remedi of the Benetti Interior Style Department.Some distinctive features on-board FB270 include the service bathrooms on every deck and a wealth of technical spaces and storage areas. Special care has been taken to separate crew flows from the guest areas to ensure maximum guest privacy.Peter Mahony, General Manager Benetti Yachts Asia, commented:The sale of FB270 shows that an evolution is taking place and that a market will adapt to its new environment if an open mind, hard work and can do attitude is shared by all parties involved.FB270 has been scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, the sale represents more of an uncommon trend among the Chinese rich, who are keen to avoid buying private yachts. The same cannot be said for American customers, with just a recent order of a 67-metre superyacht from Benetti.
June 25, 2019
Turkish builder ADA Yacht Works has launched its latest 49.9-metre motor-sailing yacht named All About U 2 in Bodrum, Turkey. The vessel represents a sistership to the 2018 All About U, carrying multiple similarities with the vessel that took the water a year ago.Built on a grey steel hull and aluminium superstructure, All About U 2 features design by Ginton Naval Architects. Within her 6-cabin layout, the yacht offers accommodation to up to 12 guests on the lower deck with a full-beam master suite forward, one VIP suite and four doubles. Grey, orange and brown accents prevail in the interior decoration for a ‘contemporary’ appearance. Large windows flood the interior with natural light, while a formal dining area with seats for up to 12 guests has been moved forward. The yacht comes fitted with diverse water toys and tenders including Seabobs and paddleboards. Other hallmarks onboard comprise a sundeck bar and an open plan beach club, revealed by a folding transom.Propelled by a pair of 800 hp engines, the yacht will be capable of a top speed of 14.8 knots and comfortable cruising at 12 knots.With her mast now stepped, All About U 2 will now undergo sea trials ahead of delivery later in summer. After that, she will be managed for charter by Turk Yacht in the Turkish and Greek waters.
June 25, 2019
With the recent loss of the 40-metre sailing superyacht My Song that has created a buzz in the media, Yacht Harbour takes a look over some of the major accidents resulting in superyachts destructions in the recent years.#1. 100-metre plus new build superyacht destroyed by fire at LürssenIn September 2018, a large fire broke out at Lürssen's Bremen shipyard in a floating dock and building unit where the over-100-metre yacht was under construction. Various social media posts pointed out the damaged new build, 3 decks of which at least have caught on fire, to be the 146-metre Project Sassi, which was reportedly due for delivery within several months.Over 110 firefighters were dispatched to the site, no one was injured during the incident but the new build reportedly took serious damage. The development was further set to hit the insurance sector with a group of marine insurers that could be facing a payment of up to €590 million over the fire.#2. Hundreds of luxury yachts destroyed by storm in Italian RappalloIn November 2018, coasts of Italy have been pounded by the waves of extreme weather, causing violent waves up to 10 metres and winds up to 180 km/h, breaking a lot of luxury yachts from their berths in Rapallo and killing at least 11 people. Local media described the landscape around the port of Rapallo as an apocalyptic. Marina's director told there were 390 yachts in the marina, with the half of them destroyed. There was storm barrier for 300 metres, rebuilt after the collapse in 2000, but it wasn't enough for such an extreme event. City of Venice is reported to be 75% submerged. Among others, the yacht of Silvio Berlusconi was also damaged in disaster.#3. 42-metre Benetti superyacht Lalibela destroyed by fireIn October 2018, a major fire broke out on board the 42 metre Benetti superyacht Lalibela built in 1972. The yacht was heavily damaged due to fire, which broke out at the night while she was docked near Cannes, France. The fire destroyed the top deck and cabins inside, reports Maritime Bulletin. Firefighters were called to the yacht, and worked for over 12 hours to extinguish the fire. The blaze was reported to have destroyed the top deck and cabins inside. Luckily, the two people on board at the time the fire broke out were safely evacuated.#4. Devastating fire on-board 40-metre superyacht KangaIn September 2018, he newly delivered CCN superyacht Kanga caught devastating fire, just days before her expected debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival. Kanga was heavily damaged, with the extent of the damage still unknown.The 40-metre superyacht caught fire while being between the isles of Olipa and Mali Vratnik in Croatia. All thirteen people - 9 guests and 4 crew members were successfully rescued from the vessel. #5. Hurricane Irma destroys numerous yachts and causes multiple fatalitiesThe biggest superyacht disaster of 2017, a category 4 Hurricane Irma caused severe damage to the Caribbean and Florida region. Yachts based in the region and moored in local marinas were also amongst the infrastructure ravaged in the area. Barbuda and St Maarten were among the worst affected areas, with multiple fatalities and declaring a state of emergency.With strong winds slamming yachts onto decks, snapping mooring lines and simply damaging some areas of yachts by themselves. Several yachts were reported destroyed, including the 40 metre Mondomarine superyacht Sierra Romeo, Benetti Delfino 93 and the 112 Westport, Pipe Dreams, built in 1999 by the American shipyard. In the months since, the superyacht community has come together to support Caribbean welfare and rebuilding efforts but it will be many months before the damage is fully repaired.#6. 71m The One and 52m Barbie damaged by fire in MarmarisIn January 2016, a major yacht fire broke out at Marmaris marina devastating two prominent superyachts. The blaze was understood to originate on-board the 70.68-metre Lürssen yacht The One, further spreading to a neighbouring vessel, the 52-metre Al Jadaf superyacht Barbie. Other yachts stationed in the harbor have left the harbor to escape the fire. London-based insurance firm Hiscox MGA later announced that Lloyd’s insurers had paid out $20 million to the owner of Barbie. Paul Miller, director of marine underwriting, said it was the largest superyacht claim that the insurance industry had dealt with in a long time.#7. 33m superyacht Aloha sunk in MykonosIn August 2015, shocking pictures of a superyacht sinking off of Mykonos, Greece rocked the web. The clarity of the water gave an unusually up-close glimpse at this sinking yacht, showing ever detail of the 33 metre yacht Aloha's demise. The yacht represented Navetta 33 custom line. According to the Mykonos Daily, the yacht hit a reef. Fortunately, the four guests on board when the Aloha grounded were able to escape unharmed.
June 24, 2019
Sold in November 2017 at Christie's for $450.3 million, the painting Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci has become the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. Nearly two years later, it is still unknown where the piece is located, while art market website Artnet has published an opinion piece by art dealer Kenny Schachter assuming that the painting is on-board the 134-metre superyacht Serene. Salvator Mundi, Leonardo da Vinci As it was first shared by The New York Times, the superyacht previously owned by Russian billionaire, Yuri Shefler, now supposedly belongs to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Reportedly, the oligarch sold his superyacht in July 2015 to Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince for $458 million. Built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, at the time of her delivery, Serene was the nineth largest yacht in the world. She features exterior lines drawn by Espen Oeino and series of interior innovations by British design studio Reymond Langton.Stretching over a beam of 18.5 meters, Serene is 6 decks tall and boasts a myriad of amenities that few five-star hotels have. One of her most noticeable features from the outside is her suppressed bathtub located aft of the sundeck. One of the seven pools onboard Serene, the Jacuzzi on the top deck is surrounded by lounging pad for sunbathing. Forward of the hot tub is a fully-stocked, wet bar underneath the yacht's observational deck that features an additional set of sun loungers.Inside, Serene incorporates a sophisticated mix of cream and dark colours with wooden fixtures. Offering views from any imaginable vantage point, Serene's sky lounge is equipped with a myriad of sofas, chairs and coffee tables for cocktails and tea.A more formal location designed for the entertainment of larger groups, the main lounge features white colours with dark tones. At the centre of the room is a piano with cocktail tables spread out across the room. Interestingly, this lounge sits just over the main dining room with its chandelier hanging through the two spaces and letting the music spread.Each space on Serene features a different set of colours, all coordinated across one central theme that spreads around the yacht with circles both on the floor and on the ceiling to create a sense of symmetry. Some of Serene's unique features include an indoor climbing wall as well as an underwater observation lounge.The 134-meter yacht can carry a total of 24 guests across 12 staterooms divided into one master suite with essentially an owner's deck, a VIP cabin, three twin cabins and seven double staterooms. Serene carries a crew of over 40 people onboard.Returning to the painting, it’s been long been believed that Saudi prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud who had placed the winning bid for Salvator Mundi, was acting on behalf of the crown prince, reports CNN Style. Despite an official denial from the Saudi embassy in late 2017, stating that Prince Badr had acted as an intermediary for the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism instead, bin Salman has never released a statement himself confirming or denying his role in the purchase.First supposed to go on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi last year, the painting would reportedly remain on-board Serene until the crown prince completes a new cultural hub in Al-Ula, according to Schachter. This could be not the first case of possible storage of highly expensive works of art on-board superyachts, with, for instance, British billionaire Joe Lewis keeping Francis Bacon’s $70 million ‘Triptych 1974 – 1977’, aboard the 98-metre superyacht Aviva, according to Bloomberg.
June 24, 2019