Biggest black rock band in the world Earth Wind & Fire, Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson, Gloria I-Will-Survive Gaynor, Slovenian-Croatian cello duo 2Cellos, Buena Vista Social Club’s Omara Portuondo and Spanish flamenco singer Diego El Cigala, ELO spinoff The Orchestra, guitar maestro George Benson, 90s chart-toppers Ace of Base, Corona, Snap! and Whigfield, and Welsh heartthrob Sir Tom Jones. A What’s On for London’s Royal Albert Hall perhaps? Schedule for Barcelona’s Estadi Olímpic? Believe it or not that’s actually a résumé of just some of the acts dynamic visionary Port Adriano has laid on for an adoring public over the last three years. “Impressive” is rather the understatement.
Conceived as a marina back in 1974, with the mother of all Starck-inspired makeovers in 2012, Port Adriano has never been the shy retiring wallflower type. In 2013 it hosted its first ‘Discover the Live Music’ summer festival, securing the support of internationally-acclaimed artists, and has since gone on to welcome thousands upon thousands of music fans directly to the heart of the marina.
Far from being a one-trick pony, Port Adriano mixes live music with short film contests, renowned illusionists, a cooking master class from a two-Michelin-starred chef, the annual Street Food Festival, and Sunset Yoga attended by upwards of 400 people each year. There’s also the ‘Best of Yachting’ boat show, The MultihullCup, Moto Club Calvià’s Trial Competition, Mallorca Classic Week and the marina’s signature Fun Parade which surprises unsuspecting visitors with carefully-choreographed comical sketches and whimsical mime acts. It’s exhausting just reading it. But it’s arguably what ‘Mallorca’s newest marina’ has become most famous for – that and the superyachts.
Half-British half-Spanish Operations Director, Isabel Teruel, has been at Port Adriano’s helm since 1996 and overseen its transformation. Her events programme is one of Port Adriano’s not-so-secret weapons. “Since we enlarged the Port, we decided that we wanted to be different,” said Isabel. “We wanted to be a marina open to everyone, whether they owned a boat or not – exclusive but not excluding, friendly and honest. The events programme is integral to that ethos and it’s really motivating when we talk to people about the marina and they say, “Hey, you’re doing some really good shows there!””
If that’s how well they look after their ‘public’, imagine the lengths they go to to accommodate their yachting guests – home-porters and those just passing through.
Starting out as a humble unassuming 404 berth marina, the 90-million-euro revamp by uber-successful eccentric French designer Philippe Starck transformed Port Adriano into a 488 berth superyacht haven that has got the whole Med talking.
Positioned at the southwest tip of the Bay of Palma, 20km by road to the Island’s capital city, Port Adriano’s set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The protected Malgrats Islands and El Toro Marine Reserve are right on the doorstep while the UNESCO-designated Tramuntana coastline is just around the corner. The marina is not only easily accessible for the entire western Med (and the closest Balearic marina to Barcelona) but Palma also has the added convenience of Europe’s most-connected airport with 182 connections throughout peak summer season and a plane taking off or landing every 90 seconds.
Despite more than half of the berths (around 250) catering to petite boats between six and eight metres, Port Adriano self-styles as ‘the most modern superyacht marina in the Mediterranean’ and accommodates boats up to 110 metres in length. Typically tight-lipped in revealing exactly which grandiose superyachts have graced Port Adriano with their presence (client confidentiality is king) I can certainly attest sighting 99m Feadship Madame Gu, 60m CRN Blue Eyes London, 61m Feadship Samadhi, 62m Viareggio RoMa, 70m Rossinavi High Power III and 88m Perini Navi Maltese Falcon – to name but a handful. 80m Oceanco Amevi appeared to have a more permanent residence, although Isabel will say little more than “it’s worth visiting the Port to see the yachts for yourself!”.
Part of the reason why the world’s best superyachts feel so at home in Port Adriano is because Monsieur Starck knows how beautifully designed and immaculately put together they are these days – and so he should having been the design flair behind the likes of Steve Jobs’ 78m Feadship Venus and Andrey Melnichenko’s infamous duo 120m motoryacht A and 142m Sailing Yacht A. Philippe knows the detail is just as important as the bigger picture and crafted everything from the kitsch standard lamp street lighting to the curvaceous mooring bollards – all in the best possible taste. Meanwhile the stunning 200 metre long central commercial area is lidded in a carpet of lush vegetation – it’s quite exquisite.
Despite the obvious glamour and luxury, rather like a Labour Party manifesto slogan Port Adriano promises to be “for the many, not the few”. It has 11 restaurants offering a great variety of cuisine at a great variety of price points as well as a colourful mix of businesses from fashion boutiques to jewellers, real estate agents to watersports outlets and a high street bank to a branch of El Corte Ingles supermarket. There’s also a gymnasium for crew and the general public (currently being upgraded by a crack team of personal trainers) and a diving, surf, sailing and SUP centre.
Drilling down to more yachty-specific services, Port Adriano provides in-berth fuelling (12,000 litres/hour), waste water disposal and bilge water extraction at the mooring, fibre optic, wifi and switchboard, security cameras and patrolled guards, storage units, a concierge service, MARPOL (Marine Pollution) certificate and a 10,000m² repair and refit yard which benefits from a hefty 250 tonne travel lift.
Someone who knows Port Adriano better than most is Captain David Horn, currently presiding over 40 metre Maiora Always Believe.
“I was first in Port Adriano in the 1990s when it was still an ordinary port on the southwest coast of Mallorca,” says David. “Back then I was visiting the Islands with a small 30 metre yacht and we would go to the south to find spectacular anchoring areas that were really liked by the owners and guests. It was also a good location from which to jump straight over to Ibiza, cruising overnight and waking for breakfast at a nice Ibiza beach. The superyacht marina was not yet built and we had to stay at anchor for the night in any nearby bay before making the crossing.”
“Several years later, in 2013, I started a new captains position on a 40 metre yacht based in Port Adriano and came to see the fantastic works they had done making it a full-size port with berths up to 100 metres plus and a full line-up of very good restaurants to choose from.”
“The port has a philosophy of assisting you with any needs as a professional while also attending to the wants and needs of guests, whether that’s arranging a golf tour or a taxi service to the back of the yacht – we all know how difficult these simple things can be when you are out of your home port.”
“They have events and concerts over the summer that amuse everyone from youngsters to the elderly with carnivals processing through the marina and live actors coming around the restaurants. I have not only brought my guests here from the yacht but also my own family. Over winter they organise crew activities so we can socialize between yachts via cart competitions, hikes around the Island and the like.”
“The policy of the port is to be completely environmentally friendly. It’s one of only a handful on the Island where you can discharge your black tanks right at your berth, this makes International Safety Management much easier to comply with.”
“What more can I say, I have been here now for four years as a base port going around all the Balearic Islands and hope there will be many more to come.”
AIGUA SEA SCHOOL OPENS IN PORT ADRIANO
Aigua Sea School, an established sea school in Palma since 2006, opened its second training location last month. Port Adriano now boasts an officially recognised training centre of the Royal Yachting Association, and the Aigua Training Team is running Powerboat and Personal Watercraft courses from their new base.
Aigua Sea School has enjoyed close links with the Port for many years benefitting from excellent working relationships with well-established companies such as Nautiparts, Top Boats, Marlin Marine, Catany Boat Club and MYG to name a few, so the process of seeking official recognition to become the first RYA Training Centre in Port Adriano was a natural progression of the school’s reputation as a leading maritime training provider.
The Aigua team will focus their attention on the smaller boat schemes of Personal Watercraft (PW) and Powerboat at the Adriano base and maintain their professional Yachtmaster training activities in Palma to meet the demand of the Palma based yacht crew.
Aigua’s Chief Instructor at the base is Daan van Koelen, a well-known and respected Dutch-born Instructor who has been working within Port Adriano for many years. Securing his instructor certificates through Aigua’s instructor programme, Daan teaches the RYA Powerboat Handling Level 2 course and the one-day Personal Watercraft Proficiency training course required to ride ‘jet ski’.
Adriano provides a well-sheltered training area though the seas outside the port can often be fierce, and therefore excellent for advanced training. Amenities within the port are superb with a variety of bars and cafes where students can relax over lunch before returning to their vessels to continue intensive training.
The two-day Powerboat Level 2 course is the ideal training to handle vessels up to 10m and, whilst predominantly a practical course, includes 15-20% theoretical time to understand safety at sea, collision regulations, pilotage skills and passage planning. Successful completion of the course can lead to the application for the International Certificate for Operator of Pleasure Craft, commonly referred to as ‘the ICC’. Eligibility is based on competence secured through the course completion and nationality/residency. Nationals and residents of Spain are eligible to apply. A full list of accepted nationalities is available at the Aigua Sea School office.
The one-day course to achieve the Personal Watercraft Proficiency certificate is ‘fast, furious and fun’ with some theory and safety knowledge required before riding these terrific water toys. Safety is, of course, paramount and the safe and responsible handling of the vessels is essential, with the use of the KILL CORD playing a integral part in every training course.
Own Boat Tuition is also offered in Port Adriano and the training team work alongside charter companies and yacht brokers to ensure owners gain the most of their own vessel, safely and to maximum enjoyment.
Aigua Sea School has been running RYA courses in Mallorca since 2006 and is currently enjoying another successful Yachtmaster season with over 92% pass rates in both disciplines, sail and motor. Using 14 different examiners throughout the early 2017 training season, Principal Linda Revill realises the importance of using a variety of examiners, “our pass rate for Yachtmaster is consistently very high as we ensure that the candidates receive the very best of training under the care of the Aigua Yachtmaster Training Team. Engaging a number of examiners to come to the island to assess our candidates just confirms this: eight examiners for SAIL with a 93.94% pass rate and eight examiners for MOTOR presenting us with a pass rate of 92.45%”
For training in either Palma or Port Adriano with Aigua Sea School please contact the training team on 871 230 373 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The school office opens at 08:30 each weekday and remains open until 18:00hrs. We look forward to training you.