Venice is on the short list of places the rich and famous like to go in the Mediterranean - especially if they've got a megayacht. I shot these photos from the top deck of a cruise ship as we made our way towards the Adriatic.
One of the most prestigious places to moor such yachts is just off the Puta della Dogana.
The yacht closest to the Dogana is the 171 foot/51 meter Amels known as the "Lady in Blue". She was built in Holland in 2004. Available for charter, she spends the summers in the Mediterranean and the winters in the Caribbean.
The yacht with the very unusual windows is the 244 foot/75 meter "Enigma". Designed by German shipyard Blohm and Voss, she is easily recognized by her mirrored convex windows.
Enigma was launched in 1991 and is one of the largest privately owned yachts. Owned by the son of a British media tycoon, the Enigma is exactly the kind of floating masterpiece you might expect to see moored off the Punta della Dogana.
They actually should not be mooring there, it's a kind of improvised solution. Venice currently has no true luxury yacht marina with adequately extravagant luxury services.
The coffin-swimming article mentioned a few weeks ago says the city may now start building an all-year-around luxury yacht garage, maybe in the Arsenale area, which would bring really good revenue to the municipalty. (Money hopefully for use in social projects to stop the city's population decline. Hope this plan will be realized.)
Using the Arsenale as a mooring location for yachts is indeed quite interesting, but I think it lacks one thing that is fairly important to today's mega-rich tycoon: visibility.
Show me a huge private yacht, and I'll guarantee you that there's an owneer with an ego just as big. Mooring off Dogana might not have some of the luxury amenities found in a marina in Monaco, but it's a heck of a great place to show off your megayacht.
I agree with Tamas Feher; it seems that the marinas for (luxury) yachts should be located on "isola della Certosa" or "Giudecca".
Even the biiiig cruise ships will no longer allowed to pass in front of Piazza San Marco due to increased traffic and possible incident, pollution, wakes and so on.
All Venetians that love thier city hope this!
Gentlemen! Time to replace your gondolas:
The Punta della Salute has been used as a mooring area for centuries however it is true that as far as megayachts are concerned, these berths offer few of the services commonly found in marinas world-wide. Nevertheless in the mind of most people, rich and famous included, when one thinks of Venice one thinks of St. Mark's. Check and you'll see that the berths where a yacht owner or charterer can sit on his megayacht and glance across at St. Mark's square in all it's glory are few and far between to say the least. For all it's defects the berthing area at the Punta della dogana boasts one of the most stunning views of any port worldwide....not even Arsenale will ever be able to compete there.
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