Porthole Cruise Magazine - - Front Page - By LYNN and CELE SEL­DON

Though we’ll likely never own a 150-foot-plus megay­acht with all the ameni­ties imag­in­able, it’s never stopped us from yacht-watch­ing in cruise ports around the world. Whether they’re ogled from our ship’s bal­cony, dur­ing a stroll along the wa­ter, or out in a har­bor, there’s just some­thing spe­cial about a sleek su­pery­acht docked in a world-class ma­rina or an­chored out in the calm har­bor. » Of course, most up­scale mari­nas around the world are pri­vate and don’t al­low just any­one to come traips­ing into their priv­i­leged world. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t op­por­tu­ni­ties to get up-close and per­sonal with mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar yachts by us­ing salt-en­crusted and well-worn binoc­u­lars, some friendly charm at cer­tain ma­rina gates, and even kayak­ing your way out into the har­bor for a closer look. » Though there are dozens of pic­turesque mari­nas around the world, here are 20 top cruise des­ti­na­tions that fea­ture se­ri­ous yacht­ing cul­tures for those, like us, with yacht-spot­ting fix­a­tions.



With more mil­lion­aires per square mile than any­where else on land or sea on any given day, Monte Carlo’s sparkling har­bor is sim­ply su­pery­acht heaven. The con­ve­nient cruise ship ter­mi­nal is lit­er­ally right next to the yacht har­bor in Port Her­cules. For a meal with a view of yachts, lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike head to Quai des Artistes brasserie. Wa­ter-lovers will also want to visit the Musée Océanographique — a huge aquar­ium and mar­itime mu­seum. Those lucky enough to be in Monte Carlo in late Septem­ber will also want to at­tend the megay­acht-cen­tric Monaco Yacht Show in Port Her­cules.


Mi­ami, Florida

» It didn’t take liv­ing in Mi­ami Beach or watch­ing Mi­ami Vice re­runs to re­mind us that the Mi­ami yacht­ing scene is some­thing that has to be seen to be be­lieved. Su­pery­achts from around the world con­gre­gate in Mi­ami year-round, but they’re espe­cially preva­lent dur­ing Mi­ami’s warm win­ters. The mari­nas near Mi­ami’s bustling port play host to nu­mer­ous celebri­ties and their yachts, while Fe­bru­ary’s Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Boat Show is a star-stud­ded af­fair — where the yachts are the stars.


Fort Laud­erdale, Florida

» Lo­cated in the “Venice of Amer­ica,” where more than 40,000 yachts are reg­is­tered, Port Ever­glades pro­vides an­other per­fect pre- or post-cruise area to view South Florida’s res­i­dent and vis­it­ing yachts. Like de­par­tures from the Port of Mi­ami, leav­ing Port Ever­glades on a cruise ship of­ten in­cludes some great yacht-watch­ing from the ship’s decks or bal­conies. Plus, Novem­ber’s Fort Laud­erdale In­ter­na­tional Boat Show gets us even more up-close and per­sonal with yachts from around the cor­ner or around the world.

It didn’t take watch­ing Mi­ami Vice re­runs to re­mind us that the Mi­ami yacht­ing scene is some­thing that has to be seen to be be­lieved.


New­port, Rhode Is­land

» No port in Amer­ica “says” yacht­ing more than boat-crazed New­port. Vis­it­ing cruise ship pas­sen­gers can sim­ply head to the wa­ter­front and en­joy gaz­ing at yachts in the mari­nas, yacht clubs, or an­chored out in the har­bor. Nau­ti­cal knick­knacks abound in New­port at var­i­ous town shops, and yacht-watch­ers will def­i­nitely want to head to the Mu­seum of Yacht­ing, sit­u­ated on the cam­pus of the In­ter­na­tional Yacht Restora­tion School. Of course, Septem­ber’s New­port In­ter­na­tional Boat Show brings out the best in the town’s yacht­ing cul­ture.


St. Thomas, United States Vir­gin Is­lands

» Home base of the Vir­gin Is­lands Char­ter Yacht League and a host of busy mari­nas and pic­ture-per­fect har­bors, St. Thomas is one of many Caribbean ports of call that fea­tures seem­ingly con­stant yacht-watch­ing from cruise ships and on land. Easily reached from Haven­sight Pier, Yacht Haven Grande Ma­rina is a great des­ti­na­tion for ad­mir­ing a wide va­ri­ety of yachts.


St. Maarten/St. Martin

» Com­bine Dutch St. Maarten’s busy cruise ter­mi­nal and pier with St. Martin’s oh-so-French style and you have some se­ri­ous su­pery­achts com­ing to one of the most pop­u­lar boat­ing re­gions in the world — in­clud­ing ritzy St. Barts and quiet An­guilla for more great yach togling. The yachts in Simp­son Bay La­goon and in mari­nas and har­bors all around the is­land make it easy to see an abun­dance of float­ing lux­ury.


San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia

» San Diego’s bustling wa­ter­front fea­tures nu­mer­ous lo­cal and vis­it­ing yachts, just steps from the B Street Cruise Ship Ter­mi­nal. Set in the shad­ows of the cruise ships, the Em­bar­cadero wa­ter­front dis­trict fea­tures the Mar­itime Mu­seum of San Diego, with a world-class col­lec­tion of ships that in­cludes the 1863 Star of In­dia — said to be the old­est ac­tive sail­ing ves­sel in the world and worth the price of ad­mis­sion on its own. Amer­ica’s Cup fans will def­i­nitely want to visit, and pos­si­bly sail on Stars & Stripes USA—11, which Den­nis Con­ner cap­tained dur­ing San Diego’s Amer­ica’s Cup in 1992.



North of the bor­der in wa­ter­side Van­cou­ver, sum­mer­time lures lo­cal and vis­it­ing yachts in droves. The har­bor and mari­nas near the Canada Place cruise ship ter­mi­nal are typ­i­cally filled with sun-starved boaters, while the Van­cou­ver Mar­itime Mu­seum and the Mar­itime Mar­ket on Granville Is­land pro­vide pur­suits for all things nau­ti­cal.



Sit­u­ated just off the Italina coast­line near busy Naples and Sor­rento, the is­land of Capri and its Ma­rina Grande and har­bors are well worth the boat ride from the main­land. Docked and an­chored mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar yachts await ogling around ev­ery pretty cor­ner of Capri.

Seat­tle’s Pike Place Mar­ket still fea­tures some of the Pa­cific Ocean’s most pris­tine seafood.


Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton

» Sit­u­ated at the end of Puget Sound, Seat­tle’s boat­ing scene is as busy as ever. With down­town’s Bell Street Pier Cruise Ter­mi­nal or Seat­tle­based Hol­land Amer­ica Line’s nearby Ter­mi­nal 91, it’s easy to go yacht-watch­ing in Seat­tle. For some­thing dif­fer­ent, but still afloat, some of the house­boats on Lake Union are quite sim­i­lar to su­pery­achts in style and ameni­ties. And, of course, Pike Place Mar­ket still fea­tures fly­ing fish — and some of the Pa­cific Ocean’s most pris­tine seafood.


Mal­lorca, Spain

One of Spain’s famed Balearic Is­lands, Mal­lorca is a Mediter­ranean yacht­ing Mecca. The mar­itime prom­e­nade, mari­nas, and the har­bor around Le Seu’s Esta­cion Mar­itima pro­vide for sunny yacht-watch­ing, while nu­mer­ous sea­side bars and restau­rants fea­ture the day’s fresh catch.



Lo­cated near the cruise ship ter­mi­nals and famed Las Ram­blas, Barcelona’s Port Vell wa­ter­front fea­tures yacht-filled mari­nas and more. Nearby, the one-time fish­ing vil­lage of La Barceloneta is now a hap­pen­ing beach­front com­mu­nity where fresh seafood paella is on the menu for those just off their yacht — or cruise ship. Salon­nau­tico in Oc­to­ber is one of Europe’s top yacht­ing events.


Genoa, Italy

With a long sea­far­ing and ship­build­ing her­itage, Genoa’s Porto An­tico (old port) is a per­fect place for view­ing stylish yachts. In ad­di­tion, the Galata Museo del Mare is an ex­cel­lent mar­itime mu­seum and the Genoa In­ter­na­tional Boat Show in the fall has grown into one of the best of­fer­ings in the Mediter­ranean.


Venice, Italy

With a back­drop for yachts un­like any other port in the world, his­toric Venice oozes Ital­ian charm just across ev­ery canal and bridge. Ad­ja­cent to the Dor­so­duro neigh­bor­hood not too far from the Venezia Ter­mi­nali Passeg­geri’s cruise ship docks, the Stazione Marit­tima is a great place to go yacht-watch­ing.


Dubrovnik, Croa­tia

The wa­ter­front walk be­tween Dubrovnik’s Gruz Har­bor cruise ship ter­mi­nal and the city’s famed Old Town heads past yacht mari­nas of­ten packed with a wide va­ri­ety of city-based and vis­it­ing yachts. Those in­ter­ested in the sea life and sea-soaked his­tory of the area will want to head to the Fortress of St. John and its Dubrovnik Aquar­ium and Mar­itime Mu­seum.


Auck­land, New Zealand

Known as the “City of Sails” for good rea­son, New Zealand’s cap­i­tal city of Auck­land is boat­ing-crazed. With yacht­filled mari­nas and har­bors near the con­ve­nient Princes Wharf cruise ship ter­mi­nal, it’s clear

that lo­cal Ki­wis love the wa­ter. The New Zealand Mar­itime Mu­seum at Viaduct Har­bour is a great place to find out why, as is the Amer­ica’s Cup hands-on sail­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in Waitem­ata Har­bour.



The Ara­bian Gulf is a hot cruise travel des­ti­na­tion, as it is with the yacht­ing set head­ing fur­ther afield. Mari­nas wel­come su­pery­achts and their pas­sen­gers on a daily ba­sis, as do Dubai’s famed up­scale shops. The Dubai In­ter­na­tional Boat show takes place in March. Even land­lub­bers can’t help but no­tice that the famed Burj Al Arab ho­tel is shaped like a sail.


Syd­ney, Aus­tralia

Few ports of call ri­val the Land Down Un­der’s Syd­ney Har­bour (Port Jack­son) for sheer beauty — and se­ri­ous yacht-watch­ing. Said to be the largest nat­u­ral har­bor in the world, Aus­tralian-based su­pery­achts and those who have made long ocean cross­ings con­verge in Syd­ney. Dar­ling Har­bour makes for an­other great des­ti­na­tion for vis­it­ing cruise ship pas­sen­gers, as does the area’s Aus­tralian Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum. Syd­ney’s win­ter­time also brings the Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional Boat Show.


Hong Kong, China

Those docked in Vic­to­ria Har­bour’s Ocean Ter­mi­nal in Hong Kong can’t miss the su­pery­achts all around them. One great way to get out on the wa­ter and see even more is to take the nearby Star Ferry to Hong Kong Is­land — which ends with a meal and more yacht-watch­ing at Jumbo Float­ing Res­tau­rant in famed Aberdeen Fish­ing Vil­lage.



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