This week saw the Abell Point Marina welcome the world’s largest catamaran – the impressive 44m sailing superyacht HEMISPHERE. The Queensland marina has been dredged and upgraded to provide superyacht facilities in the heart of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, the popular Australia yacht charter destinations.
Abell Point Marina is presently going through a dredging programme under the direction of new owner, Paul Darrouzet, ensuring the marina is able to host larger superyachts. The move comes as part of a focused drive by the marina to increase the facilities available within the region to superyachts.
“Everyone at Abell Point has gone out of their way to make sure our stay went smoothly,” said sailing yacht HEMISPHERE’s Captain, Gavin Bladen. “Abell Point is a great facility for yachts to prepare for trips out into the Whitsundays, or take a little down time for the crew. The marina facilities have undergone a major revamp since their humble beginnings and now tick all the boxes a superyacht looks for when deciding where to berth.”
Abell Point Marina has also been heavily involved, working with national legislators to increase superyacht access to the Great Barrier Reef region. Led by Darrouzet, the marina’s team worked as part of an action group with Superyacht Australia, lobbying Australian government to ease access to the nation for foreign-flagged charter yachts. The team also collaborates with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ease restrictions for larger yachts, wishing to access the fabulous Whitsunday Islands.
“Since the upgrade of the marina under new ownership, we have experienced a huge in-crease in Australian and international superyachts ranging from 35-50m visiting the marina. The marina is on the doorstep to the Whitsunday Islands, the facilities and services are of a high standard and it is located conveniently in the vibrant coastal town of Airlie Beach,” commented Luke McCaul, Abell Point Marina marketing and business development manager.
“To a small town like Airlie Beach, the flow-on effect of a visiting superyacht has astronomical benefits. On average we may see $50 – $60,000 AUD being spent weekly in the local economy which flows on to shopping centres, butchers, flower huts, restaurants, clubs and more. We would love to see this benefit grow and, by continuously improving the experience for superyachts, our goal is to be the base of choice to experience the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef.”
Abell Point Marina has gone through a major development to offer every service needed for superyachts in the Great Barrier Reef. Berths stretch to 70-metres, with onsite concierge services, including a dedicated helicopter for transfers, professional team, provisioners, crew services, as well as other amenities all on site.
The Whitsundays are home to the legendary Whitehaven Beach, Heart Reef, top class resorts Hamilton and Hayman Islands, and has a private jet terminal and local airports which connects to international flights in Brisbane to the south and Cairns to the north. The region holds exceptional appeal to yacht; something Captain Bladen reinforces.