The first MYBA Pop-up Superyacht Show, running from 4th to 6th September, brought focus to Montenegro as brokers and agents were encouraged to explore the area. Hosted by goliath marina and lifestyle project, Porto Montenegro, the show provided a social and seminar programme to complement the 29 yachts on display.

Around 80 attendees came to experience this new Balkan networking opportunity showcasing yachts between 24 and 50m. Among the brokers Edmiston, Ocean Independence, Burgess, Camper & Nicholsons, CSO Yachts, Northrop & Johnson were all represented, as well as other smaller more localised outfits such as Fortuna Cruising and Discover Montenegro. There was a strong representation from Turkey with nine Turkish built yachts on display.

Instrumental in establishing the show, marina business development manager, Billy Canellas, told SB: “MYBA is the perfect marriage for Porto Montenegro. The show is a great opportunity to showcase all the benefits we have here for clients.” Marina manager, Tony Browne, echoed these sentiments, “We’re pleased with the turnout – 29 yachts isn’t a bad effort for a first show.”

A social programme included networking events each night – a welcome party sponsored by Berba Tax-Free Wine Provisioning opened the show, Saturday night saw the Dock Party move to the luxurious surroundings of the Regent’s Piano Bar due to uncertain weather and Sunday’s closing gala celebration showed off the facility’s Yacht Club and Lido complex.


Saturday night’s after party was onboard 41m Riana

Sunday morning’s seminar sessions covered the VAT implications of chartering in the region as well as tax, yacht ownership and registration trends for yachts operating within and outside of EU waters. Janet Xanthopoulos from Rosemont Yacht Services highlighted key elements to consider with the occasional charter of a private yacht.

Many of the yachts were in the region to bunker and pick up a charter and so took the opportunity of the event to showcase themselves. Maria Grazia Franco, captain of 50m Mariu – exhibited by Edmiston – revealed that the yacht would pull out of the show on the Sunday to pick up a charter.

“From Porto Montenegro it’s only a two and a half hour motor to Dubrovnik” she explained, “So we can pick up our guests and be there by midday.” Speaking more about why the area is attractive for charter she divulged, “Not many guests cope very well with the sea. The Adriatic can be rough but here in Boka Bay you have protection and relatively calm seas even when it’s windy. It’s fairly easy to find berths. Most of the small islands have a commercial dock that large yachts can use.”

A typical seven day charter itinerary from Montenegro to Venice can be seen here.

Hans van Doornmalen, an Edmiston sales representative based for the summer season in Porto Montenegro, emphasised one of the marina’s biggest draws, “This is one of the cheapest places to fuel in Europe. You pay around 55/60 cents per litre whereas up the coast in Croatia you’re typically paying around €1.30 per litre.”

Montenegro is on a huge growth trajectory. The small country styling itself as a new playground for the super wealthy saw a rise of 29% in tourists visiting in July 2015 when compared to July last year.

Benefits of Montenegro

  • Only 7% VAT on marine-related services
  • 0% VAT on charters
  • Tax and duty-free fuel (45% cheaper than retail price)
  • Outside EU tax and import regulations
  • Tax-free wine and spirits supply
  • No restriction to pick-up and drop-off
  • Make multiple changes to guest and crew manifests
  • Ability for foreign yachts to remain in Montenegrin waters with no restriction on time

Senior charter manager Stephanie Archer of Ocean Independence told SB, “The show’s been a great opportunity to get a flavour for the area although I’d need more time to explore the wider region. This year I’ve seen quite an increase in clients asking about Adriatic cruising.”

Although at times the show did seem quiet, many exhibitors said that they would certainly return for next year, hoping the event would gain greater traction alongside the rising interest in Montenegro.

A full report will be published in an upcoming issue of Superyacht Business.


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