Phuket is Asia’s Superyacht Hub

Phuket is developing into a major global marina hub with the number of superyacht visits dramatically increasing over the past 15 years.

“Phuket is a perfect destination for superyachts. It’s a hub, and vessels can set off from one of Phuket’s many marinas, heading for the Phi Phi islands, or Phang Nga Marine National Park in the eastern Gulf of Thailand”, reports Asia Pacific Superyachts co-founder, Gordon Fernandes.  “Many yachts also voyage to the Andaman Islands (India) or Langkawi (Malaysia) from Phuket.”

There are currently four marinas located in the north and east of the island, all operated by private companies. Phuket Boat Lagoon serves 173 yachts in-water, and 135 other vessels on the hardstanding for repair work; Royal Phuket Marina serves 76 yachts in wet berths and 35 dry; Ao Po Grand Marina has space for 300 yachts in-water and 100 on land. Phuket Yacht Haven can accommodate 300 yachts, in-water only.

 “Two or three new marinas are expected to open at Ao Po, Ao Kung and Ao Makham in the near future," reports Wiwat Chitchoetwong, referring to new development projects on the island. The government also plans to develop Ao Makham into a deep-water superyacht facility – there is presently nowhere suitable in Phuket for the very largest superyachts. “The successful marinas in Phuket are being looked at as models for possible marinas in Koh Samui, the fabulous resort island in the Gulf of Thailand, and Chon Buri's Pattaya on the eastern coast”, added Mr. Chitchoetwong.

A number of superyacht owners have also purchased residences in the area, which are used as cruising bases. Koh Samui’s scenic beaches and water sports are a big draw, but Thailand’s most important asset is the genuine warmth and gracious hospitality of the Thai people.

A wide variety of Thai and international food can be found at street stalls serving delicious classic Thai food, and up through to the finest in international 5-star dining. There are even Michelin 3-star restaurants in the Phuket area. When dining onboard and in preparation for a cruise, provisions can include an immense variety of fresh produce and seafood, all readily available along with beverages, wine and spirits of every type. 

The country’s nature rehabilitation programmes are proving to be successful, and recently a school of 30 dolphins were encountered just a few miles offshore among the nearby Similan Islands. Similan Islands National Park director Ruamsin Manajongprasert said, “they were bottlenose dolphins hunting for food, and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for the purposes of environmental rehabilitation.”

 The upgrading of the International Airport (which can cater for any private jet and most commercial aircraft sizes including 747s), high-end villas, beach clubs and hotel facilities has meant that Phuket is now a super-luxe playground for the rich and famous. The full-service marinas and professional yacht services along with Phuket’s many attractions make for an inviting and stress-free holiday for superyacht charters, owners and captains. 


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