“Asian governments have been hard at work improving the facilities and easing the regulations to attract more superyachts to cruise in the region and spend time in their marinas. The value of this category of marine tourism is high and brings with it many benefits for the economy generally, the tourist industry and the people employed in the wide range of support industries,” noted a release issued by Galileo Maritime Academy, based in Phuket.
“In Thailand this has resulted in a welcome increase in visiting superyachts, reaching an all-time peak in Phuket where the largest superyacht marina in the region is located. This month (Feb) Yacht Haven Marina has hosted 36 superyachts which, if put in line bow to stern, would cover a distance of 1,582 meters, almost a mile long,” the release added.
Anthony Gould, CEO of Galileo Maritime Academy, noted, “This all-time record for any marina in Asia is the result of many factors including government actions, but also the sheer beauty and abundance of pristine anchorages and remote islands of Phang Nga Bay, the Mergui Archipelago, the islands of the Andaman Sea as well as those around Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.
“Thailand has become the central hub for much of this industry and has a well-developed infrastructure at the heart of the finest cruising areas, including the only Asia-based maritime academy for superyacht crew which is accredited by the UK government Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and approved to issue MCA certification to ship’s crew,” he added.
Most of the 36 superyachts based at Yacht Haven Marina have had their crews trained and certified at Galileo Maritime Academy and many new recruits to the industry have started their careers through Galileo, Mr Gould explained.
“This is a strategic benefit to the industry and enables these quality driven private yachts to refresh and recruit the best graduates in the industry and whose qualifications are recognised in all 174 member countries of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“The many thousands of luxury superyachts that have operated in the crowded and congested marinas and anchorages of the Florida coast, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas are now beginning to explore the remote and quiet beauty of the countless islands and low cost marinas of Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Gould said.
“Galileo Maritime Academy is right there in the centre providing the same high standards of crew training and recruitment that those owners and captains have previously thought only to exist in European and US waters,’ he added.