While crew life can be frantic, a lot of time is spent in marinas around the world. It certainly makes it easier if the marina understands crew needs and works hard to make them feel welcome. Some marinas go above and beyond to ensure their crew residents are excited to return time after time.
A bit of Caribbean charm always helps a marina stay. “Crown Bay Marina tries [to create] a home away from home for our guests. We pride ourselves on obtaining personal relationships with each of our guests,” says Eustacia Steinbergen. Crown Bay in St. Thomas, based just west of Charlotte Amalie, is a full-service marina for vessels up to 200 feet and is located close to the international airport and support services. “Being organized and obtaining good communication are key components to maintaining a successful business relationship with captains and crew,” Steinbergen says. “Also, understanding the goals of the captain and crew helps the marina better accommodate the needs of each individual to the best of our ability.”
OneOcean Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain, is also positioned to allow for a great urban experience in one of the Mediterranean’s largest cities. “As OneOcean Port Vell is a superyacht homeport, we gather in our facilities an important volume of crew and captains throughout the year,” says Ignacio Erroz, the marina’s general manager. “That’s why for us is very important to make them feel at home, organizing monthly crew parties, captains’ lunches and dinners, beach clean-ups, weekly training sessions, crew and captains’ trips, and many other activities where the crew from different yachts are able to interact and create a feeling of community.” The marina, which was originally built for the 1992 Olympics, was transformed into a 151-berth facility for yachts up to 190 meters.
Marina Genova, in Genoa, Italy — whose motto is “We Love Crew!” — elevates that attitude by dedicating two marina staff positions to crew — a crew social manager and crew guide. “At their check-in, captains and crew ...are informed about the activities coming up (barbecue, dinner out, trips, etc.) and the facilities on site and in the neighborhood,” Valentina Peri says. “The crew social manager registers [crew] contacts to keep them informed and up to date, and the crew guide follows on board to meet the crew and plan the coming events.”
When in a marina, it helps to have a great area nearby to explore. “For us, [it’s] very important to make captains and crew have a good time in the marina, but also, [with] our location close to the city center of Barcelona...they will find a wide variety of services as well as entertainment every day during the whole year,” says Erroz.
Many marinas create opportunities for crew to get off the boat. Marina Genova creates shopping and leisure guides for crew. “We describe our city and suggest the best of shopping, food, drinks, art and shows, leisure time and fun and wellness, all welcoming [our] special crew and captain’s card with discounts or special treatments,” Peri says. Marina Genova also curates weekly events for crew. The marina, which is located a few miles from Genoa’s UNESCO World Heritage Center and is also just minutes from the airport, has four basins with more than 100 moorings for vessels over 24 meters.
And you can’t go wrong in the Caribbean. St. Thomas offers many options, including shopping, dining, and outdoor adventure, with beautiful beaches nearby and access to the pristine shores of St. John.
Of course, it’s all about the amenities. As the marina becomes a temporary home to crew, it’s an extra benefit if there’s a dedicated space for them. Marina Genova offers a packed schedule of weekly crew events from area walking tours, cooking “experiences,” bowling, ping pong parties, game nights, bar outings, and other cool exploits. The Crew Club also offers an escape for crew. “Crew can meet up and spend few cheerful hours playing table tennis, table football, pool, or just listening to music or watching movies, and the gym,” says Peri. There’s also a free shuttle to take crew into town when needed. Captains have access to wine tasting, gourmet dinners, art shows, theater, and gala events so there’s no room to be bored while at the marina. For their efforts, “We are proud to say that we very often receive flowers, chocolates, and affectionate letters from captains and crew who want to thank [the] hospitality and marina staff for taking care of their every need in order to make their life easier day by day,” says Peri.
In St. Thomas’s Crown Bay Marina, a variety of services are nearby — a bar and restaurant, plus a beauty salon, ice cream and coffee shop, park, fitness studio. “We always go above and beyond to make our guests happy,” says Steinbergen. “We try to create a relaxing atmosphere that is conducive for helping the captains and crew relax as they get ready for charter or attend to business. We do simple things perfectly!”
OneOcean Port Vell offers purpose-built crew facilities, including the Galley Building. “A design-awarded building where we offer complimentary services to the crew, as our gym, the wellness area, access to the crew lounge, and our terrace with views on the superyachts and the historical area of the city,” says Erroz. “For us, customer service is one of our core values; the entire team of OneOcean Port Vell has this goal in mind,” Erroz says. “Our takeaway for captains and crew is to enjoy their stay while we will take care [of] them and their superyachts.” What else could you ask for?
For more related content:
May 2019: The Marina Issue
The Squid Project