There has been a superyacht arms race among the ultra-wealthy over the last few years as multi-billionaires try to outcompete each other on who can have the biggest, fanciest and most expensive boat.
The biggest of them all is the Azzam, a 179.7m (590ft) superyacht owned by the estate of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, closely followed by the Fulk Al Salamah at 164m (538ft) and the Eclipse at 162.5m (533ft). If you’re looking for sailboats in particular, then these are still pretty big, such as the 107m (350ft) Black Pearl.
Of course, even the craft located further down the list is still obscenely huge. For example, Brett Blundy’s Cloud 9 is currently the 88th largest in the world at 88.5m (290ft), but this is almost the length of a football field.
For most people, the prospect of ever owning such a yacht is just a pipedream, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time admiring them from the shore.
But if you want to go superyacht spotting, it makes sense to plan ahead as you’re unlikely to see any if you just stand by a watercourse and hope for the best. Instead, you will have more luck if you head to a marina where these ultra-wealthy boating enthusiasts frequent. Here are some of those places.
Monaco is known as being a playground for the rich and famous. It’s home to many celebrities, including Formula 1 drivers like Charles Leclerc, musicians like Bono, and businesspeople like James Caan.
The principality also hosts major sporting events, such as a round of the Formula 1 World Championship, the European Poker Tour, and the Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament. Whenever one of these events comes to town, it brings with them a lot of wealthy yacht owners who want to enjoy the action.
For people interested in these giants of the sea, Monaco is a great place to spot them. The marina takes up a large portion of the micronation’s coastline and there’s even one that spans its border with France.
But if you really want to see the biggest and the best, the Monaco Yacht Show is the best time to visit. This is, of course, an event where many of the world’s biggest pleasure crafts are in attendance. It’s also where some make their first public appearances after coming off the production line.
Last year, the Tatiana and Artefact were both unveiled in Monaco, much to the amazement of the visitors.
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina is another stop on the Formula 1 calendar but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to spot superyachts.
Its 227 berths can accommodate craft as big as 150m (492ft), making it the perfect spot for the owners of most superyachts to dock in when they want to visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
While shopping trips and holidays for the ultra-wealthy can attract superyachts throughout the year, it is the F1 circus that attracts the largest number of them. In 2019, fans had an opportunity to admire giants like the Talisman C, RABDAN, CAIPIRINHA, and SEAHORSE.
If you don’t have superyacht money for yourself but you want a taste of what it’s like, then you could always look at buying an F1 yacht hospitality package to enjoy the Grand Prix in style.
Ibiza has built a reputation for being a party island with people flocking there from all over the world to dance at famous clubs while legendary DJs work their magic on the decks.
But there is much more to Ibiza than that. It has areas that are luxurious and exclusive that offer up beautiful surroundings to the people lucky enough to be able to moor their yachts there.
It is smaller than Yas Marina and Monaco as it’s only able to cater to craft that span 60m (197ft) or less, but that’s still plenty big enough to admire some of the coolest and best-looking superyachts in the world.
If you’re planning to visit the island, September is the best time to visit Ibiza if you want to spot these yachts, though you still have a good chance of seeing some throughout the year.