Dream Yacht Charter, based at MDL's Port Hamble Marina, has grown to become the largest yacht charter company in the world, with a fleet of 987 boats across the most destinations with 47 bases.
The company started out with just six boats operating from the Seychelles seventeen years ago, and now thousands of customers are turning dreams into reality with all-inclusive sailing experiences or navigating new destinations while at the helm.
Dream Yacht Charter founder, Loic Bonnet, said: “This is such an achievement as we started out small with some pretty big ideas! We are expecting our growth to continue with additions to our fleet for next year.
“We’re proud to be known for our pioneering approach, opening up new cruising grounds, such as Cuba and New Caledonia, and making sailing accessible to non-sailors through new experiences, such as booking cabins on crewed charters.”
This year has been unprecedented for the yacht charter industry following the severity of the hurricane season in the Caribbean.
Loic added: “The reason we’ve been able to return quickly to the Caribbean is because of the size of our fleet and our worldwide network. It was great to see the first charters going out from the British Virgin Islands and St. Martin earlier last month.”
For more information, please visit www.dreamyachtcharter.co.uk.
Last year we announced an exciting collaboration with the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), Land Rover BAR and the University of Portsmouth to restore native oysters to local waters. Our aim was to introduce one million oysters by the end of 2017 to help clear up the Solent.
Following a successful trial at the Land Rover BAR pontoon, plans were made to continue towards the one million oyster target by the end of this year. To launch the project’s roll-out across our solent marinas, we welcomed broadcaster, traveller and adventurer, Ben Fogle to our Port Hamble Marina to launch the project.
As someone who spends a lot of his time immersed in nature, protecting the environment is very important to Ben: “My experiences traversing the world’s oceans have opened my eyes to the scale of marine destruction. The humble oyster is an incredibly powerful ecosystem engineer, capable of filtering 200 litres of water a day and supporting marine life. Restoring the native oyster to the Solent would be another step closer to turning the tide against the large-scale degradation of our oceans, and giving something back to the UK’s inshore waters which provide us with so many benefits.”
The native oyster population in the UK has halved over the last 25 years. The restoration of the native oyster will provide ecological and social benefits for the region by helping to improve water quality, foster valuable habitats which are otherwise being lost to future generations and re-establish an important strand of the economy on the south coast.
The oysters are housed in unique cage-like structures, designed and built by MDL Marinas, which are suspended off pontoons in Hamble Point, Port Hamble, Sparkes and Saxon Wharf, as well as pontoons at the University of Portsmouth and the pontoon installed by MDL Marinas at Land Rover BAR HQ.
BLUE is leading a coalition of fishermen, marine and local authorities, scientists and conservationists to significantly increase the population of native oysters by 2020, with the long-term aim of achieving sustainable stocks, improving the quality of water in the Solent, as well as benefiting the ecosystem and inshore fisheries.
MDL is proud to be involved in this innovative CSR initiative and we are looking at rolling this scheme out around the MDL Marinas network. Dean Smith, Commercial Director of MDL Marinas, said: “Helping to restore the native oyster population, an important part of the local ecosystem which removes pollutants and provides habitats, is one of the many ways that the boating community can give back to the ocean and improve the local waters around us for our future enjoyment.”
The cages are marked out along the pontoons with plaques, next time you're down at one of our marinas, be sure to keep an eye out!
This year has been another fantastic year for MDL Marinas and its Freedom Berthing members, with our network expanding to 124 marinas across Europe with Passeport Escales, perfect for weekend breaks or longer adventures.
In addition to the UK and Italy, Passeport Escales allows MDL members to explore a stunning array of destinations across France, Spain and now Belgium too, all from the comfort of your own boat. With the addition of Ostend in Belgium, sailors can enjoy the varied landscapes of Europe’s Atlantic coasts, to Porto Deportivo Cangas in Spain, before heading around to our very own Sant Carles Marina on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
Over the last year alone our members have benefited from over 15,000 visitor nights across our European network, saving on visitor fees whilst experiencing the joys of sailing further afield. Popular destinations include Cherbourg and Jersey in the Channel and Roscoff in Brittany
From the wild, rugged coasts of the Belle-Île in Brittany, to the cultural hub of Bilbao with its impressive Guggenheim museum, Passeport Escales provides a gateway into Europe that all MDL members can enjoy.
With Freedom Berthing, our members also benefit from fuel at cost, free wifi, discounted boatyard services, great socials and the option to explore the UK’s coastline and waterways in any MDL Marina at no extra cost.
If you're a planner then we've got good news for you; grab your 2018 diaries and a cup of tea and make note of the fantastic calendar we have in store for you next year!
With members' parties, fireworks, BBQs, fishing competitions, classic car shows, boat shows and open air cinemas, there's plenty for everyone! What's more, even when there isn't a dedicated event on there's always plenty to enjoy in your local MDL marina, so if you ever find yourself at a loose end, it's always worth heading to your boat to see what's on.
See what events are happening at your local marina below, with your downloadable social calendar for 2018, or see what's happening around the network to plan your weekend trips away!
MDL Marinas has launched a unique integrated partnership with leading online boat accommodation platform, Beds on Board, marking its continued position as a pioneer within the marine industry.
In a world-first tie-up between a marina group and a sharing economy platform, the exclusive partnership will provide MDL’s members with a fully managed service to rent out accommodation on their yachts. The platform allows holidaymakers to access unique getaway experiences in unrivalled locations across Europe, whilst offering the boat owner a tried and tested model through which to securely rent out their vessel.
Dean Smith, Commercial Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “Within the tourism industry there is a growing appetite for alternative, unique accommodation and we’re thrilled to offer our members access to this audience through our partnership with Beds on Board. The platform will offer our members a hassle-free, safe and fully-managed approach to book out accommodation on their yachts, helping our members to create additional value through their boat ownership.
“At MDL Marinas our unshakeable benchmark is to maintain a leading position within the industry, so it is essential we continue to evolve and provide access to services such as Beds on Board. Our dynamic network of marinas across the UK and Europe are situated in a variety of stunning locations, affording users of Beds on Board the opportunity to experience a stay on the water and see the local area from a novel perspective.”
Launching in 2015, Beds on Board is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows owners to rent their boat to guests looking for an alternative to traditional accommodation, such as hotels and bed & breakfasts. Users of the site can search for boats in their desired location, before chatting to the owner through a secure Message Centre. After a stay, both the user and owner are encouraged to write reviews in order to grow trust and the community.
Co-founder of Beds on Board, Jason Ludlow, added: “This exciting partnership shows our commitment to working with the marine industry to help grow the boating community and to help owners offset their costs. We’re looking forward to working with MDL to offer their members a managed solution for renting their boat on bedsonboard.com.”
Existing MDL members can list their boats at bedsonboard.com.
Six deserving young people who won a place on the 30th Anniversary MDL Sail Training Awards voyage will be officially presented with their trophies by Eamonn Feeney, Chairman of Ocean Youth Trust South, on Tuesday 19th September at 3pm (stand E52). The youngsters returned from their trip earlier this year after spending five days at sea with the Ocean Youth Trust South, on the maiden voyage of its refurbished vessel, Prolific.
The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for 30 years, offer admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard the training yacht.
The passage commenced from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina and the team made their way down to Dartmouth, being taught along the way how to sail the vessel, before circling back along the coast. During sailing, the team carried out drills such as rescuing a man overboard and pilotage planning, whilst having plenty of fun in between. Upon returning to shore, the young sailors deservedly earned a ‘Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting Certificate’.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Our Sail Training Awards are a hugely important initiative for us, which we have undertaken with Ocean Youth Trust South for an amazing 30 years. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those selected, honouring them for their remarkable achievements at such a young age. We look forward to this day at Southampton Boat Show each year, as it’s a fantastic chance to hear all of the stories and see what an inspiration the trip has been for everyone.”
Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “Over the last three decades years we have met many truly inspirational young people through the MDL Sail Training Awards. Throughout the 30 years, MDL Marinas has given us tremendous support and, without them, we wouldn’t have our magnificent boat, Prolific, back in the water – so it was very fitting that they supplied so many of the young crew members for this voyage. The MDL award winners are always highly deserving and inspirational young people and this year’s winners were no exception.
“We have a long track record of using adventure under sail to give young people the skills to succeed in life – the skills that individuals, families, schools, employers and communities need – and MDL’s generosity plays a key role at the heart of all our work.”
For more information, please visit www.sailtrainingawards.co.uk.
Join us on Saturday 16th September at Banana Wharf (Port Hamble Marina) to enjoy a british fry up between 9am - 10.30am.
Coach then departs at 10.45am to head towards Southampton Boat Show. Returning at 6pm.
Tickets are priced at £15 per person and includes entrance to the boat show, maximum of 4 per boat.
** Please note this is a members only offer **
MDL Marinas, Europe’s leading marina operator, has unveiled its stunning new member facilities at Port Hamble Marina this week, marked with a luxurious pamper event for visitors to enjoy. Celebrating the opening of the transformed space, MDL invited members and guests to receive complementary spa treatments within the facilities to reveal the new offering.
The redevelopment includes beautifully designed changing facilities, as well as an exclusive members’ area, featuring private dressing and shower rooms. The significant £500,000 investment commenced in October 2016 and followed detailed member feedback, which helped identify the services which would be of most benefit to further enhance the marina experience.
Nic Parton, MDL Port Hamble Marina Manager, said: “We are very excited to officially open our new facilities at Port Hamble Marina and the feedback we’ve already received has been outstanding. Providing an unrivalled marina experience which puts our members at the heart of our services is our ultimate goal, so what better way to celebrate the opening than inviting guests to receive complementary massages and treatments, helping them to unwind and relax before heading out for a day on the water.”
The marina’s ergonomic facilities have been sensitively designed throughout, mirroring the gentle and relaxing atmosphere of the harbour. Finishing touches include heated flooring, backlit mirrors and mood lighting. The space has also been built with the environment in mind, incorporating energy efficient Dyson hand and hair dryers. The centrepiece of the members’ space is an impressive landscape painting depicting yachts on the water, created by Stephen Lees; the colours and composition perfectly unify the space, bringing together sleek design with home-from-home comfort.
Nic added: “In designing the space, we wanted to offer facilities which captured the look and feel of a luxurious spa, but still provided the efficiencies and practicality of an area where members could prepare for their sailing. We hope we have harnessed both elements and very much look forward to our guests making the most of Port Hamble’s new offering.”
Find out more about Port Hamble Marina and the variety of services on available for all to enjoy.