Circa 1500 miles plus see some amazing sights, berths are available on a Challenger 72 that will sail from Portsmouth to the Norwegian Fjords and back.
The plan is to depart from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on 13th May and get to Norway 5 or 6 days later. Stavanger will probably be the first port of call. You’ll then spend 5 or 6 days exploring the dramatic fjords before reaching Bergen where we'll then head back down the North Sea through the oil and gas fields and on to Portsmouth.
Price is usually £1677 and includes all food on board, fuel, gas, oilskins and insurance. For MDL Members this has been reduced to £1425, a saving of 15%!
This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to build miles and get experience of a watch system / night watches / sailing up and down the North Sea / through the Dover Straits / navigating in the Fjords etc.
Challenger 72 is an extremely seaworthy yacht and built to sail around the world, a feat it has accomplished twice. A professional skipper and mate will also be provided.
Visit the First Class Sailing website for more information.
Which MDL site will you be heading to on Marina Day? Open to everyone, we’re throwing fun-packed family days out across the group on June 9th.
With plenty to do and try on the water, jaw-dropping displays, food stalls, great music and perhaps the odd tipple, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s day.
Marina Day started life at our Sant Carles Marina in Catalonia in 2015 and was such a hit that by last summer, the idea had spread right across Spain. We decided it was high time that our UK sites joined the party – we're hoping that other marinas will come on board next year and make this an annual, UK-wide extravaganza.
It’ll be a great opportunity for our members to mingle and bring along their friends and family, who are curious about life on the water. There’ll be plenty to entertain the little ones and those who are more comfortable on dry land.
Highlights from around the group include jet ski safaris at Sparkes, the Bomb Squad and their robots at Queen Anne’s Battery, jet rib rides with Saber at Shamrock Quay, a flyboarding display and light show at Torquay, sea kayaking at Woolverstone and lots more besides.
If you’re already a member of MDL, why not make the most of your Freedom Berthing membership and check out the action at another MDL marina - or maybe two?
Just some of the activities taking place at a marina near you can be found here!
It was wonderful to see so many of you celebrating the start of the new season during the Easter weekend. Even if the weather wasn’t entirely spring-like for everyone, waterside treats from the Easter bunny and a steady stream of hot cross buns emerging from the dock offices certainly set the mood.
What’s more, with a packed schedule of events on and off the water this summer, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to burn off any excess calories all those chocolate eggs.
Here are a few shots of the Easter bunny dishing out treats to members at Torquay (including one young sailor who exchanged all her dummies for an Easter egg!) and Queen Anne’s Battery. The office at Ocean Village was packed with around 50 members who called in to toast the new season with friends old and new.
With winter finally, if reluctantly, giving way to spring, we’re excited about a fantastic summer of cruising and events.
The teams have been hard at work getting the marinas ready. The winter dredging programme is wrapped up – with a £1million investment every year, it’s no small undertaking. In 2016, enough material was dredged to fill more than 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The upgrade at Ocean Village is continuing, with a smart new look and members already enjoying the spa, gym, restaurants and bars at the luxurious Harbour Hotel on the waterfront. At Cobb’s Quay, a new a 40 ton hoist has been installed, meaning larger boats can now be accommodated.
As you’d expect, we’ve been planning our social calendar with as much attention to detail! Big news for this year is Marina Day on June 9th. After the enormous success of the inaugural family open day event at our Sant Carles marina in Spain in 2015 – the popular celebration spread to marinas across Spain within two years – we’re bringing the fiesta to the UK. It’ll be a day of music, food, fun on the water and entertainment into the evening. Don’t miss it.
Just a few of the other social highlights this year include ‘dress as you please day’ at Ocean Village in June (with prizes, of course!), outdoor film nights in July and August at Northney, adventure golf complete with cream teas at Hythe in June, the British Firework Championships at Queen Anne’s Battery in August and a beer and wine festival in September at Bray.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you, do pop into the site offices to say hello and don’t forget to make the most of your Freedom Berthing membership to visit other marinas in the group this season – and maybe even complete the set!
Helping the next generation to discover the joys of life on the water is something MDL is passionate about. For over 20 years, we’ve supported the Ocean Youth Trust (OYT) South, a wonderful charity that gives hundreds of vulnerable and disadvantaged young people their first taste of sailing.
On May 13th, to raise vital funds, an MDL team will be running (and possibly struggling) around the grounds of Broadlands House outside Romsey in Hampshire for the third annual Romsey Relay Marathon.
Our team is made up of engineers, a HR administrator, our head of marketing and two directors. Team members have varying degrees of running experience, from marathon veterans to complete newbies.
Dan, Ollie, Adrien, Jo, Dean, Jane, Mike and Ben will each run a 2.6 mile leg of the course, competing alongside 130 other teams.
We’d love your support to help us reach our fundraising target of £1,000 and continue to support OYT South and all the incredible work they do. Sponsor us here.
For more information about the charity, visit their website at www.oytsouth.org
Those participating are: Dan Chamberlain (Marina Development Advisor), Oliver Witt (Projects Assistant), Adrien Burnand (Head of Marketing), Jo Meekley (Project Manager - Civils & Marine), Dean Smith (Commercial Director), Jane Whitcher (Payroll & HR Administrator), Mike Glanville (Director of Operations) and Dr Ben Carroll (Assistant Project Manager).
Our trip to the newly opened luxury lodges at Woolverstone Marina was a magical New Year trip that helped us escape the January blues!
Less than ten miles from Ipswich, Suffolk, we made our first pit stop at Jimmy’s Farm for a spot of lunch. Set in a 200-year-old-barn converted by Jamie Oliver’s friend, it offers a rustic yet contemporary restaurant with numerous food and farming-related attractions for the whole family.
Arriving at Woolverstone Marina, we were greeted by MDL staff before being taken to our magnificent accommodation - one of the ten individually designed luxurious lodges. All of them have excellent design features and homely furnishings, and ours even had an open fire and a hot tub! When combined with the wonderful setting the marina has to offer, it was love at first sight for my wife and me.
The furnishings are simply first class and the team at MDL Marinas have left no stone unturned in creating a luxurious yet homely feel for each lodge. From the flat screen TVs to sofas, it was the finishing touches, such as the wine rack that really completed the experience. So when relaxing with a nice bottle of red wine in a peaceful and tranquil setting, we were able to drift away from the day-to-day stresses of regular life as soon as we sat down.
After a perfect sleep in the sleek, modern bedroom we headed for the nearby River Stour the following morning to enjoy a leisurely-paced winter walk. We soon headed back to the lodge for lunch and the welcoming hot tub on the balcony.
There is so much to do in the local area around Woolverstone Lodge Park and gladly, we managed to enjoy all the excitement Suffolk Leisure Park has to offer during our final afternoon – which was only a 7-minute drive from the lodges. For one final opportunity to really relax, we returned to our accommodation for our last meal cooked in the state-of-the-art kitchen, and just a little more wine, in front of the cosy wood burners in the living room, before we retired for the evening.
It was quite simply a stunning few days at Woolverstone Lodge Park and we’ll certainly be back! Although our children were not present for this particular trip, we’ll be returning with them in the summer where I’m sure the hive of activity around the marina will provide a real buzz for the whole family.
There are excellent boating opportunities too; Woolverstone Marina offers yacht charters and an RYA accredited sailing school for both sailboat and powerboat courses. For those who like to take in the natural beauty of Suffolk from the shores, there are magnificent and scenic walks in the area, namely The Butt and Oyster, Cliff Plantation, Woolverstone Park, Woodbridge and Martlesham Creek… and these are just the walks on from the doorstep!
Add to this the inclusion of the luxury accommodation and the soon-to-be opened children’s playground and Woolverstone Lodge Park will be offering a perfect action-packed family holiday mixed with the relaxing setting that we enjoyed so much this time around.
Thanks for the memories Woolverstone Lodge Park and we look forward to making many more here in the future!
You could WIN a romantic getaway for two in our luxury Woolverstone Lodges by sharing your #LoveIsOnTheWater photos with us on Facebook. Before the winner is announced for that, find out what our marina teams are offering our members for Valentine's Day…
Brixham Marina - Pop into the marina office anytime during Valentine's Day for a sugary pick up of love hearts and chocolate.
Chatham Maritime Marina - Between 6 and 8pm on Valentine's Day, pop into the marina office for a heart shaped chocolate and a glass of bubbly…
Cobb's Quay Marina - For a sweet treat, enjoy some chocolates with the marina team anytime on Valentine's Day.
Hamble Marinas - All day Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, catch up with the marina team over a glass of bubbly and chocolates.
Queen Anne's Battery - Hold out for good weather as QAB are planning on hosting bubbly on the pontoons! If the weather isn't good, then the bubbles will be served in the warmth and dry of the marina office. Either way anytime between 1-3pm on Valentine's Day be sure to head to QAB!
Sparkes Marina - On Hayling Island, bubbles will be available in the marina throughout Valentine's Day.
Thames Marinas - Enjoy coffee and chocolates with the teams in the marina offices of Bray, Penton Hook and Windsor.
Woolverstone Marina - For sweet treats and bubbly head over to the marina office on Valentine's Day.
Last season MDL saw the addition of 24 new marinas, expanding our network to 124 marinas, across Europe with Passeport Escales - making it the perfect tool for weekend breaks or longer adventures. You can now explore even more of coastal Europe from the luxury of your own boat and it doens't cost any extra; it's included in your Freedom Berthing benefits!
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. 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. Get a quote today!
Or find out how the Foxes got on when they toured the European network.