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.
At this year’s Southampton Boat Show, MDL revealed its new Platinum membership package for the magnificently transformed Ocean Village Marina.
The marina has been undergoing an extensive redesign and refurbishment since 2015, as part of a five-year investment strategy set to be complete in 2020. The latest chapter in its £3.5 million transformation was the opening of the five-star, luxury Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa.
The 85-bedroom hotel has been designed to emulate a super yacht and is ideally positioned on the edge of the promontory projecting into the marina. It boasts a spectacular rooftop destination bar, as well as the award-winning Jetty restaurant, which offers panoramic views across the Solent.
The MDL Platinum package marries together our unrivalled Freedom Berthing package – which includes complimentary stays at over 100 marina destinations, free WiFi and fuel at cost – with full membership to the hotel’s luxurious spa and gym facilities. This includes indulgent treatments, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation areas. Additionally, all Ocean Village Marina members will be able to enjoy discounted food and drink in the hotel’s restaurant and bars. An exclusive concierge parking service is also being introduced, along with brand new state-of-the-art, pontoons being installed.
Dean Smith, Commercial Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We were delighted to launch our new Platinum membership package at Southampton Boat Show. The regeneration of Ocean Village Marina is truly remarkable and we were thrilled to unveil its ongoing transformation with the opening of the luxurious Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa. The marina is positioned in the very heart of the maritime city and epitomises its cosmopolitan personality. Ocean Village is now one of the most desirable five-star marina locations in the UK.”
The work at Ocean Village doesn’t stop there though; the modernisation of the pontoon berths will be complete by the end of the year and the marina is also being configured to accommodate much larger yachts, creating easier access than ever before for all boat owners.
Dean continued: “Ocean Village embodies our ultimate marina experience, marking a new era for MDL Marinas which champions not just sailing but the plethora of associated leisure opportunities, from wining and dining, to retail therapy and spa days. With the enhanced five-star offering, we are encouraging people to secure their berths as early as possible to avoid disappointment.”
Find out more about the Ocean Village Marina Platinum Package.
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.
This year’s Southampton Boat Show sees Europe’s leading marina operator, MDL Marinas, mark the next chapter of the highly anticipated £3.5million transformation of Ocean Village Marina, climaxing this October with the opening of the five-star, luxury Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa.
Ocean Village Marina has undergone an extensive redesign and refurbishment since 2015, as part of a five-year investment strategy which will complete in 2020. The redevelopment includes the opening of new restaurants and bars, as well as the ongoing renovation of its berthing facilities. The opening of the luxury Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa this autumn is a significant milestone and is set to firmly position Ocean Village as one of the most desirable five-star marina locations in the UK.
During this year’s Southampton Boat Show, Ocean Village’s enhanced identity as a cosmopolitan leisure hub will be revealed, with presentations taking place from both Harbour Hotels Group and MDL Marinas. Seamlessly tying together leisure, sailing and a stunning location to live, Ocean Village offers more than a destination, it exudes a lifestyle which perfectly encapsulates Southampton’s maritime heritage and thriving millennial scene.
The 85-bedroom luxury hotel has been designed to emulate a super yacht and is ideally positioned on the edge of the promontory projecting into the marina. Amongst many features, it will boast a spectacular destination rooftop bar, as well as the award-winning Jetty restaurant concept, offering panoramic views across the Solent. For those attending Southampton Boat Show, there will be the opportunity to be some of the first to experience the restaurant’s mouth-watering menu, with the Head Chef providing a not-to-be-missed ‘Taste of the Jetty’ session each day between 1pm and 2pm on stand E52.
Dean Smith, Commercial Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “The regeneration of Ocean Village Marina is truly remarkable and we’re thrilled to unveil its ongoing transformation, with the opening of the luxurious Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa this autumn marking a highlight milestone. The marina is positioned in the very heart of the maritime city and epitomises its cosmopolitan personality, so this year’s Southampton Boat Show offers the perfect opportunity to launch our new Platinum membership package.”
The MDL Platinum package is being exclusively revealed at Southampton Boat Show and will marry together MDL’s unrivalled Freedom Berthing package - which includes complimentary stays at over 100 marina destinations, free WiFi and fuel at cost - with full membership to the hotel’s spa and gym facilities. This includes indulgent treatments, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation areas. An exclusive concierge parking service is also set to be introduced for MDL Platinum members, with each vessel at the marina being allocated a private car parking space.
Following the opening of the hotel, the modernisation of the pontoon berths at the marina will complete later this year and, combined with the many benefits of the on-site luxury hotel, there is set to be hot competition for berthing at Ocean Village. The marina is also being configured to allow for the arrival of much larger yachts, creating easier access than ever before for all boat owners. In readiness for completion, MDL Marinas is taking advance annual membership and is advising those interested to get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
Dean continued: “Ocean Village embodies our ultimate marina experience, marking a new era for MDL Marinas which champions not just sailing but the plethora of associated leisure opportunities, from wining and dining, to retail therapy and spa days. With the enhanced five-star offering, we are urging people to secure their berths early as interest is already high.”
Mike Warren, Managing Director of Harbour Hotels, added: “We are delighted that our new Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa is only weeks away from opening and are very confident that the hotel will prove a fabulous addition to the city. The innovative yacht-inspired architecture captures everything Ocean Village represents, at once a maritime gateway to the Solent but also a melting pot of unrivalled leisure opportunities.
“We very much hope that you will join us at the MDL stand at this year’s Southampton Boat Show, where we look forward to bringing you an exclusive taste of our Jetty restaurant and sharing the full Ocean Village transformation story.”
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.
In celebration of summer sailing and the 35th America’s Cup, we came together with Land Rover and Ben Ainslie Racing to offer one lucky person a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bermuda. With over 1,000 entries received the competition was fierce, and we’ve found out the inside scoop on how our winner got on experiencing the world’s most prestigious sailing tournament...
Our partnership with Land Rover BAR spans many years and we are immensely proud to be the teams Official UK Marina Partner - a partnership built on our shared values of pride, innovation, and experience. In recognition of this crucial partnership, we wanted to bring our members closer to the sailing action than ever before, so created a bespoke trip with Land Rover BAR to give one lucky member the ultimate inside look at one of the most respected sailing teams in the industry.
Sue Bushnell from Ocean Village Marina was crowned our lucky winner and, on receiving the news, she said: “When I took the call I couldn’t believe it – you enter competitions never really thinking you will win, so receiving the news that we were being whisked away to Bermuda with Land Rover BAR was the most wonderful surprise. We had just celebrated our daughter’s wedding, so were already on a high, and then this just blew us away.”
Sue and her husband were treated to a fully complementary five night trip to Bermuda, which included travel and accommodation at a luxury resort. As well as exploring the beautiful island, they were given a VIP pass to the sailing action, which included exclusive access to the race village and a tour of the team’s top secret training centre – an area few have been privileged to see.
On the trip to Bermuda, Sue commented: “When we arrived absolutely every detail had been thought of and the trip was perfectly organised. My husband and I are huge sailing fans so we were pinching ourselves to be so close to the racing. Not only did we experience the racing, but the tours we were given were just amazing – being so close to the inner workings allowed us to see the immense skill and dedication of not only the race team, but every member of Land Rover BAR involved in the Cup, from the technical design right through to the training.
“As well as the tours, we also had the opportunity to find out about the extent of the Land Rover BAR operation and its influence around the globe, learning how the aerodynamic racing boat designs and materials have been incorporated not just within the sector but in the manufacture of cars and other technologies.”
The couple attended a banquet at the Commissioners House which now houses the National Museum of Bermuda, offering the perfect chance to reflect on the trip. Sue added: “The hospitality throughout the trip was fantastic, even meeting the likes of Clare Balding.”
To finish the trip they enjoyed an amazing BBQ on the beach watching the sun set over the turquoise blue water, listening to live music.
“The entire trip was seamless from start to finish and we’d like to thank both Land Rover BAR and MDL Marinas for providing us with an unforgettable experience.”
Earlier this year, Southampton was taken over by a carnival of maritime events, marking the city’s first ever sailing week. To celebrate the inaugural festival, MDL Marinas threw its full support behind Southampton Sailing Week, stepping on board as an official partner and providing an exclusive calendar of events for visitors and its members to enjoy.
Following this year’s success, it’s been confirmed that Southampton Sailing Week is set to return in 2018, promising to be bigger and better! We’re on board once again as an official partner and are already busy planning a spectacular diary of events - from Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th May, Ocean Village and Shamrock Quay Marinas will be playing hosts to this unmissable event.
Throughout the week there will be an abundance of carnivalesque activities for all to enjoy, from street parties and cocktail making, to artisan seafood and live music. Bringing the week to a crescendo will be the hugely popular Parade of Sail, which will see the Solent awash with colour and water craft, from paddle boarders and kayakers to dinghies and yachts.
With many more events to be announced in the coming months, watch this space for all the latest news!
If you’d like to join the Parade of Sail, you can register your interest on the Southampton Sailing Week website.
Join us at Southampton Boat Show on Stand E52, where we’ll be revealing the exclusive member benefits available at Ocean Village, celebrating the soon-opening luxury Harbour Hotel and offering a taste of its hotly anticipated restaurant, Jetty.
Southampton Boat Show is just weeks away and, this year, we’re celebrating the next chapter of Ocean Village Marina’s transformation to become Southampton’s ultimate leisure destination. Join us for an exclusive world preview of what’s in store!
Appetites at the ready, throughout the show we’ll be hosting complementary tasting sessions with the soon-to-be-open five star luxury Harbour Hotel – an opportunity not to be missed! This will see its Head Chef cooking up a storm between 1pm and 2pm everyday of the show, revealing the mouth-watering menu on offer at the hotel’s prestigious Jetty restaurant.
Marrying together Ocean Village’s sailing offering and the new leisure hub, we’re also launching our Platinum package, which will allow members to make the most of the marina’s new offering. This will include full membership to the hotel’s spa and gym facilities, encompassing indulgent treatments, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation areas.
The marina itself is also being reconfigured to enhance the premium experience offered on-shore, allowing for the arrival of much larger yachts and creating easier access for all boat owners. With all these fantastic elements combined, interest is already high for Ocean Village’s modernised pontoon berths, so we’re urging all interested to reserve your berths early to avoid disappointment.
Our team of experts will be sharing all the details at Southampton Boat Show and more – join us at stand E52 to make sure you’re part of our ultimate leisure experience!