RUSSIAN AND Middle Eastern billionaires are choosing the specialist teams working at a Murcian shipyard when their precious boats need work.
The state-owned Navantia shipyard in Cartagena has seen four of the world’s most luxurious yachts sail into its waters in the past year.
Business so far this year is already 17% above the figures for the whole of 2016, with 12 super yachts receiving repairs, modifications or ITV documentation in the shipyard.
The list includes, MY Kibo, Sunrays, Imperial Princess, Kokomo, Malibu, Stargate and I Dinasty, resulting in more than 100,000 hours of direct work, between the companies own labour force and through sub-contracted work to auxiliary naval services.
The yachts choosing the port are increasingly larger and more valuable with two of the most iconic and distinctive new ships arriving in recent weeks.
The 450 million euro sailing Yacht A, owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and his wife Aleksandra, is the largest and most luxuriously equipped sailing yacht in the world.
The boat has been in port recently to allow Navantia workers to perform a final review and the latest tests needed before handing it over to its super rich owners.
The couple’s other boat, the Motor Yacht A has also arrived in the shipyard this week for a five months stay, whilst the specialist workers conduct it’s ten year service.
The 2,200 square metre vessel, complete with state rooms, crocodile leather suites, crystal chandeliers and gigantic mirrors, cost 250 million euros when it was built in 2007.
Amongst the other arrivals this year was another one of the most luxurious in the world, the ‘Sunrays’, with its 85 metres of length and dazzling jade green colour, the Stargate, which sits at number 38 on the list of the largest and most luxurious in the world and the ‘I Dinasty’ owned by the Kazakh businessman Alijan Ibragimov, more than one hundred metres long.
One of the most striking boats due to return to the shipyard this year is the ‘Katara’, the twentieth largest in the world, owned by the royal family of Qatar, with its helipad, movie theatre, a fully computerized bridge and accommodation for 32 VIP guests, who can enjoy several pools, gym and on deck jacuzzi.
A spokesman for Navantia pointed out that, the increase in the number of repairs at the shipyard is due to its presence at international boat fairs reinforcing its specialist workforce and complimentary offers such as crew discounts on restaurants and other local services.
So far this year, he estimated the shipyard has brought over a thousand overnight hotel stays and restaurant meals, 230 airport transfers, plus vehicle rentals and medical services to boost the economy of Cartagena city.