Tuesday, 27 February 2018

ACI Marinas Continue To Invest

Croatia Cruising Companion - ACI Rovinj

ACI Marinas, Croatia’s state owned marina company, owning twenty two of the country’s 50+ marinas, certainly seems fired up for 2018. This follows a recent pattern of intense activity and investment following several years of relatively little.

Here’s just some of the news:

First and foremost, from a strategic point of view, the government seems to have done an about-turn on privatisation by adding ACI to its list of assets considered of strategic importance. All the signs were, just a couple of years ago, that the chain of marinas was preparing itself for sale to private investors, with Turkish Dogus Group, already a minority shareholder, a front runner. However now it seems the government has decided to consolidate ACI’s leading position in the marina industry and keep it to itself.

The second bit of news is the announcement of a brand new marina on Pag island, providing approximately 300 new berths, the construction of which is due to take place over 4 years. It will be in Novalja, the party capital of the island

Meanwhile, a little further north, ACI’s marina in Rovinj is soon to emerge from a complete and major reconstruction, with the primary aim of being able to handle today’s superyachts. That also means providing the highest standard of ancillary facilities in order to achieve the ambition of being ACI’s first five anchor marina, indicating a marina of the very highest quality.

This massive investment needed to be ingeniously realised given the limited space. It will result in nearly 200 berths, the largest of which will accommodate yachts up to 35 metres in length, with bigger yachts being able to visit and berth along the outside pier. Other things being equal, ACI Marina Rovinj should be ready for business by the beginning of this season.

And finally, a bit of old news – In July 2017 ACI announced the opening of a new golf range at ACI Marina Dubrovnik. The facility, a first for marina based golfers, consists of two mini golf courses and a golf training course that extends on the area of a tennis court.
To see just how far ACI has come recently, I looked back at an article I wrote for Boat International’s Superports magazine just over two years ago and, on the whole, it’s done pretty well keeping to an ambitious schedule of improvements and new investments.

ACI’s latest investment programme started with the replacement of all the pontoons at ACI Marina Cres, work which is now complete. Soon, a twenty second marina will be added to the network with the completion of a new marina in Slano, near Dubrovnik, which will cater for yachts up to 25 metres in length. In autumn 2016, work will start on ACI Marina Opatija to extend the marina and provide 42 dedicated superyacht berths for yachts up to 60 metres or more. Next will be a major extension to ACI Marina Dubrovnik to provide an additional 45 berths for superyachts, and a reconfiguration of the traditional stone building on site, an old summer palace, into a 5-star boutique hotel.

ACI Marina Pomer, for smaller yachts, is having a major facelift, due for completion by summer 2016, and ACI Marina Rovinj, also currently for smaller yachts, will undergo an extensive reconstruction and upgrade of facilities, starting in late 2016, which will provide 22 berths for yachts between 27 and 30 metres and should result in it becoming ACI’s flagship and first five anchor marina, as categorised (and rarely awarded) by the national regulating authority.

Also on the agenda for 2016 is the roll out of a gastro project which started in 2015 with the grand opening of “Navigare”, a newly-refurbished restaurant in ACI Marina Milna on the island of Brač. Key elements are a modern interior design concept and consistently high catering standards focusing on traditional local cuisine with a modern twist. ACI Marinas Pomer, Cres, Slano, Žut and Piskera are next in line for a gastro makeover that will eventually be introduced in all 22 marinas.

For more information on ACI marinas go to http://www.aci-marinas.com/en/

And keep an eye out for progress on a brand new ACI website under construction – a new form of premium Yachting, Lifestyle & Luxury Magazine named ACI No. 1. http://www.acino1.com/

Today’s lead photo shows the “old” ACI Marina Rovinj; the photo below shows Novalja bay on Pag island, the site of the next new ACI marina.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Novalja, Pag

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