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Marina Development Continues in the DR

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The Dominican Republic—a stepping-stone destination for many cruisers traveling south from the U.S. mainland to the Caribbean and a sports fishermen’s paradise in the late spring and summer—has welcomed investment in the construction of upscale full-service marinas in the last several years. Witness the openings of Marina Casa de Campo in 2001 and Ocean World Marina in 2006.

On the south coast, Marina Zar-Par, 12 miles east of Santo Domingo, has 150 new slips available, all with fingers and cleats, electricity (30/50 and 100 amps), and free water. Free Wi-Fi is available at the marina, which has depth to 10 feet, as well as a restaurant and other amenities.

Marina Tropical Luperon has broken ground on the north coast (see related story), and the years head should see the expansion, opening and groundbreaking of three additional marinas on this Greater Antillean island.

Marina Cap Cana: Located on the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic on the Mona Passage and less than a 10-minute drive away from the International Airport at Punta Cana, Marina Cap Cana opened in 2007, currently has 89 slips and will offer a total of 120 slips when the second of a five-phase construction project is complete in 2010.

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In 2010, says marina general manager Andrew New, “We’ll be able to dock yachts up to 150 feet. However, the draft at the entrance to the main channel is eight feet. Amenities will include free wireless Internet as well as the availability of cable TV. The fuel dock will be open by then.”
The marina’s web site states that it is “currently equipped with meteorological buoy services unique to the Caribbean. When operating, the buoys measure wind and sea conditions and transmit this information to crews.”

Five restaurants and bars, banking facilities, a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course, swimming pool, hotel, condominiums, boutiques and a private beach club are now open. In fact, Marina Cap Cana played host this summer to anglers who came to fish for blue and white marlin and compete in the White Marlin Invitational Fishing Tournament in June, the Anzuelo Dorado tournament that runs from June through August and the 2nd Annual Cap Cana Classic Blue Marlin Invitational Fishing Tournament in August.

New says the completion date for the marina is dependent upon the progress of each phase and too early to tell now. However, “We’ll ultimately be able to accommodate vessels up to 250 feet and up to 1000 vessels total, both in-water and rack storage combined.”

When complete, additional marina facilities, according to the web site, will include the services of harbor authorities and Customs departments and free shuttle services. Full maintenance services will be available with high-speed fuelling systems designed to deliver 120 gallons per minute.

Coastal Systems International is designing the marina, which is managed by Brandy Marine International, LLC. Both companies are based in Florida. Marina Cap Cana is the centerpiece of a multi-million dollar development to be constructed over the next 10 to 15 years. When finished, the 30,000-acre property plans call for hotels, golf courses and residences on 3.4 miles of beachfront.

Costablanca Marina: Set to open sometime in 2010, Costablanca Marina is located on the southeastern coast in Juan Dolio, approximately 40 miles east of the capital city of Santa Domingo. The marina is slated to provide 150 slips for yachts up to 120 feet. A surrounding up market Marina Village will include restaurants and bars, boutiques, condominiums, and yacht maintenance services. Shore side, there will also be oceanfront villas and a Greg Norman-designed golf course.

Roco Ki Marina: Development of this marina, set on one of the island’s most popular tourist destinations at Macao Beach on the east coast, “will recommence in 2010,” says Dave Mayer, vice president of residential sales and marketing.

The original plan calls for 465 slips designed to accommodate yachts from 30 to 150 feet, including permanently moored and transient pleasure boats, sport fishing and large cruising yachts. The marina will take the shape of a large traditional marina with an overall size of 175,000 to 200,000 square meters. There will be smaller “neighborhood” marinas and private docks along the intra-coastal canal that will run through the Roco Ki property. In addition, there will be capacity for 100 vessels in dry stack storage.

The marina is part of a larger destination resort complex that will ultimately include luxury hotels, condominiums and villas, a sports training complex and several golf courses—including the 18-hole Nick Faldo Signature Championship Course.

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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