Yacht Watching

Yearning for Yachts

Discover 20 top cruise ports with world-class marinas

By Lynn and Cele Seldon

Though we’ll likely never own a 150-foot-plus megayacht with all the amenities imaginable, it’s never stopped us from yacht-watching in cruise ports around the world. Whether they’re ogled from our ship’s balcony, during a stroll along the water, or out in a harbor, there’s just something special about a sleek superyacht docked in a world-class marina or anchored out in the calm harbor.
Of course, most upscale marinas around the world are private and don’t allow just anyone to come traipsing into their privileged world. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to get up-close and personal with multimillion-dollar yachts by using salt-encrusted and well-worn binoculars, some friendly charm at certain marina gates, and even kayaking your way out into the harbor for a closer look.
Though there are dozens of picturesque marinas around the world, here are 20 top cruise destinations that feature serious yachting cultures for those, like us, with yacht-spotting fixations.

Miami, Florida
It didn’t take living in Miami Beach or watching Miami Vice reruns to remind us that the Miami yachting scene is something that has to be seen to be believed. Superyachts from around the world congregate in Miami year-round, but they’re especially prevalent during Miami’s warm winters. Marinas near the Miami’s bustling port play host to numerous celebrities and their yachts, while February’s Miami International Boat Show is a star-studded affair — where the yachts are the stars.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Located in the “Venice of America,” where more than 40,000 yachts are registered, Port Everglades provides another perfect pre- or post-cruise area to view South Florida’s resident and visiting yachts. Like departures from the Port of Miami, leaving Port Everglades on a cruise ship often includes some great yacht-watching from the ship’s decks or balconies. Plus, November’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show gets us even more up-close and personal with yachts from around the corner or around the world.

Newport, Rhode Island
No port in America “says” yachting more than boat-crazed Newport. Visiting cruise-ship passengers can simply…

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