Part One: IBIZA – Before the Bling and Boats

Story by DinaRella / Photos by DinaRella, Amnesia and Priviledge

Ibiza is the Spanish island sanctuary known for music and Mediterranean mayhem, but these days the Balearic jewel has expanded its base playing host to the finest performance boats and luxury liners the world has to offer. crossed the pond to take a peek at what marine hardware skims the sea swells, but not before first delving into a bit of the island's hedonist history to explore how the ongoing nautical transformation gradually blossomed into existence!

Even though Ibiza was unfamiliar in mainstream America until E Entertainment Channel's riveting documentary hit the big tube back in 2001 positioning it as perhaps the wildest corner on earth; unbeknownst to many, the spot was actually making headlines since French philosopher Nostradamus forecasted in the case of a global nuclear disaster, it would be the Earth’s final safe haven due to the way the winds blow. Putting past predictions aside, in modern times Ibiza became a retreat for Spaniards fleeing general Franco’s dictatorship on the mainland.

Although first a hub for freedom seekers, with each evolving decade came a new, unique and mischievously-flamboyant mix of characters. Life on the isle was free from care, forgiving and just plain fun. Back in the 60s and 70s the vibe was nonjudgmental. One of the most wicked bashes on record was Freddy Mercury’s 41st birthday at the indulgent Pikes Hotel in 1987. Julio Iglesias, Grace Jones and Robert Plant were three of the 500-plus celebrities on the guest-list.


Making landfall a decade later, the DJs joined the free spirits and the music scene exploded to  new heights. Gradually an influx of hipsters and high rollers crept in commercializing the "off the radar” enclave. Price spikes were felt across the board from real estate, to dining and discotheque entrances. An unattractive high-way to combat congestion and sheer chaos during peak summer months was another consequence.

Whether positive or negative, the end result... a new glittering five-star Ibiza was cast into the spotlight and the opulent boom welcomed luxury lifestyle brands as Cipriani, Nikki Beach and the W Hotel. Paris Hilton even popped up as a “professional” DJ.

The party-hardy crowd is still going strong today, but joining in on the action is a full spectrum of seafaring aficionados and their crafts. The most luxurious liners in the world are moored at marinas around Eivissa (its official Catalan name). In the summer of 2019 Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich welcomed Oprah Winfrey and Princess Beatrice to the decks of his 536-foot Blohm+Voss Super Yacht, Eclipse. Valued at $500 million, it was once considered the world’s largest yacht until Lürssen Yachts let the 590-foot Azzam out of its German shipyard in 2013.

Giving the Eclipse a run for its money, also spotted on the trailer was the 2016 MTI No More Rules and back in 2015 the Raging Bull MTI Lamborghini Aventador made an appearance pulling into the Ibiza Town harbor at Marina Botafoch, under the command of Xtreme Marine’s, Larry Goldman on the throttles. At the time, Goldman (who passed away in 2017) was in Spain lending a hand to the new Russian owner of the yellow 48-footer. I happened to be on the island that day and it was an unforgettable treat to see Goldman and the crew idling in the port with the castle as the backdrop and all eyes fixated on the kitty.

Though the American high-performance speedsters may be the minority with the exception of the old school Cigarettes and Magnums, what’s not in short supply are the sheer number of varying European doozies including: the radical looking Dutch Wajer and Vanquish vessels  and Norwegian/German Fjords, the Italian Sacs Marine Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB)  trumping the yacht tender market.

Part two of this feature story takes a closer look into Ibiza's style of luxury center consoles and day boats, as well as, providing charter and boating options for anyone who has become inspired to explore this piece of heaven on earth...

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