Out of all the jewels of the Pacific marina scene, Port Denarau sparkles particularly brightly, bursting at the seams with superyachts and commercial ferry operations and juggling waiting lists for its berths.
Pacsoft’s marina management software puts the wind in the sails of the multi-award-winning Fiji marina, keeping it on an even keel as its team manages an impressive 100 per cent berth occupancy and plans for expansion in 2024.
The marina’s Chief Executive Cynthia Rasch said PacsoftNG was essential to its success, helping her team manage bookings, invoicing and other key areas of Port Denarau’s operation since the software was introduced in 2008.
“It’s so convenient and easy to use – we couldn’t live without any of it.”
Rasch said they are “on a high at the moment”, with the marina welcoming up to 60 superyachts and approximately 400 smaller yachts last season.
“Over the past decade we have grown exponentially in terms of super yachting and yachting. We are now well recognised regionally and globally as an international marina.
“Right now I should be expecting an empty marina, but I’m not, I’m still transiting 40,000 to 50,000 passengers in a month for our commercial operations which is a fairly high number considering this is supposed to be off-peak season.”
Around a dozen of the marina’s team of 30 staff use PacsoftNG to keep the bustling marina humming and its customers satisfied, with the smart software’s Visual Marina tool providing instant awareness of the position of every boat in the marina, Rasch said.
“Everybody loves PacsoftNG; it’s visual, it’s easy to use and I love the colours because I can easily spot arrivals and departures for the day, where double bookings are and things like that.
“The Visual Marina is fantastic because it’s very easy for anybody to use no matter how computer savvy they are. For example the security team that monitors and keeps track of the boats can see everything they need to know at a glance.”
Rasch said new team members sometimes only have basic computer skills, so having user-friendly software makes it easy to bring them up to speed and saves a lot of time.
“We have recruited a few new staff who will go through training; the training is quick and easy to use with a training database for the team to test run with their learnings before they go live.”
Port Denarau is on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu and its flagship marina acts as not just a gateway to Fiji, but also to the bounty of idyllic islands sprinkled around it, including Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and The Solomon Islands, as well as the more distant destinations of Australia and New Zealand.
The world-class marina aims to be a one-stop shop for visiting boaties and is equipped with 144 berths, 20 of which can accommodate superyachts up to 85 m in length. It also boasts Fiji’s most comprehensive suite of marine services, including a haul-out facility, 30-tonne boat hoist, short- and long-term boat storage, dry-stack facilities and a wealth of other marine maintenance facilities. The marina complex also includes 70 land tenancies that it owns.
Swimming in accolades, Port Denarau was inducted into the prestigious Marina Industries Association Hall of Fame in 2019 after hauling in the International Marina of the Year of Award for two years running. It recently received a Recognition Award at Fiji’s Prime Minister’s International Business Awards after previously receiving a Fiji Excellence in Tourism Award from ANZ in 2018 and 2023. Port Denarau is also an accredited Marina Industries Association Superyacht Ready Gold Anchor marina.
With its dedication to protecting the marine environment around it, the marina is also accredited by the Marina Industries Association with “Clean Marina – Level 3” and “Fish Friendly Marina” status.
Established in 1999, Port Denarau Marina has become so successful that in August 2019 it was locally listed on the South Pacific Stock exchange, and with the post-Covid sailing boom in full effect – and waiting lists to satisfy – there are plans to expand its capacity.
Rasch said Port Denarau deserves to be described as the “cream of the crop” of Pacific marinas, nestled in one of the world’s ultimate holiday destinations.
Fiji is the perfect Pacific paradise where people can unplug from the fast pace of modern life and enjoy rich culture, stunning biodiversity and the welcome of friendly locals in a safe environment, said Rasch.
“For those who want to be able to explore the untouched beauty of the islands it’s all there for them: whatever your heart desires – under the water, on the water, or over lush land – we’ve got it all.”