Blue Marina Awards: Cala dei Sardi achieves excellence

The prestigious Blue Marina Awards have been presented to the Marina di Cala dei Sardi, an award given to port facilities that stand out for their innovation, commitment to sustainability, high-quality hospitality, and rigorous safety measures.

The event, part of the Barcolana race, celebrated the dedication of recreational boating facilities to excellence in the Italian port industry. Conceived and coordinated by Walter Vassallo and promoted by Assonautica Italiana and ASSONAT, with technical support from RINA, the initiative saw the participation of over 100 ports from all over Italy. The results of this edition have been defined as extraordinary. Among the marina resorts, tourist ports, and tourist landings, 34 have exceeded the required score threshold to obtain the prestigious recognition.

“It is a great satisfaction,” declares Simone Morelli, the patron of Cala dei Sardi, “that certifies the great work of tourist reception, integration into the territory, and environmental respect that we have pursued from the beginning. We now have the honor of hoisting the Blue Marina Awards flag in our eco-marina. Not a destination but a stimulus to improve and continue on the path we have set.”

“The Blue Marina Awards represent an extraordinary opportunity for our maritime economy,” explains Walter Vassallo, the creator and coordinator of the Blue Marina Awards. “They not only promote excellence in port facilities but also have a positive impact on businesses related to tourist reception, innovation, sustainability, and safety. Furthermore, these awards, like the Blue Flags for beach resorts, help change the collective imagination’s perception of our ports and landings from mere boat parking to high-quality reception facilities.”

“A result beyond expectations with three times the participation compared to the first edition,” the President of Assonautica Italiana, Giovanni Acampora says with satisfaction. “This testifies to the willingness of ports and tourist landings to challenge themselves and elevate their standards. The Blue Marina Awards have indeed provided an overview of the state of Italian port facilities in over a hundred evaluation criteria, ranging from tourist reception to safety, from innovation to sustainability. A journey that has been surrounded by excellent partners and will continue to cover various parts of Italy, but there is already consideration of extending the award to Europe.”

North Sardinia Sail is confirmed as the first Company in Sailing boat charter business

Simone Morelli’s NSS Charter confirms its position as the main productive reality in the sailing boat charter business in Sardinia. The data is reported in the annual study of Nuova Sardegna magazine, published a few days ago in the “Top 1000” insert, where the performance of the main companies on the island is analyzed. Not only; considering that in Sardinia, in the Cala dei Sardi – Porto Rotondo – Portisco triangle, approximately 15% of the national charter operates with about 30 companies for a total of over 300 boats and 2500 beds, the record is undoubtedly national.

The sailing charter is increasingly establishing itself with important numbers that generate a considerable business in the tourism and holiday industry. The data confirm that the charter is experiencing a moment of great expansion also because the sailing holiday is now within everyone’s reach. The rental of a 12-meter catamaran with 4 cabins and 8 berths costs around 7,000 euros per week in July, less than 1,000 euros per person.

«Ours – says Simone Morelli – is a reality that has been operating for 22 years in the sailing holidays sector. We were born as a family business, at the time it was just my wife and I and, probably, this is the real reason for our success in the market. We are quick to make decisions and we always do it in agreement with each other. We like to stand out and invest in our company, which now has a large staff with valid collaborators both in booking and in charter bases».

The flagship of Simone Morelli’s group is certainly Marina Cala dei Sardi, the Sardinian base of NSS Charter, which has contributed, and not a little, to affirming the company internationally. Cala dei Sardi is in fact the only green marina on the Costa Smeralda and is taken as an example of an eco-sustainable production reality in the tourist port sector.

The Yacht Club Cala dei Sardi was also recently inaugurated, so as to make the marina active all year round with sailing events and a sea school on NSS boats. An added value for yachtsmen and charterers who want to experience the marina in the greenery of the Gulf of Cugnana.

The Yacht Club Cala dei Sardi was born

In the Gulf of Cugnana, at the gates of the Costa Smeralda, the Yacht Club Cala dei Sardi was born, an association that presents itself to sailing and sea enthusiasts with the clear intention of promoting the territory, environmental sustainability and respect for the sea. The initiative is by Simone Morelli who is the honorary president of the Yacht Club.

Morelli, patron of Marina Cala dei Sardi, aims to make the nautical base live all year round thanks to the organization of sailing activities and the promotion of water sports in general, as well as with events aimed at raising awareness of the protection of the marine environment. Cala dei Sardi was born from the vision of wanting to offer an eco-compatible structure with safe and protected moorings, a different landing place than the usual one of a kind.

«The idea that gave way to the birth of the Yacht Club – says Morelli – is that of a sports center that can create aggregation between men and women of the sea, train athletes and bring the name of Olbia and Sardinia to the world».

Among the founding members, famous names from the world of sport and the Italian navy such as the Olympian Tania Cagnotto, the only Italian woman to have won a world gold medal in diving, Vincenzo Montella, former footballer remembered for scoring the highest number of double goals consecutive in Serie A and today football coach of Adana Demirspor, and the former Commander of Amerigo Vespucci Gianfranco Bacchi, a passionate sailor who last year replicated, after 55 years, the famous and difficult maneuver of crossing the Taranto canal completed by Admiral Agostino Straulino in 1965.

«The new board of directors is already working on the request for affiliation to the Italian Sailing Federation – announces Morelli – and already this year we intend to organize high-level events as well as collaborate with the main realities of the area».

At the technical guide of the Yacht Club, as president of the board of directors, Alessandro Balzani, together with Eugenio Basciu, Stefano Pilia, Stefano Parolin and Carlotta Morelli. «This new Club – they explain – was born with the aim of strengthening the great work done over the years to make Cala dei Sardi a point of reference in the nautical sector and at the same time to look to the future».

Like every Yacht Club, the social standard was also presented, represented by a portion of a four-pointed compass rose, inserted in the triangle of the flag on a light blue background, with an ocher yellow circle in the center. The prerequisites, therefore, are all there, for a good start in the name of great sailing and for a season that already promises to be full of first-rate events.

The new Lagoon 55 exposed in Cala dei Sardi

The Lagoon World Tour arrives in Cala dei Sardi for the premiere of the new cruising catamaran from Lagoon Shipyard.

During the weekend from 30th of July to the 1st of August the new Lagoon 55, a 17 meters length catamaran will be available to those who want to see and try it, while in the previous days the yacht will have a photo shoot in the Costa Smeralda sea.

For catamaran enthusiasts the location is the best one. In Cala dei Sardi they will find and try the entire range of Lagoon catamarans. The Marina si the main base of NSS Charter, the biggest Italian charter company with over 140 boats, both monohulls and catamarans located in different destinations all along the Mediterranean Sea.

On the occasion of the Event, Simone Morelli, CEO of NSS Group will celebrate the 100th Lagoon catamaran sold and is on the race to win the award of best Lagoon European Dealer for the third consecutive year.

«Despite the severe crisis – explains Morelli – boating business is holding up, thanks to the fact that the boat is one of the safest means to spend holidays. Nautical tourism, charter business and tourist Marinas, are important economic sectors and Sardinia remains one of the most popular destinations. About 30 companies operate on the island for a total of over 300 boats and 2500 beds, and in the Cala dei Sardi / Porto Rotondo / Portisco triangle there is approximately 20% of the national charter offer. Numbers that generate considerable commercial activities in the tourism and holiday industry, and events like this one represent a showcase and a good opportunity for promotion for the area.»

In addition to direct sales, it is also thanks to the family management programs that more and more enthusiasts choose catamarans. With these programs the customer purchases the boat without having to worry about management cost for an agreed period. In that period of time, for example 5 years, the catamaran will generate an income to the owner of about 50% of its purchase price, but it will also be managed by the charter company that can rent it to its clients and will take care of the boat management cost at their own expense. After the five-year period, the owner will have full availability and will be able to decide whether to continue with the program. 

The NSS, acronym for North Sardinia Sail, is a company founded in 1998 in Sardinia, based in Portisco as a charter company with 7 sailing boats. Then Mr. Morelli created the Marina Cala dei Sardi in Gulf of Cugnana, an eco-sustainable oasis, equipped with all the services dedicated to the yachtsman and to those who want to spend they boat holidays in total relax.

The Marina is a strategic point to sail among the coves of Costa Smeralda, Maddalena Archipelago and South of Corsica. Today NSS is a leader in Sailing Charter business, but also in monohulls and catamarans sales. It’s a well-established company that offers high-profile professionalism between skippers, boatmen, sales manages for a total of about 100 permanent and seasonal collaborators.

The Amerigo Vespucci stopped among the mega yachts in the Costa Smeralda

Olbia – The presence of the “most beautiful ship in the world” in the Gulf of Cugnana has certainly not gone unnoticed over the last weekend.

The Amerigo Vespucci, pride of Italian Navy and Italy ambassador in the world, stopped among the mega yachts in the Costa Smeralda waters in her tour for the 2021 campaign, with 118 students of the first class of the Academy ship of Livorno on board. 

During Saturday 17th July the cadets and part of the crew had the opportunity to visit the marina of Cala dei Sardi owned by Simone Morelli, a retired Navy officer and former student of Vespucci as well as a personal friend of the current commander of the sailing ship Gianfranco Bacchi. The cadets then sailed with two NSS Charter boats for an afternoon of sport and training while the mayor of Olbia, Settimo Nizzi, and the councilor for tourism, Marco Balata, boarded for the institutional greetings accompanied by the former officer Morelli.

The training ship, launched in 1931, the oldest unit in service in the Navy, returned to sail in north-eastern Sardinia after about 4 years. Yesterday’s departure from the Cugnana harbor was suggestive. In fact, Commander Bacchi set sail, demonstrating skilled seafaring like Agostino Straulino, the unforgettable sailing champion who commanded the Vespucci in 1965.

The Amerigo Vespucci then made a stop in the Maddalena archipelago, precisely in the bay of Santo Stefano. A real show for all yachtsmen and charterers in transit who were able to admire and photograph the ship of the Italian Navy.

In Marina Cala dei Sardi the day of sport and sea

Olbia – Sailing, sport, sunbath and lots of water games for a day dedicated to the children of Associazione Olbia 1905 – Scuola Calcio.

Today took place in Marina Cala dei Sardi the day of sport and sea of the young “pulciniAmici dello Sport.

For children it has been an opportunity to try new water sports, able to combine physical activity, fun and, why not, a little healthy competition.

The young students demonstrated their seafaring skills sailing with catamarans provided by NSS Charter, accompanied by the skippers and instructors of Olbia 1905 Nivia Iglesias, Egle Cottu and Susanna Ardovino.

Not only. The children distinguished themselves in the practice of nautical knots, tug-of-war, as well as rowing and balance tests on the SUP. For them a master of exception. Antioco Tilocca, former boatswain of the Amerigo Vespucci School Ship, supervised all the training phases of the young students, teaching them the tricks of a good sailor and respect for the environment.

At the end of the day, as evidence of past experience, each little “sea wolf” was awarded the certificate of “first sailor”.

Cala dei Sardi is renewed and inaugurates the 2021 tourist season

The marina of Cala dei Sardi is renewed. In the Marina located in the Gulf of Cugnana, the works to integrate the sea structures with breakwaters are nearing conclusion, a series of floating modules that allow to protect the marina from storm surges coming from the north-east, until yesterday the only one weak point of Cala dei Sardi.

“The intervention will allow us to have a 100% safe marina with the guarantee of a mooring protected from the wind and the sea and the possibility of extending the season, intercepting new flows of nautical tourism and making the base live even during cold periods with sailing events and sailing school activities »explains the Marina CEO Simone Morelli.

The modules were built at an Olbian shipyard and today the installation is nearing completion, in time for the tourist season. Cala dei Sardi is the charter base of North Sardinia Sail (NSS), a company that has a fleet of over 65 boats in Sardinia including monohulls and catamarans. An activity apparently only in the summer but which actually works 12 months a year and which from a few days has started the engines for the 2021 season. In fact, 32 people are employed in the marina on a permanent basis and it reaches 100 units during the high season.

“The installation of the modules – continues Morelli – is the result of studies by the University of Padua on the attenuation of wave motion while ensuring respect for natural sea currents. The breakwaters, which integrate the existing structure, are in fact eco-sustainable, exactly like those already installed in La Maddalena a few months ago. We care about the environment – Morelli specifies – so much so that on more than one occasion we have received important awards for having created a nautical base of international importance with a very low environmental impact on the territory.

Today we are awaiting the authorizations for the installation of charging stations for electric cars, one of the most requested services by our foreign tourists. Despite Covid – comments Morelli – we expect to reach 50,000 visitors last year. The north east of Sardinia remains one of the most popular destinations, so much so that 13% of the entire national charter is counted in just 320 kilometers of coastline ».

Translated into numbers we are talking about a total turnover of about 27 million euros for a sector that, in the total of the Sardinia region, involves 25 companies, 300 boats and 2500 beds, creating an important induced in terms of jobs that complete the supply chain.

Finally, “an applause to the municipal administration of Olbia and the Sardinia region, as well as to the offices in charge, for the efficiency of the administrative machinery that allowed us to carry out the work on time”, concludes Morelli.

NSS is the first Sardinian company in the nautical charter sector

North Sardinia Sail, a company with its headquarters in Cala dei Sardi, confirms its position as the main production company in the pleasure boat rental sector in Sardinia, with a turnover of 6 million and seven hundred thousand euros and 53 employees. This is what emerges from the magazine “Nuova Sardegna” study, reported in “Top 1000”, the insert on the main productive realities of the island that takes into consideration the 2019 budgets in the various economic sectors, and therefore in the period preceding the Covid-19 pandemic.

NSS Charter is ranked in 385th position, an important result for a company that realizes its work during the summer season with a growing trend compared to 2018, when the Olbia charter company had reached 476th place.

«The nautical charter represents a very important reality both at national and Sardinian level. – explains the founder of the NSS Simone Morelli – About 30 companies operate on the island for a total of over 300 boats and 2500 beds, and in the triangle Cala dei Sardi – Porto RotondoPortisco there is 12% of the national charter offer. Numbers that generate considerable business in the tourism and holiday industry. Unfortunately, Covid has broken the trend but, despite everything, the sector is defending itself thanks to the fact that the boat today represents one of the safest ways to spend your holidays».

To confirm Morelli’s words, there are data from Confindustria Nautica which explain how the search for distancing is giving a strong boost to boat rental. Today a sailing holiday is within everyone’s reach. The rental of a 10 meter boat with 3 cabins and 6 berths costs 1200 euros per week in August, less than a holiday home.

Strada Provinciale per Porto Cervo sn 07026 Cugnana (Olbia)

+39 0789/1876125


Puoi prenotare subito uno dei 140 posti barca disponibili nel Marina Cala dei Sardi! I posti barca, da 6 a 60 metri ( pescaggio massimo 6,8 metri), sono serviti da elettricità e acqua. Inoltre il Marina è protetto dai venti del II, III e IV quadrante. L’assistenza all’ ormeggio può essere contattata sul canale VHF 8.
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Il Cala dei Sardi è il più grande approdo della Sardegna di tipo eco-compatibile. Si trova nel Golfo di Cugnana, sul territorio di Olbia, tra Portisco e Porto Rotondo. Servizi in banchina (acqua ed energia elettrica), servizi igienici e docce, bar e ristorazione (il ristorante offre specialità tipiche del territorio e piatti di mare).
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