In La Seyne-sur-Mer, at the end of the nineteenth century, a mariner and businessman, Marius Michel Count of Pierredon, made Pasha (or “Pacha” in French) by the Sultan of Turkey, acquired 60 hectares of land and built a casino, villas and hotels to establish a renowned seaside resort there where celebrities some of that time made remarkable appearances. He built the castle of Tamaris in this small town’s image and success which in those days rivaled those of other famous seaside towns of the Côte d'Azur. Almost a century later, as a tribute to one of its most famous inhabitants and benefactors, the new marina currently under construction where once there were shipyards will be named "Port Michel Pacha".
Port Michel Pacha aims to be a modern and innovative marina, adapted to today's boat-owner’s needs. The construction project means to set an example in terms of preservation of the environment, being compliant with “Ports Propres” as well “Blue Flag” standards and regulations. The marina will be a pedestrian area, with access restricted to the vehicle access for boat-owners and crew. A shopping area will be erected South of the moorings, with restaurants and cafes, adding to the array of shops in the nearby town of La Seyne-sur-Mer (within walking distance). The yacht club will have a swimming pool for the use of its members and boat owners staying in the port, and a spa should even open its doors, offering care and relaxation to local residents and visitors alike.
The marina is of course well sheltered, being in the Petite Rade of Toulon, the long breakwater and the Saint-Mandrier Peninsula. It is also sheltered by the existing pier to North-East, currently used for mooring cruiseships. In addition, a long groyne (low harbour wall or pier) will secure the western part of the harbour’s layout and its 9 pontoons completely. This outer pier will form at its extremety the starboard side of the marina’s entrance and it will be designed to accommodate a few yachts on its northern side. Port Michel Pacha is primarily a port for boats (as opposed to yachts), providing a little less than six hundred berths for boats from 6 meters to 22 meters long, of which most are for those under 16 meters. All moorings will of course be equipped with water and power terminals as well as finger pontoons (located between every two boat). Certain quays will be able to accommodate catamarans. The dry storage area will have a capacity for up to 120 boats up to 10 m LOA.
An example of Port Michel Pacha’s innovations is the use of its PortPass app which will be available to all smartphone users. This portal between the marina and its users will allow berth-holders to have access to all of the harbour’s services online, to pay for their purchases, but also to access in real-time a variety of useful information. In the meantime, the marina’s administration will be able to use this technology to better anticipate boat movements and manage berth availabilities optimally on a 24/7 basis.
To the West of the harbour, the old shipyard docks will now be used as berthing jetties for superyachts and megayachts, as they occasionally have been over the past few years, due to the lack of mooring facilities in this region. With its redevelopment, this area will complement Port Michel Pacha’s capacity allowing it to accommodate boats from 6 metres to yachts up to 55 m in length overall.