In the heart of Southampton, and the shelter of Southampton Water, Ocean Village is one of the most attractive marinas on the South Coast.
MDL Marinas’ Ocean Village Marina is in a great position in Southampton and is so much more than a marina. Surrounded by shops, bars, restaurants and a cinema, the waterfront is bustling and sophisticated, where eating out, enjoying a glass of wine or catching a movie is as much a part of the boating experience as the sailing is.
Just a short walk from the city’s popular West Quay shopping centre, the marina was originally part of an ambitious expansion plan of Southampton’s dock area and enjoyed life as a busy ferry terminal for the France and cross-Channel ferries in the 1970s. Virtually abandoned by the end of the decade, it was not until 1984 that a developer sought to create the mixed residential marina development seen today.
Now firmly established as one of the most prestigious marinas along the south coast, Ocean Village has hosted some of the most iconic offshore races, including the Whitbread Race and the BT Global Challenge.
More recently, it has become the venue for the exclusive South Coast Boat Show, showcasing the world’s most popular sailing and power brands on its pontoons.
FACILITIES & BERTHING
Set up for berthing vessels of all shapes and sizes, including superyachts, the deep-water Ocean Village Marina has 326 berths, with a maximum LOA of 90m. Being a city centre marina, there are no boatyard facilities but boat lifting and storage ashore is available at MDL’s nearby Shamrock Quay, Hythe Marina Village and Hamble Point marinas.
Fuel is available at MDL’s Hythe Marina Village, which is just across Southampton Water from Ocean Village, and also at Port Hamble Marina on the River Hamble.
The marina has the usual shower and laundry facilities, and also offers MDL WiFi, Tesla and Universal Type 2 electric car charging facilities, secure storage for stowing boating gear and the 776-space multi-storey Ocean Car Park, which is within easy walking distance of the marina. On site, there is a multiscreen cinema, yacht brokerage, beauty salon, Tesco Express and Co-op convenience stores as well as multiple restaurants and bars, including Banana Wharf and Pitcher and Piano.
In addition, the marina is home to the luxury 5* Harbour Hotel and Spa, where berth holders can access exclusive discounts at its café, restaurant and beauty parlour through MDL’s Platinum Berthing package.
The nearest chandlery to Ocean Village Marina is the Force Four Chandlery at MDL’s neighbouring Shamrock Quay, offering all you could need in the way of clothing, navigational gear, tools, books and charts.
By sea: access is from the Solent via Southampton Water where special attention should be paid to commercial shipping from the busy port, particularly the Red Jet ferry, which regularly crosses from Southampton to Cowes at 25 knots. The area is controlled by the port of Southampton and priority is given to the commercial traffic, although there is plenty of room to sail in Southampton Water, which is quite a vast area, without encroaching too much on the main shipping channel.
Entry to Ocean Village is easy once you have navigated the length of Southampton Water. As you approach the River Itchen turn to starboard and follow the river towards the imposing Itchen Bridge. Ocean Village Marina is to port before the bridge, but due to the angle of approach the entrance is not easy to spot. However, large and clear signage guides you in. Ocean Village Marina is manned 24hrs a day, so when you are in sight of the marina contact the floating marina office on VHF Ch80 and a member of the team will allocate you a berth.
By car: M27 Eastbound – exit Junction 3 on to the M271. Follow signs to the ‘Waterfront’. Ocean Village is signposted as you arrive in Southampton.
M3 Southbound – exit Junction 14 on to the A33. Follow the signs to the ‘Docks’ and ‘Old Waterfront’.
M27 Westbound – exit Junction 7 on to the A334. Follow the signs to Southampton city centre. Turn left into Prince’s Street at the traffic lights after the bridge over the River Itchen. Follow the road for about one mile and take the road on the left, signposted to Ocean Village.
By rail: Arriving at Southampton Central Station, Ocean Village Marina is a short taxi ride away.
Ocean Village Marina’s location close to the Solent means there is an almost endless supply of cruising destinations, and exciting places to explore once ashore.
The Isle of Wight is just across the Solent and makes a wonderful day or overnight trip, exploring Cowes High Street’s cafes and quirky shops. Bembridge is also a popular island destination with easy access and lovely beach walks, while Newton Creek offers the opportunity to anchor and spot local wildlife.
To the west is the picturesque Beaulieu River, the surrounding New Forest National Park and the thriving yachting haven of Lymington. Further afield are the turquoise waters of Poole Harbour and the beaches of Studland Bay. To the east, a few miles away, is historic Portsmouth Harbour, home to a large fleet of modern and iconic warships, including Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.
The Jetty: Located in the Harbour Hotel, The Jetty is sister to the multi award-winning The Jetty restaurant in Christchurch. Renowned local chef patron, Alex Aitken specialises in locally caught seafood with seasonal ingredients. Just delicious, especially when paired with an eclectic choice of wines and the gorgeous sea views. There is also an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu.
The Ocean Grill: Also on site at Ocean Village is the Ocean Grill. A beautifully styled restaurant, with the most amazing décor. Choose from a wide selection of Wagyu steaks and wild fish from the restaurant’s market counter, before it is prepared at your table on a flambé trolley. Definitely a dining experience not to be missed, although the vegetarian and vegan menu is limited.
Blue Jasmine: A fine dining restaurant, specialising in refined and imaginative Southeast Asian cuisine. MDL berth holders also get 10 per cent off all food and drink, with Platinum members receiving a 15 per cent discount.
Oxford Brasserie: Within walking distance of the marina is Oxford Street, which plays host to some of the best restaurants in the city. Centrally located along this iconic street, the Oxford Brasserie is a popular spot for both lunch and dinner. With the tables spilling out onto the bustling pavement, the Oxford Brasserie caters for all with its extensive a la carte and vegan menus.
THINGS TO DO
Just a stone’s throw away from Ocean Village Marina is the Titanic Berth 44 Ocean Dock. Originally known as The White Star dock, it was specifically dug for the RMS Titanic, and it was from here she left on her ill-fated voyage on 10 April 1912. The tragic story of the liner, which left 500 households in Southampton bereft, is documented in a fantastic audio and visual exhibit at Southampton’s Seacity Museum in the city’s Civic Centre.
A wonderful free activity in Southampton, which is great for all, is the 3.9km loop trail around the Southampton Old Town Walls. Starting from the city centre and taking about 1.5 hours, this pleasant walk is a great way for visitors to explore the historical part of the city, with over 90 listed buildings and more than 30 ancient monuments, medieval wine vaults, churches and fine Georgian houses.