Average 5 stars from 1 user reviews (add a review)
At the mouth of the mythical river Bouregreg, a marina housed in the heart of Salé faces ten centuries of history that is dedicated to the kasbah Oudayas. This capital city of Morocco so you will find all foreign embassies here. It is a secure place to leave your boat and explore Morocco. If going by train, use the Salé station, it is much closer than Rabat.
call the marina who will send a boat to escort you up the river (1 nm up the river at Sale - 3m depth but beware of currents; they might not reply but will be at the entrance of the river to escort you). If possible plan to arrive near high tide and swell less than 2 m.
Clearance is carried out at the marina's floating waiting pontoon on the port side just before the bridge. Procedures are straightforward, and generally take about an hour. Customs may use a sniffer dog to inspect the boat. Both Customs and Immigration are available 24hrs. Customs: +212 05 37 849 902; Immigration: +212 05 37 883 709
240 berths max LOA: 30 m, max draught: 4 m.
Tel. : +212 537 849 900 ; Fax: +212 537 785 858 VHF 10 & 16
Ashore: water, electricity (220V-30Amp), WIFI, showers and toilets, fuel pontoon(24/7), NO recycling in Morocco. . Supermarket (tram ride with line 1, take taxi back for a few euros) , launderette, infirmary, cafes and restaurants . No chandlery
by s/v Blue Pearl on 18 August 2018
Checking into Morocco:
When we reached the Marina entrance we were made to dock just outside the Marina on a pontoon in the river , The very friendly and helpful pilot helped us tie Blue Pearl to the pontoon (put your fenders quite low as the pontoon is low), and we were told that Immigration and customs would be with us shortly. When I inquired how ‘shortly’ (60 to 90 minutes maybe ?) we were told ‘Ah mais non Capitain , 10 minutes maximum !’
Joline used these minutes to clean up Blue Pearl so we could receive the officials on board !
When the officialdom arrived they sat down outside and kindly declined to step inside (sorry Joline ! Blue Pearl looked immaculate !) and after a few introductionary Q’s when Joline offered them some refreshing drinks and snacks , they came straight to business and their first question was “Do you have anything to declare” , to which I answered “Yes I do , we have a drone and it is my understanding that these can’t be brought into the country” the person that asked the question looked quite surprised and said ‘That is true , so no guns ?” “No Sir , I have 2 young children on board and I do not carry any firearms” , this went over surprisingly well and he confirmed that drones were indeed not allowed into the country.
And now the officialdom and bureaucracy really starts and the form filling begins , each form 4 times , paperwork checked (make sure that the boat name matches exactly on all your paperwork (ie registration name must match insurance papers etc) 4 times for immigration , 4 times for temporary import , 4 times for … and half a dozen more papers for who knows what . Then he asked how long we intended to stay ? , a few days or a week maybe ? I told him we would like to see his beautiful country and would like to stay maybe a month he said ‘No problem Sir ! we will leave the exit date empty so you can stay as long as you want’
After all the paperwork is finished he asked to look inside the boat , which he briefly did (nothing was opened , nothing was checked and no sniffer dog to be seen !) he stepped out again and asked to see the drone. When I fetched the drone and opened the case he thanked me , zipped it up and customs took it with them mentioning that I would get a receipt for it and they all left with all the paperwork and our passports which he brought around later again , all stamped and all good .
Baksheesh ? to be honest we have not been asked for them yet , either openly or covertly , not by the officialdom, not by marina staff , not by anyone in the streets of Sale , no one really approached us in a pushy manner or in an uncomfortable way
Welcome to Morocco !
At that point the Pilot came out again and showed us our berth in the quite empty Bouregreg Marina , he helped us tie Blue Pearl between 2 short finger pontoons and we we’re all set , somewhere in filling out all the paperwork the Marina also got their info as when I went to visit the Marina office we were all set as well , nothing else was required and payment was due when we leave. Please give us a 24 hour notice before you leave so we can prepare everything and get all the paperwork in order ! very friendly and very easy going .
Now this is how we did it , and of course it can be done in a slightly different manner as well as our (very experienced) german neighbours did . They left Gibraltar with current and winds against them doing -1 Kts SOG through the strait and arrived at Bouregreg Marina at LW entering the outer harbour with 4 meter swell , breaking waves and not having called a pilot to guide them in, ask them how they experienced it !
They were in one piece but after listening to these very experienced sailors they made it from Gib to Rabat without reading a pilot and using google maps to guide them into the Harbour and upstream to the Marina , I prefer our (overly cautious ?) way and wish them all the best making their way to the Canaries , Cape Verdes and then Brazil ;)
The Marina is nice , it seems to be quite new and all the surrounding buildings seems to be new as well , upscale lounges and restaurants everywhere and open to the public with (very) tight security blowing their whistles at everyone and everything that , in their eyes, steps out of line (ie sitting on the docks looking at the boats .. whistle blows .. please move on or sit on the benches)
its a little disappointing to find no other cruisers to exchange info, the germans left and we seem to be the only cruisers here , maybe we will see a few more in the next week(s) ?
Prices are not ‘Moroccan cheap’ at 1.50 euro per meter (catamarans +25%) , incl water and electricity (wifi inoperable as I type this) but still quite acceptable in my eyes and we feel comfortable leaving Blue Pearl here when we explore the country itself in the coming weeks .