Majestic Is Back, Sort Of

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The Majestic in Newport Harbor. Photo by Eric Longabardi

The city has decided to allow MV Majestic, a large charter yacht at the center of a long-running dispute, to return to Newport Harbor to operate temporarily.

In a letter sent to Pacific Avalon Charters owner John Gueola late last week and obtained by the Independent, city Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller granted the charter company permission to operate four specific charters that had been previously booked. One of the events has already taken place; the three others are upcoming.

In the letter, Miller spells out a host of specific requirements for the four charter events, including allowing the yacht to load passengers and berth at its company location, 2901 West Coast Highway at Waterfront Newport, for only “exactly (2) hours prior to each charter” and for only “one-half hour after each of the charters listed above is complete.”

According to the letter, the charters approved by the city to take place are events on Feb. 4, 11 and and March 31. When contacted about the events listed in the letter, Miller said the city had chosen to allow the previously booked charter events because the people involved should not be adversely affected by the city’s dispute with Gueola.

One of those events, according to the city letter, is a “wedding” slated to take place this Saturday aboard the Majestic.

However, the Independent discovered that the event was not a wedding, but a publicly promoted DJ dance party event being put on by a Los Angeles based DJ know as DJ-Bago and promoted at djbago.com/bagolandia.

When asked about the discrepancy, Gueola told the Independent he didn’t want to comment for this story or about the nature of the event, adding that the Independent’s prior coverage about his dispute with the city had “caused me problems.”

When contacted again by the Independent, Miller said that the Feb. 11 event on the Majestic had been cancelled by Pacific Yacht Charters after owner Gueola contacted him to inform him that event was not a wedding, but a “birthday party.”

Guola said there had been a mix-up in his scheduling information and the wedding will be aboard another Pacific Charters yacht, Miller said.

The DJ’ed event, although cancelled in Newport Harbor, apparently will still go on in San Pedro where the Majestic is now berthed. The DJ promoting the event sent out a tweet yesterday to partygoers saying “ATTENTION: bagolandia will no longer take off from Newport Beach, we’re taking off from San Pedro… AND, get an extra hour to party!! “

Pacific Avalon operates two other charter yachts, MV Ambassador and MV Royal Princess in Newport Harbor, those ships had their permit to operate revoked last month by the city, which cited the Majestic’s longstanding illegal berthing in the harbor. Gueola moved the Majestic out of the Harbor two days later, and the city reinstated the other yachts’ permits on the same day the letter was sent authorizing the Majestic to conduct the four events previously scheduled.

So for now, the MV Majestic is slated to be back in Newport Harbor for an event later this month.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Excellent investigative reporting. The floating office building is too big for Newport Harbor. Do residents on the water really want 400 out-of-towners partying and gawking into the windows of their homes? The Catalina Flyer is a large boat, but it departs and arrives once a day and does not loiter around the harbor for hours at a time. Even so, I believe the owner of the Flyer stated he enjoyed the smaller boat he leased while the Flyer was in for work. I feel we should limit the size of craft allowed on our bathtub-sized harbor.