St Tropez as a Yacht Charter Destination

Yachts in the Port of St Tropez
Yachts in the Port of St Tropez

St Tropez on the French Riviera remains for many the quintessential luxury yacht charter destination in the Mediterranean. Every summer, luxury yachts on charter fill the Port of St Tropez. St Tropez is so popular with luxury yachts, that in July and August, there are often many hundreds of yachts anchored in the bay outside the port and at nearby Pampelonne beach. Berths inside the Port of St Tropez are like gold-dust and those wanting to visit St Tropez on their luxury yacht charter need to book many months in advance in order to guarantee that all important berth inside the harbour. St Tropez offers it all to guests holidaying on a luxury yacht, great beaches, restaurants, shopping and nightlife but beautiful quiet anchorages are only a short cruise away! Since it rose to fame in the 1960s, St Tropez has remained the ultimate summer playground for the world’s jet-set, and despite competition from other destinations around the Mediterranean, St Tropez shows no signs of relinquishing its’ crown!

Ever wondered what it might be like to spend some time on a luxury yacht in St Tropez? Check out An Essential Guide to Yacht Charter in St Tropez

Other useful yachting articles: 10 Days in the South of France, Sardinia and Corsica onboard a Luxury Yacht CharterSouth of France Yacht Charters & Yacht Charters on the French Riviera

L’Opéra

Since opening in 2014, L’Opéra has fast become one of the coolest and trendiest restaurants in St Tropez! From the most beautiful terrace in all of St Tropez, guests have fabulous views over the huge yachts in the port with the stunning backdrop of the Citadel and the old town of St Tropez. Come here for a glass or two of champagne, or a beautiful dinner by the water. The terrace is fabulously elegant, with its all white furniture and beautifully dressed staff. At night, the atmosphere is truly magical with the lights from all the superyachts shimmering in the port. Diners are treated to an exciting show featuring dancers and musicians, right in the middle of the restaurant.

L’Opéra – Résidence du Port, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France

Tel. +33 4 94 49 51 31 www.opera-saint-tropez.com

Yacht Charter at Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions yacht charter by Bespoke Yacht Charter
Cannes Lions Yacht Charters

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is rapidly becoming one of the most important annual industry events in Cannes. As with MIPIM for property professionals and the Cannes Film Festival, the proximity of the Port of Cannes to the Palais des Festivals where the event takes place means that luxury yachts make a fantastic base for companies during the event. There are already in excess of thirty charter yachts with berths secured in Cannes Port for this year’s event but it is still possible to secure a yacht charter for Cannes Lions.

By chartering a luxury yacht during Cannes Lions, a company will have their very own luxurious accommodation in the best possible location in Cannes. The yacht also serves as the perfect venue for meetings, presentations, lunches, dinners and parties. Charter yachts are professionally crewed and offer service comparable to the finest hotels in the world. Most yachts have a dedicated Chef to prepare fabulous lunches and dinners, from a small business lunch for six through to a large buffet for a hundred people. The yacht will make a perfect party venue and DJs and live music can be arranged.

Perhaps the best thing of all about a Cannes Lions yacht rental is being able to cruise along the French Riviera, going to the beaches in St Tropez for lunch is an ever popular choice.

Bespoke Yacht Charter are able to offer yachts from 70-150ft to charter for the duration of the event with berths in the Port of Cannes. The yachts can sleep from 6-18 people and welcome groups as large as 150 for parties and events. For those not wanting to hire a yacht for the entire event, they can also offer day charters on yachts of all sizes to take groups of guests from Cannes to all ports along the French Riviera, including St Tropez, Antibes, Nice and Monaco.

To discuss chartering a yacht for Cannes Lions 2017, please contact:

 Rachel Blundy

+33 609 473500 rachel@bespokeyachtcharter.com

 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity www.canneslions.com

From 17-24 June at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France

Read more in The Case for Chartering a Yacht at Cannes Lions

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French Riviera Helicopter Transfers

Helicopters over Port of St Tropez

As the summer gets off to a warm start this June, travelling by road around the French Riviera becomes more and more frustrating. With so many tourists arriving on the French Riviera by car, what better way to begin your yacht charter in the south of France than to arrive by helicopter! Avoiding all the motorway nonsense, the slow procession of cars through the winding roads of the Var en-route to Pampelonne beach and the chaos of La Croisette in Cannes! Whether arriving by plane to either Nice, Cannes or St Tropez, a helicopter transfer is simply the best way to stay relaxed and take the most direct route and enjoy stunning views to begin your luxury vacation or business event on the French Riviera.

There are several helicopter transfer services running between Nice, Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez and the cost of flying by helicopter is surprisingly low, in many cases no more expensive than a regular taxi!

Heli Air Monaco - Helicopter

HELI AIR MONACO operate out of the Monaco Heliport in the Principality of Monaco. Running a complimentary shuttle service, HELI AIR MONACO will collect guests direct from their Monaco hotel or apartment and whisk you straight to your helicopter before departing for Nice, Cannes or St Tropez. For regular scheduled flights, HELI AIR MONACO operate over 50 flights per day between Monaco and Nice Airport. Taking off on the hour and every half hour from Monaco and quarter past the hour and every half hour afterwards from Nice, with each flight taking only 7 minutes! Road transfers are included in the cost but advance booking is recommended for this service. HELI AIR MONACO also offer bespoke French Riviera panoramic helicopter flights, ski packages and private charter flights throughout the year. They also offer a helicopter aerial filming service.

Please contact HELI AIR MONACO for further details:

www.heliairmonaco.com  +377 92 050 050

Helicopter flying over the Port of St Tropez

HELI SECURITE are predominantly based out of Nice, where most international flights arrive into, but they also have hubs at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport and at La Mole airport in St Tropez and run regular flights out of all three. HELI SECURITE also arrange special helicopter transfers during all of the major events that take place in Cannes. So if you’re arriving for a MIPIM yacht charter or a yacht charter at Cannes Lions, why not avoid the traffic and arrive relaxed direct into Cannes Port by helicopter! After a hectic round of business meetings, why not extend your yacht charter and take a steady cruise along the coast to Portofino for the evening before heading back to Nice by helicopter? HELI SECURITE also operate throughout the winter season and run regular flights to the French and Swiss Alps for ski enthusiasts.

For further details please visit HELI SECURITE:

www.helisecurite.fr   +33 4 94 55 59 99

Helicopter flying over the islands off Cannes, France

AZUR HELICOPTERE operate flights mainly into Cannes, but also to major cities such as Lyon, where they maintain a hub for transporting guests around the Rhône-Alpes region and for helicopter transfers to the French Alps. They also run helicopter flights between Milan and Geneva as well as hopping across the Mediterranean to the beautiful island of Corsica! Offering a totally bespoke service AZUR HELICOPTERE can arrange helicopter transfers for special dinners, concerts, sailing regattas, boat shows and all of the Cannes events. And should you ever wish to sit up front and take the controls, AZUR HELICOPTERE also operate a fully licensed professional flying school at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport!

For further details please visit AZUR HELICOPTERE:

www.azurhelico.com +33 4 93 90 40 70

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MIDEM 5-8 June in Cannes

MIDEM
MIDEM

Next Friday sees the international music world arrive once again in Cannes on the French Riviera. The Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale (MIDEM) takes place from the 5-8 June at the Palais du Festivals in Cannes. This annual event brings together all major players in the music industry to network, improve practices, sign deals and develop business strategies through all media platforms along with of course plenty of key speeches from industry experts and lots and lots of music! With over 180 artists, Cannes can look forward to a great week of live performances.

This year, key speakers come from all across the industry including the CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, the founder of SoundCloud and a pioneer in electronic music from Detroit amongst many others. The State Youth Orchestra of Armenia will represent Armenia, the country of honour at this year’s event. All the major music media platforms are also attending including Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora and Anghami to help bring more of the worlds great music into our lives in this fast paced, modern age.

Largely thanks to the new summer dates (the event having been moved to June from January), yacht charters at MIDEM are much more popular this year!

L’Italie à Table

Buratta

The 11th Festival of Italian Gastronomy begins in Nice tomorrow for a veritable feast of delicious taste sensations from across the border. Taking place along the Promenade des Anglais, the exhibition will be open to visitors from tomorrow morning until Sunday evening. Entrance is free of charge and all are welcome!

An excellent opportunity for yacht chefs and anyone with a love of food to explore and taste fresh authentic Italian produce. On show are products from over 90 different exhibitors from 13 different regions of Italy. Bringing together a real love for food; producers, chefs, restauranteurs and visitors alike can share their passion for food at its very best. Discussing production techniques and taking time to reflect on the history and evolution of each region. Many culinary displays will take place throughout the event, along with constant tasting opportunities.

With around 14% of all imports into the PACA region of France coming from Italy, along with many Italians running businesses this side of the border, this event provides an important platform for Franco/Italian discussion to maintain and build on the strong relationship between the French and Italian gastronomy industries. The amalgamation of which is seen every day on restaurant menus up and down the cost, and with such an array of wonderful produce along this stretch of the Mediterranean also helps to keep smiles on the faces of yacht chefs who can then keep charter clients very happy indeed!  – So head to Nice this weekend and discover a sensational world of Italian culinary delights!

www.italieatable.fr

5 Great Day Boats on the French Riviera!

Luxury Yacht Day Charters

With summer fast approaching and Monaco Grand Prix yacht charters in full swing this weekend, the Côte d’Azur is brimming with fabulous charter yachts taking guests between Monaco and St Tropez, enjoying the hottest venues all along the French Riviera.

But which yacht to choose?

Here’s a look at five of the best open yachts available for day charters:

LA BELLINI Yacht
LA BELLINI Yacht

LA BELLINI – A Sunseeker Predator 64 from 2012, this great little yacht punches well above its weight, with her sleek lines, ample sunbathing space and elegant interiors. Cruising at a comfortable 25 knots, LA BELLINI can touch 35 knots flat out for those days when you’ve perhaps spent too long shopping in St Tropez and have to get back in time for a dinner in Monaco!

With her home berth in Port Gallice, Juan Les Pins, she’s perfectly positioned for days out to Cannes, Monaco, St Tropez or anywhere in between!

AMADEUS Yacht
AMADEUS Yacht

AMADEUS – Another Sunseeker Predator, AMADEUS is the larger 72 model, this time from 2008. Based close to Antibes, she is perfectly located for cruising in any direction. Highly customised to the very best standards, this yacht offers guests a luxurious venue for a day out on the water. With plenty of outdoor entertaining space she’s the perfect yacht for enjoying an alfresco lunch anchored in a quiet bay with friends and family. Equipped with a powerful Williams Jet Tender and an array of water toys, there’s fun, fun and more fun on the menu onboard this great yacht. Most guests tend to relax and enjoy proceedings from the aft deck where your very own chef will have the BBQ going to satisfy hungry teenagers at the end of an afternoon in the water.

LIZZI Yacht
LIZZI Yacht

LIZZI – A Lazzara LSX 75 yacht, LIZZI is a fabulous yacht for cruising along the French Riviera with one of the lowest fuel consumptions found on this size and style of yacht. Still she’s happy cruising at 20-25 knots. As an American built yacht, LIZZI boasts great interior volume as well as excellent sunbathing areas. A fantastic choice for hopping from bay to bay along the Côte d’Azur.

LOW BLOW Yacht
LOW BLOW Yacht

LOW BLOW – Fast and sporty, this Baia 78 motor yacht cruises comfortably at 40 knots with a dazzling top speed of 45 knots! LOW BLOW has plenty of great deck space, along with a first class music system so is the perfect yacht for a lively group looking to get from A-B quickly whilst enjoying top tunes along the way! Based close to Cannes, LOW BLOW is perfectly located for day charters to St Tropez or Monaco.

OF VILLA ROMANA Yacht
OF VILLA ROMANA Yacht

OF VILLA ROMANA – The legendary Mangusta 80 Yacht! OF VILLA ROMANA is perhaps one of the finest refitted Mangusta 80 yachts available to charter. Based in St Tropez, she is always ready to go at a moments notice, whether it’s “around the corner” to the beach at Pampelonne for a quiet lunch or blasting up the coast for that important reservation at Plage Mala at Cap d’Ail, near Monaco! With impressive deck space, OF VILLA ROMANA is the perfect yacht on which to enjoy a stylish day out on the water. Her permanent berth in the Old Port of St Tropez is a huge selling point!

All of these fantastic day charter yachts are available to charter on the French Riviera with Bespoke Yacht Charter – www.bespokeyachtcharter.com

Monaco GP gets off to a slippery start!

Lewis Hamilton - eurosport.com
Lewis Hamilton – eurosport.com

The F1 circus is set up and ready to go for another great round of racing in what is perhaps the most eagerly awaited race of the season – the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix. Following huge thunderstorms overnight, track temperatures had dropped significantly from yesterday and this morning saw drivers tentatively easing their cars around the circuit in damp slippery conditions. All except Lewis Hamilton who flew around his local track as if conditions were perfect. He was a massive 4 seconds faster than the rest of the pack, until the tarmac dried out a bit and the other drivers gained their grip. This afternoon saw more downpours and loyal fans sadly didn’t get to see much action as the rain set in. However, the end of the session still has Hamilton as the fastest driver with Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso second fastest in his first time around this demanding track. Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest in his Red Bull, followed by Vettel for Ferrari and then the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz. Pastor Maldonado had a great first run finishing sixth, ahead of the second Red Bull driven by Kvyat who was followed by Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari. Nico Rosberg or Mercedes finished the session in 9th with Felipe Massa completing the top ten. Great news for McLaren with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button ending the session 11th and 12th fastest, after a troubled start for Jenson.

With many yacht guests already installed, this evening will be a more sedate affair as guests take time out to relax, head in to town for dinner and soak up the electric Monaco GP atmosphere whilst yachts and clubs prepare for tomorrow evening’s kick off to the biggest party weekend of the year!

Monaco Grand Prix Yacht Charters by Bespoke Yacht Charter

7 Days on the French Riviera

Nice
Nice

Ever wondered what it’s like to charter a luxury yacht on the French Riviera. In just seven days, take in such fabulous destinations as St Tropez, Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Cap Ferrat and Monaco, as well as visits inland to Eze Village and St Paul de Vence.

Highlights include:

  • Shopping in Cannes
  • Dinner at La Palme d’Or
  • Pampelonne Beach and Club 55
  • The Old Port of St Tropez
  • VIP Room and Caves du Roy
  • Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Cap d’Antibes
  • Dinner at La Colombe d’Or
  • Paloma Beach on Cap Ferrat
  • Plage Mala on Cap d’Ail
  • Visit the Casino de Monte-Carlo
  • Dinner at Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris
  • Visit Portofino in Italy and the fabulous Hotel Splendido

Click here to read the full article: French Riviera Yacht Charter Itinerary

Other useful yachting articles: 10 Days in the South of France, Sardinia and Corsica onboard a Luxury Yacht CharterA Guide to Luxury Yacht Charter & Yacht Charters on the French Riviera

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The 10 Largest Sailing Yachts in the World

Often overshadowed by the huge number of enormous motor yachts being built, the average length of the largest sailing yachts is also ever increasing and for many, it is these beauties with their masts and sails that are the real stars of the sea!

Here’s a countdown of the current 10 largest sailing yachts in the world:

SPIRIT OF THE C'S yacht Perini
SPIRIT OF THE C’S

10. SPIRIT OF THE C’s – 63.64m – Perini Navi, Italy

SPIRIT OF THE C’s was previously known as FELICITA WEST. She is the second largest yacht ever built by Italy’s Perini Navi, the largest of course being MALTESE FALCON. Designed by Ron Holland, the yacht was delivered in 2003. With a huge beam of nearly 13m, SPIRIT OF THE C’s has huge internal volume with an owner’s cabin occupying the entire beam of the yacht. The yacht’s hull is aluminium and she is capable of speeds in excess of 17 knots, a formidable achievement for a yacht of this size. Following an extensive refit in 2014, this yacht is available to charter in the Caribbean from $165,000 per week.

PILAR ROSSI sailing yacht
PILAR ROSSI

9. PILAR ROSSI – 64.35m – Alukraft, Turkey

This very unusual yacht began life as a 33m motor yacht built by Alukraft in Turkey in the late 1980s. The yacht was purchased by Brazilian ex. F1 driver Nelson Piquet, who along with his naval architect uncle decided to convert her into a sailing trimaran. 25m was added to the length of her hull along with outriggers and two huge masts built in the UK. A very unconventional design to look at, but she obviously pleases her owner.

AHIMSA sailing yacht
AHIMSA

8. AHIMSA – 66m – Vitters, Holland

The fabulous 66m sailing yacht AHIMSA built by the Vitters shipyard in Holland was delivered as AGLAIA in 2011. Sailing yacht AHIMSA is from the drawing board of Dubois Naval Architects and the yacht’s interiors are by Redman Whiteley Dixon. One of sailing yacht AHIMSA’s unique features is her enormous mast. Being a sloop, AHIMSA required one very tall and technologically advanced mast, that stands over 80m above her decks. AHIMSA also has one of the largest composite rudders ever created.

Sailing yacht Vertigo
VERTIGO

7. VERTIGO – 67.20m – Alloy Yachts, New Zealand

At 67.20m, VERTIGO by Alloy Yachts of New Zealand is the largest yacht ever built in the southern hemisphere. The yacht was voted sailing superyacht of the year at the World Superyacht Awards in 2012. Another very popular charter yacht with an exceptional track-record of successful charters.

Sailing yacht Phocea
PHOCEA

6. PHOCEA – 75.12m – Toulon Naval Dockyard, France

PHOCEA began life as 1976 as a racing yacht build for French yachtsman Alain Colas. The yacht competed in the Observer Single-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race! In 1986 the yacht was acquired by the French businessman Bernard Tapie who at the time owned Marseille football club. In 1999, the yacht was then sold to Mouna Ayoub, the ex. wife of the owner of the famous motor yacht LADY MOURA. With new designs from respected designer Tim Heywood, Lurssen shipyard in Germany began her conversion to a true luxury yacht. The yacht changed hands again in 2010 but remains a popular charter yacht.

M5 sailing yacht
M5

5. M5 – 78.40m – VT, UK

M5 was launched in 2003 as MIRABELLA V. The yacht was built for Joe Vittoria, former Chairman and CEO of the Avis car rental company and at 78.4m, she remains the largest single masted yacht ever constructed! The yacht’s design is by Ron Holland and she was built by VT on the south coast of England.

Athena sailing yacht
ATHENA

4. ATHENA – 79.25m – Royal Huisman, Holland

ATHENA was built at the Royal Huisman shipyard in Holland. The yacht was delivered in 2004 to Jim Clark, an American businessman that founded Silicon Graphics and Netscape. The yacht was designed to pay homage to the yachts of the 1930s and has achieved speeds in excess of 19 knots under sail. Clark uses the yacht as a support vessel to one of his classic racing yachts!

Sailing yacht EOS
EOS

3. EOS – 82.60m – Lurssen, Germany

Very little is known about this yacht. She was built by the Lurssen shipyard in Germany and delivered in 2006. The yacht’s owner is believed to be Barry Diller, an American businessman.

Maltese Falcon yacht
MALTESE FALCON

2. MALTESE FALCON – 88.00m – Perini Navi, Turkey/Italy

The iconic MALTESE FALCON is the second largest sailing yacht in the world. She was delivered to her first owner, venture capitalist Tom Perkins in 2006. The yacht is now owned by Elena Ambrosiadou, a Greek hedge fund manager. With her unique rig design, MALTESE FALCON has hit speeds in excess of 24 knots! Another unique feature is a cinema screen on her sails!

Sea Cloud large sailing yacht
SEA CLOUD

1. SEA CLOUD – 96.00m – Krupp, Germany

SEA CLOUD was built in Germany in 1931 as a private yacht for Wall Street broker E. F. Hutton and his wife Marjorie Merriweather. The yacht’s name at the time was HUSSAR II. The yacht has been through numerous ownership changes and in World War II, she was requisitioned by the US Navy. SEA CLOUD is now available for private yacht charters and per cabin cruises.

Other useful yachting articles: 10 Days in the South of France, Sardinia and Corsica onboard a Luxury Yacht CharterCote d’Azur Yacht Charters & Yacht Charters on the French Riviera

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Where the stars stay at the Cannes Film Festival

Hotel du Cap
Hotel du Cap

Have you ever wondered where all the stars stay during the Cannes Film Festival? The Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is actually not in Cannes at all, but located on the lush and highly prestigious peninsula of Cap d’Antibes a few kilometres east of Cannes. This legendary hotel is famous the world over and widely considered as one of the finest and most exclusive hotels on the planet! The hotel was originally built in 1869 as the Villa Soleil by the founder of France’s Le Figaro newspaper. In 1887, it was purchased by an Italian hotelier and opened in 1889 as the Hotel du Cap. In 1914, the Eden-Roc building was added on the seafront forming what we now know as Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Despite forming part of the same hotel, the two buildings have their own distinct atmospheres. The main hotel is a Napoleon III château with a very refined feeling. The Eden-Roc pavilion is more casual and focused around the iconic swimming pool, built into the cliffs. This swimming pool with its’ spectacular views over the bay of Juan Les Pins, Cannes and the Esterel mountains has to be one of the most fabulous places anywhere on earth to take a dip! The hotel has its own private jetty for guests arriving by luxury yacht.

Eden Roc Terrace
Eden Roc Terrace

Here’s a great film that gives an insight into this amazing hotel – in French:

For years, the hotel was renowned for not accepting credit cards. Right up until 2006, guests had to wire funds in advance of their stay or arrive with an extra Louis Vuitton suitcase full of cash! The Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is part of the Oetker Collection, a small and super exclusive group consisting of some of the world’s finest hotels, including:

  • Le Château Saint Martin & Spa, Vence – France
  • Hôtel Le Bristol Paris, Paris – France
  • Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, Baden Baden – Germany
  • Palais Namaskar, Marrakesh – Morocco
  • L’Apogée Courchevel, Courchevel – France
  • Fregate Island Private, Seychelles – Indian Ocean
  • Eden Rock St Barths, Saint Barthélemy – Caribbean

Please visit the hotel’s website for more information: www.hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com

Opening Day of the Cannes Film Festival!

2015 Cannes Film Festival
2015 Cannes Film Festival

The stars were out today for the opening of the 68th Cannes Film Festival. For the first time the jury is headed by two joint chairmen, brothers Ethan and Joel Coen, writers,directors and producers of epic Oscar winning movies such as Fargo and No Country For Old Men. The brothers were joined on the red carpet today by members of the Jury including British actress Sienna Miller who looked stunning in a Balenciaga gown and Jake Gyllenhaal, both causing a flurry of flash photography as the paparazzi jostled for position for the best shots. The opening film this morning stars Rod Paradot, alongside the wonderful Catherine Deneuve. La Tête Haute explores the journey of a young delinquent from the age of six to eighteen and follows his experience through juvenile courts and rehabilitation centres. Showing out of competition, the much awaited “Mad Max: Fury Road” is due to be screened during the festival and is expected to receive wide acclaim. And so this evening, the stars head out to play as Cannes comes alive and plays host to the best of the best in the movie business and with spectacular May weather on the French Riviera, this year’s event is set to be huge! The social highlights are once again likely to be the amfFAR Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and the many parties taking place on the luxury yachts in Cannes!

Read more in Planning the Perfect Event Charter in Cannes

A Guide to Luxury Yacht Charters

CLOUD 9 Yacht
CLOUD 9

Why Charter a Yacht?

To put it simply, there really is no better way to take a holiday. The perfect destination, a fabulous yacht and great professional crew will offer you the most amazing holiday experience you’ve ever had. Whether you’re looking to spend some quiet time with the family in peaceful anchorages or an action packed holiday with friends, visiting all the hotspots of the French Riviera, anything is possible on a yacht charter. Imagine the best hotel in the world with only your favourite food and drinks, great staff and best of all, it moves each day to where you want to be. And all of it is just for you and your guests! Breakfast in Portofino, lunch in Monte-Carlo, dinner in Cannes, this is reality on a crewed luxury yacht charter!

Which Yacht to choose?

There are more than 2,000 superyachts, motor yachts and sailing yachts available to charter worldwide in sizes from 20-100+ metres. In order to decide which sort of yacht is going to work best for your specific needs, it is important to consider various factors.

Sailing Yacht or Motor Yacht?

If you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury, a floating 5 star hotel with jacuzzis, a spa and mind-blowing cuisine, then a motor yacht or superyacht is probably the yacht for you. Most motor yachts over 100ft will have stabilisers making the experience comfortable at sea, both when underway and at anchor. On the largest of motor yachts, it would be fair to say that often one could forget one was even at sea. Sailing yachts tend to appeal to the more adventurous person who really enjoys being at sea, rather than just looking for a way to get from Cannes to St Tropez and to show off! That’s not to say that sailing yachts are any less luxurious than motor yachts. Modern sailing yachts of 40m and up offer a level of luxury that is very similar to a motor yacht, though interior volume and hence cabin sizes tend to be smaller. Catamarans appeal to many as they provide the volume of a motor yacht with the sailing experience.

Crew!

Don’t choose a great yacht, choose a great crew! A yacht’s crew are the single most important factor in ensuring an amazing yacht charter experience. An older yacht with an fabulous crew will make for a far more enjoyable experience than the latest flashy vessel with a so-so crew onboard that don’t really like working together. Your broker will be able to match you to the yacht and crew that are perfect for you. Tell them about your favourite cuisine for example, and they’ll find the yacht with just the right Chef! Fancy learning to wakeboard? Your yacht charter broker will find you a yacht with a professional wakeboard instructor onboard! The most important thing is to find a yacht where the crew are a “team” that love the yacht and most importantly love working together! Your broker will be able to send you references and testimonials from previous happy charterers.

Where to go?

Following the international jet-set, large yachts tend to charter in the Mediterranean in the summer months and move to the Caribbean for the winter season. Less mainstream yachting destinations like the South Pacific and the Far East are becoming more and more popular though. Traditionally the vast majority of Mediterranean yacht charters consisted of a week or two of back and forth between St Tropez and Monaco. Charterers are now wanting to do much more than this and many yacht charters on the French Riviera will also take in Corsica and Sardinia and perhaps Portofino in Italy. Charters in the Croatia and Turkey are now every bit as popular as the traditionally well known destinations in the south of France. Some people know exactly where they want to go? If you don’t, then your broker will have lots of suggestions that might really inspire you!

When to go?

The Mediterranean charter season is split into three distinct seasons, High Season being July and August, Low Season being June and September and the other months would be considered Off Season. There are exceptions to this of course, most notably the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival in May each year. The period around these two events on the Côte d’Azur is very much considered high season. The same goes for the MIPIM real estate event in Cannes every March where yacht charters are incredibly popular. Yachts have the highest charter rates in High Season, reducing somewhat for Low Season and further still for the Off Season. In order to decide which season works best for you, it is important to consider what you are looking to get from the experience. If you’re looking to experience the buzz and nightlife of St Tropez, then it really has to be done in July or August. If however, you are looking to spend quality time on a yacht with friends and family, enjoying great food and weather, then June and September are great times in all Mediterranean destinations especially the south of France. To those in the know, September is the best month of all to charter. Rates are lower than July/August, the sea is at its warmest, the ports less crowded, though still with enough people around to ensure a great atmosphere!

Budget

When deciding what you would like to pay for your charter, it is important to factor in the costs you will need to consider in addition to the charter fee. VAT – The amount of VAT charged will vary depending on where you charter, but you need to add 5-20% tax to the charter fee in most European destinations. Montenegro is unique in Europe in that VAT is not applied to yacht charters.

APA – The Advance Provisioning Allowance is a cash float given to the Captain in advance of the charter to provision the yacht as per your exact needs and to cover all the costs incurred during the charter. These include, but are not limited to; Fuel, Food, Drinks and Port Charges. The amount requested as APA is typically 25-30% in addition to the charter fee. Your Captain will keep full accounts with supporting receipts for the entire charter. This will be presented to you for approval prior to disembarkation. Once agreed, you will either be refunded monies not used or asked to pay for any excess.

Gratuities – A yacht’s crew works incredibly hard to ensure that a luxury yacht charter remains the ultimate holiday experience! Two to three hours sleep a night is not uncommon! It is customary but completely at your discretion to leave a gratuity for the yacht’s crew at the end of the charter. This should be given to the Captain, who will distribute it equally amongst all crew members. Your broker will advise you on what is customary in the part of the world you’re chartering in, but as a guide 10% is considered a good tip in the Mediterranean if you feel that you have received exceptional service.

This very brief introduction to the world of luxury yacht charter was written by Alex Coles – Alex is a charter broker at Bespoke Yacht Charter, a London and Côte d’Azur based company offering superyacht charters on the French Riviera and throughout the Mediterranean. The charter brokers at Bespoke Yacht Charter have over 13 years experience arranging luxury yacht charters on the finest crewed yachts in the world. They would be delighted to introduce you to best holiday imaginable and to guide you every step of the way!

Other useful yachting articles: 10 Days in the South of France, Sardinia and Corsica onboard a Luxury Yacht CharterYacht Charters on the French Riviera

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Nikki Beach Monaco is now open!

The pool of Nikki Beach at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Nikki Beach Monaco

Nikki Beach Monaco is now open on the rooftop of the Fairmont Monte-Carlo for the summer season! Perched between sea and sky, this beautiful rooftop pool has to be one of the most wonderful places to relax in all of Monaco. Lay back on your sun lounger and admire all the beautiful yachts at anchor off Monaco. Swim in the pool and enjoy the excellent food and drink that Nikki beach is famous for. The champagne will flow and the music will be great! Summer is definitely here!

Nikki Beach Monaco is open every day from Noon until late!

Fairmont Monte-Carlo 12, Avenue des Spélugues, Monte- Carlo, Monaco 98000

Tel. +377 93 506 500 www.nikkibeachmonaco.com

Monaco is next!

Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg

Things are excitingly poised for the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix in just under two weeks following Nico Rosberg’s victory in Barcelona at the weekend! Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton finished second with Sebastian Vettel in the resurgent Ferrari in third place. With three wins to his name so far this season, Hamilton leads the Championship on 111 points. Rosberg is on 91 points and Vettel in third on 80 points. Following the drama last year in qualifying where Hamilton’s fast lap was cut short as Rosberg went off the circuit, the British driver will be keen to dominate qualifying and secure that ever important pole position in Monaco! It is notoriously difficult to overtake on the streets of the Principality of Monaco and securing pole goes a long way to ensuring victory.

Classy Runabouts!

Classic Rivas at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel
Classic Rivas at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel – Photo: Alberto Cocchi

As the Côte d’Azur season is just around the corner, how will you be arriving for lunch this summer? On a classic Riva, admired and loved by all, or perhaps your choice will be the avant-garde VanDutch, a benchmark for modern design and technology?

The legendary models from Riva conjure up nostalgic images of the late fifties and sixties when Brigitte Bardot could regularly be spotted driving hers around the bay of St Tropez. Nounours – her actual yacht which has been fully restored was recently put on the market for sale and is expected to reach in excess of 100,000 Euro – maybe more. Who wouldn’t want to own a little bit of St Tropez history! Thanks to the likes of Bardot and the popularity of the beach clubs at Pampelonne (and the limited number of classic Rivas built), these fabulous style icons have truly endured the test of time! Classic Riva boats remain highly valuable sort after collectables that many a playboy or girl desires, regardless of how many coats of varnish they require each year to stay looking pristine!

Riva
The beauty of a classic Riva!

At the opposite end of the scale is the phenomenal VanDutch! First launched in 2008, these unique avant-garde yachts are the product of Dutch design and craftsmanship at its finest. Using the most sophisticated technology, VanDutch have created a sleek, elegant design with all the class you’d expect from a classic but with none of the drawbacks of high maintenance.

VanDutch Style!
VanDutch Style!

The epitome of modern day Riviera chic, VanDutch boats are hugely popular on the Côte d’Azur. Whether you’re being collected from your hotel to whizz around to your trackside yacht to enjoy the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, or if you’re heading for lunch at Plage Mala, or zipping from your house in Port Grimaud for a lazy lunch on Pampelonne Beach, VanDutch boats are just super cool!!

Riva – www.riva-yacht.com

VanDutch – www.vandutch.com

Bespoke Yacht Charter – www.bespokeyachtcharter.com

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Inheriting a vast fortune upon the death of her father, and being separated from her husband, Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild decided in 1906 to purchase a plot of land. Nothing more at the time than an arid rock, she fell in love with the view as many people visiting Cap Ferrat today also do. In 1907 after much debate and discussion from an apparently temperamental and demanding owner, work began on the villa that is today one of the most important properties along the Riviera – Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Béatrice passed away in 1933 but her distinctive gardens were as yet incomplete. She insisted only the gardens visible from the house were completed first. Using staff to stand in place of plants and waterfalls, moving around to emulate the flow of water,  she designed the French garden, closest to the house, herself. The Baroness bequeathed the entire Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and all of its contents to the Institut de France and in 1934 Louis Marchand was commissioned to complete the remaining gardens. During the second world war Cap Ferrat was entirely vacated and so the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and gardens left unkept. However all survived and in 1945 Louis Marchand who thankfully survived the war returned to restore and complete these magnificent gardens. For such a vast space reaching completion under the same watchful eye of the man who designed them was quite a feat and adds to the beauty of these gardens and they are kept more or less the same today.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild inherited a love of art from her family and collected the best of the best from each era, including furniture, paintings and fabrics. Not always matching and being equally aesthetically appealing to the eye when combined, this monumentally valuable and unique collection has been under the ownership of the Institut de France since the death of the Baroness. Under the careful management of Culturespace, this amazing art is curated and cared for, for the benefit of everyone and is one of the most important collections still intact.

The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is open year-round.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, 1 Avenue Ephrussi de Rothschild, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

Tel. +33 4 93 01 33 09 Web. www.villa-ephrussi.com

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild – The Complete Guide

The 10 Largest Yachts in the World

There was a time when a yacht of 50m was considered to be a large yacht. But times, they are a changing… In 2015, a yacht needs to be well in excess of 120m to even get into the Top 10!

Here’s a countdown of the current Top 10 largest yachts in the world:

10. AL SALAMAH – 139.29m (457ft) AL SALAMAH was delivered to her owners in 1999. The project was started by HDW in Kiel, Germany and the yacht was finished at the Lurssen shipyard in Bremen, Germany. AL SALAMAH was known as “Project MIPOS” during the yacht’s construction, standing for mission possible! At the time of her delivery, she was the 3rd largest yacht in the world but has rapidly slipped down the rankings every year since which is a sign of how larger and larger yachts are being built. The yacht has a capacity of 36 guests plus crew. Very little is known about the yacht other than that she was built for the Saudi Arabian Royal Family. The fact that this superyacht now flies the flag of Bahrain may be a clue as to who the current owners are. AL SALAMAH is often to be found along with many other larger superyachts in the port of Piraeus, Greece.

Superyacht Al Salamah
AL SALAMAH

9. OCEAN VICTORY – 140m (459ft) OCEAN VICTORY is a 140m motor yacht built by the Fincantieri shipyard of Italy and delivered to her owner in 2014. The yacht’s exterior lines are the work of Espen Oeino with interiors by Alberto Pinto. The yacht is believed to have no less than 6 swimming pools and a top speed of 19.6 knots. The construction and delivery of this superyacht was highly secretive and very little is known of the yacht or her ownership. This is the yacht that knocked David Geffen’s RISING SUN out of the top 10 largest yachts.

Ocean Victory superyacht in Montenegro
OCEAN VICTORY

8. YAS – 141m (463ft) This unusual yacht was built at the ADM shipyard in Abu Dhabi, UAE. YAS was constructed on the hull of 1970s Dutch Navy frigate that was purchased by the Abu Dhabi Navy. It is believed that a second very similar superyacht project is underway, also based on the hull of a naval frigate.

Superyacht YAS Abu Dhabi
YAS

7. EL HORRIYA – 145.7m (478ft) EL HORRIYA is the Presidential yacht of Egypt. The yacht was built in the UK in 1865 and was present at the opening of the Suez Canal four years later. The yacht lives in Alexandria, where she is looked after by the Egyptian Navy.

Classic yacht El Horriya
EL HORRIYA

6. PRINCE ABDULAZIZ – 147m (482ft) PRINCE ABDULAZIZ was built in Denmark in 1984 as the Royal Yacht of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. The yacht’s home port is Jeddah but during summer months, she can sometimes be seen in the Mediterranean, often in Cannes, France and in Marbella, Spain. Despite constant refits, the yacht is showing her age and a replacement modern superyacht is likely on the way.

Yacht Prince Abdulaziz
PRINCE ABDULAZIZ

5. TOPAZ – 147.25m (483ft) TOPAZ is the third largest yacht ever delivered by the Lurssen shipyard of Germany. Amazingly, Lurssen were involved in the construction of no less than six of the top 10 largest yachts! The yacht was delivered in 2012 and her owner is believed to be from the UAE.

Superyacht TOPAZ
TOPAZ

4. AL SAID – 155m (508ft) AL SAID is the yacht of the Sultan of Oman. This superyacht is believed to have a top speed of around 25 knots. The yacht is said to accommodate 65 guests, looked after by a crew of 150. The yacht features a concert hall that it is said can accommodate a 50-piece orchestra!

Yacht Al Said
AL SAID

3. DUBAI – 162m (531ft) DUBAI is the Royal Yacht of Dubai and belongs to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The yacht was purchased by the Dubai Government as a unfinished project having initially been commissioned by Prince Jefri of Brunei before the project was abandoned in 1998. The yacht was eventually launched by Platinum Yachts in 2006 and is based unsurprisingly in Dubai.

Superyacht Dubai
DUBAI

2. ECLIPSE – 162.5m (533ft) Until recently, ECLIPSE was the largest yacht in the world. This immense superyacht was delivered to her Russian owner in late 2010 by the Blohm + Voss shipyard of Germany after a five year construction period. ECLIPSE features a 16m swimming pool, the largest ever installed on a yacht. The yacht also accommodates three helicopters! This yacht is thankfully used by her owner a great deal and is seen in locations all over the world.

ECLIPSE yacht Roman Abramovich
ECLIPSE

1. AZZAM – 180m (590ft) Current holder of the title of the largest yacht in the world. AZZAM was like many on this list, built by the Lurssen shipyard in Germany. The project was a highly secretive one and very little is known about AZZAM other than that the yacht is believed to be capable of an astonishing 31+ knots due to her groundbreaking water-jet systems!

Superyacht AZZAM
AZZAM

Also see: The 10 Largest Sailing Yachts in the World

 

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The Pink Elixir of the Côte d’Azur!

The Pink Elixir of the Côte d’Azur
The Pink Elixir of the Côte d’Azur

With the temperatures rising, restaurant terraces and beach clubs are getting busier by the day and the pink elixir of the Côte d’Azur is being consumed in ever increasing quantities! Rosé wine just doesn’t taste right anywhere but in Provence and on the Côte d’Azur, and if you’re anywhere on the Riviera then consumption is a must! Provence is renowned for producing the best rosé in the world, the warm climate and sandy soils are perfect for the vines. Rosé is growing in popularity in part perhaps due to the purchase of several well known vineyards by celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. However rosé has kept its classless, elegant appeal and is the drink of choice for the summer season for everyone from clientele of the local bar tabac to guests of prestigious beach clubs, villa garden parties and superyachts. From St Tropez beach clubs to yachts anchored at Plage Mala, all you will see are bottles and bottles of Rosé, from Magnums of Chateau Rasque at Paloma Beach to Domain Ott on the huge yachts anchored off Cap Ferrat.

It’s a fact that the paler the colour, the better the taste, but apart from the world famous Garrus from Chateau d’Esclans, which is perhaps the best rosé ever produced with a price tag to match at €99 per bottle, the most expensive isn’t necessarily always the best!

Here’s a look at 5 of my favourites:

Château Rasque at Paloma Beach on Cap Ferrat
Château Rasque at Paloma Beach on Cap Ferrat

Château Rasque – Famously served in magnums rather than regular sized bottles in many a beach club, this rosé is one of my favourites and perhaps has one of the highest consumption rates throughout the summer season. Robust enough to be served with anything and equally great as an aperitif. Served as the house rosé in some of the most elegant establishments on the Côte d’Azur this has to one of the highest contenders for the most elegant and consistently brilliant rosés.

Around €16 per bottle – www.chateau-rasque.com

Château Sainte-Marguerite
Château Sainte-Marguerite

Château Sainte-Marguerite – The cru-classé from the Fayard family run vineyard is wonderfully delicate and pale, with subtle flavours, it makes a fabulous companion to a fresh Mediterranean summer lunch, or to just enjoy on its own. A true classic!

Around €13.50 per bottle – www.chateausaintemarguerite.com

Domain Ott - Château Romassan
Domain Ott – Château Romassan

Domain Ott – Château Romassan –  Affectionally named “Over The Top”, this is perhaps the most famous rosé in the world and certainly a favourite with celebrities, often to be discovered in large quantities at many flamboyant parties, especially during the Monaco F1 Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival. This is indeed an excellent rosé, slightly more robust than the very pale rosés and therefore a superb all rounder. This wine is as perfect served with red meats as it is grilled prawns and fresh fish. Not the best value rosé on offer, but certainly one of the most popular.

Around €23 per bottle – www.domaines-ott.com

M de Château Minuty
M de Château Minuty

M de Château Minuty –  Not the most prestigious rose from this legendary Château but one of my all time favourites and a first choice for me every time if available. This wine is light, fresh and easy to enjoy with food or on its own. As the Château states “The M range is a real moment of pleasure and happiness to share with good friends and extend that holiday feeling.” This for me explains the wine perfectly and makes it my all time favourite!

Around  €10 per bottle – www.minuty.com

Miraval
Miraval

Miraval – The only rosé wine in Wine Spectator’s Top Wines of 2013, this is considered by many to be the best of the best. First released as a 2012 vintage by new owners Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in partnership with the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel, the wine sold out in a matter of hours and has now become “THE” rosé. It is delicious and certainly in my humble opinion a serious contender as the best of the best. Previously released as “Pink Floyd” for many years by the former owners as the legendary rock band recorded their seminal album “The Wall” at the Château back in 1979.

Around €15.50 per bottle – www.miraval-provence.com