Blog all about Luxury Travel on the French Riviera and Côte d'Azur
Author: Alex Coles
I am cofounder and senior yacht charter broker at Bespoke Yacht Charter. We are a London and French Riviera based yacht brokerage offering crewed luxury yacht charters and boat rentals in the south of France, throughout the Mediterranean and beyond.
The most luxurious adventure of a lifetime awaits you at the French Riviera. One of the most stunning superyacht destinations in the world, the South of France is home to exceptionally beautiful landscapes, sparkling clear waters and pristine beaches. Its sweeping coastal towns, charming villages and sophisticated cities have long been on the top of the international jet setters list for a long time. With no better way to explore the South of France than via a charter yacht, here we share our top 3 reasons why you should book a charter yacht to the South of France now.
French cuisine is often listed among the richest, decadent and divine in the world and nowhere in France is this as evident as in the South. Home to some of the finest dining experiences in the world, the South of France is known for its diverse styles of dishes that titillate all the senses. The distinct flavours of the Mediterranean have impacted the various types of cuisine available in the area, making it completely unique, luxurious, and most of all, flavourful. Local produce, such as seafood, meat, vegetables, and grains, are key ingredients in the South and olive oil, butter, and herbs. Baked goods, such as bread and pastries, really shine in the South of France, so do not be afraid to sample plenty during your charter. Offering everything from upscale, fine-dining restaurants to local salon de thé cafes, the food in the South of France will leave you hungry for more.
The South of France is sure to captivate you and your guests with its rich and vast cultural heritage. Evident and full display in its Old Towns, monuments, museums as well as historical sites, the history of France will enthral even the youngest participants. From the beautiful Vieux Nice in Nice to Le Suquet in Cannes, the magnificent architecture and extravagant sites are not to be missed. Be sure to visit the smaller cities of Avignon and Arles. Explore the UNESCO Heritage Site of Palais des Papes in Avignon, a magnificent fortress that dates back to the 14th century and the Musée du Petit Palais, which showcases some of the most exquisite historical art. In Arles, stop by the 21,000-seat Roman Amphitheatre, constructed in the 1st century and see several of the other Roman historical sites in town.
Next to the array of stunning white beaches found along the coastline of the Cote d’Azur, the South of France is known for its busy events calendar. From the European Heritage Days to the Cannes Film Festival and Grand Prix in Monaco, there is a wealth of cultural, historical, sporting and social events occurring throughout the year. If you plan to cruise along the French Riviera in September, be sure to coincide your charter with the Cannes Yachting Festival and the Monaco Yacht Show to see the most spectacular motor yachts, sailboats and superyachts in person. If you are keen to see some of these yachts in action, then be sure to stop by St Tropez towards the end of the month to watch the sailing regatta Le Voiles de Saint-Tropez. With a plethora of events to choose from, it’s never a dull moment along the French Riviera.
Experience life out on the water in a new way this summer with the fastest, most compact small sailboat ever built: Reverso.
Featuring a unique foldable design, Reverso is handmade in France by a dedicated team using the most advanced technologies. Ultra-lightweight and ready to use in 180 seconds, Reverso folds up into just one square meter and can easily be stored in any garage, storage space or deck. Its small size, measuring 3.40 meters in length, ensures Reverso is the best addition to any superyacht’s array of water toys. Eliminating the need for fuel or gas, Reverso is fun, durable and sustainable.
A high-performance dinghy inspired by racing, Reverso can reach speeds of over 16 knots, allowing sailors to fully immerse themselves in their surroundings. Thanks to the powerful rig and flat planning hull that combines lightweight and great control, Reverso is fast yet easy to learn how to use. Able to accommodate two adults or one adult and two children, Reverso is the ideal sailing boat to learn how to sail or to hone existing skills.
“Reverso offers guests the opportunity to understand on a smaller scale how they can navigate themselves and enable them to enjoy their experience onboard their superyacht fully,” says Antoine Simon, inventor and founder of Reverso. “Reverso is straightforward to maneuver. A crew member can accompany the children and show them the ropes, so they can learn easily how to navigate it.” While suitable for new or beginner sailors, Reverso also lets superyacht owners and guests progress as they can practice their sailing skills whenever they wish while out cruising.
“Superyacht guests will experience the extremely gratifying pleasure of steering a sailboat at the drop of a hat,” adds Simon. Reverso is also the only small sailboat with an integrated cockpit recess for a GPS speedometer. Superyacht guests will be able to track their speed, get instant feedback and optimize their sail trimming while breaking personal records if they choose so. With a sleek, premium design Reverso is coherent with the look, and quality found aboard any superyacht. Built around a culture of excellence from the most technological advance materials, Reverso is designed for longevity.
Winner of the USA Boat of the Year award, Reverso can be shipped to over 25 countries. Supplying leading shipyards of the superyacht industry, including Feadship, Sunreef and Wally. Tried and tested by the in-house team prior to leaving the boatyard in Brittany, Reverso’s logistic facility is based in Nantes, and ships every few weeks to its locations in Europe, the USA and other locations. Offering a unique approach to modern sailing, Reverso is the must-have sustainable toy for any yacht, offering the most sailing fun on the water. “Reverso is the ideal toy and totally in line with the current times and trends. It brings a fascinating new experience for the people who will be on board,” says Simon. Explore the endless possibilities offered by Reverso today.
The first signs of spring are just around the corner, which means a plethora of world-class events will soon be arriving on the French Riviera. This idyllic area has long been the go-to destination for the world’s wealthiest, luring in the jet-set crowd with its sublime restaurants, high-end boutiques and refined beach clubs. Indeed, this exclusive area is home to the finest luxury villas to rent on the Cote d’Azur. Conveniently located on one of the most desirable coastlines, these luxury villas are perfect for a spring escape.
However, one of the French Riviera’s major draws is its calendar of year-round luxury events. April through to June are the best months to visit the French Riviera as they are the pinnacle of the 2022 spring social calendar. So, if you are planning a get-away to the Cote d’Azur in 2022, read on to discover our definitive guide to the French Riviera’s 2022 events.
The best French Riviera 2022 events
Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
Arguably the most anticipated Formula 1 event of the year, the legendary Monaco Grand Prix is a must-see French Riviera 2022 event. From May 26 to 29, 2022, the streets of Monaco are transformed into one of the most exciting race tracks globally. The world’s most talented racing drivers make more than 78 laps of the 3.3-kilometre circuit through the hairpin streets of the principality.
This race is a delight for Formula 1 fans and those who wish to immerse themselves in the party atmosphere. Watch the race from one of the luxury yachts moored in Port Hercules or one of the dedicated grandstands for the best views. One of the oldest and most prestigious car races globally, the Monaco Grand Prix is not to be missed.
Cannes Film Festival 2022
The most glamorous French Riviera’s 2022 event will be bringing another cascade of A-listers to the South of France for the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. For 12 days, starting May 17 to 28, 2022, the chic city of Cannes is transformed from a quiet seaside resort into the densest concentration of film industry activity in the world. The best way to embrace the hustle and bustle and see which celebrities you can spot around the town is to head to Cannes’ famed La Croisette.
Alternatively, head to the Palais, home to all the major screenings during the Cannes Film Festival. While the Palais screenings are only accessible to badge holders, it is not unheard of for particularly well-dressed visitors to be given one of these coveted tickets if the spaces have not been filled. So, put on your best gown or tux and get ready to walk the famous red steps.
For prime access to this iconic event, make the most of exclusive Cap Villas accommodation in Villefranche-sur-Mer or Beaulieu-sur-Mer for an idyllic spring retreat.
Longines Global Champions Tour
From May 19 to 21, 2022, the Longines Global Champions Tour will return to the chic French Riviera town of Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez, for the 8th edition of the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show. This fantastic three-day show jumping event is set to take place right on the Mediterranean shores of Pampelonne Beach and is expected to draw in hundreds of passionate spectators. With a total of €600,000 in prize money, the French Riviera’s 2022 event is guaranteed to create an electric atmosphere.
Combining old-world glamour with top-level sport, the events world-class facilities are fit for the occasion, including the main arena for the competitions, a warm-up arena, a village, a VIP area, restaurants, bars, shops, and more. Ticket holders are also treated to front-row seats along with finely crafted Italian dishes, delicious beverage options, and top-quality service at the Global Champions Lounge at the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show.
To make the most of this glamorous event and the French Riviera’s illustrious charms, rent a luxury villa in Ramatuelle, complete with beautiful interiors and world-class amenities.
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
After the missed edition in 2020, the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters will reopen its doors from April 9 to 17, 2022. This superb French Riviera 2022 event is considered one of the oldest and most prestigious tournaments globally, bringing together the top 56 players on clay in a knockout tournament with six rounds.
The Monte-Carlo Country Club is located on the shore of the Mediterranean and features superb panoramic views of the glistening blue sea. Several levels of terraces descend to the intimate Center Court, one of the most beautiful settings in tennis. Visitors can also enjoy the Super Category Courtside seats or upgrade to VIP Loge Box seats with access to VIP hospitality areas and VIP restaurants onsite for an elevated tennis experience.
There’s nothing quite like staying in one of the French Riviera’s luxury villas for a genuinely luxurious Côte d’Azur experience. From here, you will be within easy reach of these exceptional French Riviera 2022 events, as well as a plethora of other world-class offerings.
So, which luxury French Riviera 2022 event are you most excited about experiencing?
Small yet mighty, the stylish principality of Monaco is well-known as the ultimate millionaire’s playground, frequented by the rich and famous. An illustrious place to see and be seen, visiting on a luxury yacht charter provides the perfect opportunity to become immersed in the hedonistic blend of glitz and glamour on offer. Luxury superyacht brokerage Ocean Independence has seen unwavering popularity in this yachting hotspot, driven by a passion for luxury, where rubbing shoulders with A-listers in chic restaurants is commonplace and supercars frequently vie for prime position outside the legendary casino.
Exceptional Monaco measures no more than 0.75 square miles along the Cote d’Azur and can be walked across in less than an hour. An added bonus is the 300 days of sunshine a year and residents who unsurprisingly enjoy the highest life expectancy in the world. Buzzing with a wall-to-wall atmosphere, where spectacular sights and unique character provide a huge draw, a Monaco yacht charter delivers an access-all-areas experience in the heart of the effervescent French Riviera.
Dubbed the home of yachting, Monaco plays host to momentous global events such as the Monaco Tennis Masters, Monaco Grand Prix plus the nearby Cannes Film Festival. For visiting yachts, Port Hercule serves as an incredible hub and plays host to the largest yacht show in the world. This naturally deep marina at the foot of the rock hosts up to 700 of the most sought-after Mediterranean berths and brims with gleaming superyachts adding inimitable embellishment to the lively waterfront.
A Monaco yacht charter offers the perfect jumping-off point to appreciate some well-known enclaves along the Riviera. Drop anchor beneath the towering clifftop at medieval Eze then cruise to picture-perfect Cap Ferrat for magnificent scenery. A hop away along the iconic coastline, discover the dynamic locales of Cannes, Juan-les-Pins and Nice, while enchanting spots such as Portofino can be found to the east over the border in Italy.
Choose from a variety of beaches where sparkling azure waters offer an irresistible setting to launch the yachts’ water toys and while away endless hours with fun activities. Head to private Mala Plage at Cap D’Ail, serving up an impeccable blend of decadence and delicious cuisine on the golden sand, or discover the high-octane vibe at famous Nikki Beach, favoured by celebs.
Alongside the melange of luxury spas and five-star hotels, the charms of the Prince’s Palace are plentiful, with sensational Venetian chandeliers and 16th century frescoes on display. Stop by early to catch the changing of the guard ceremony and watch proud carabinieri in traditional dress follow the 100-year-old ritual to a tee.From the square opposite marvel at the wide-reaching views across the harbour over to the casino’s onion domes on one side and Monaco’s stadium on the other; it will take your breath away. For an experience to capture the essence of a bygone era, wander the character-packed old town streets and follow the pathways through the flagrantly exotic Jardins Saint-Martin to the Oceanographic Museum, packed with a host of enthralling marine treats.
Shopping options are diverse with historic Condamine Market presenting a colourful prospect to buy local fare. Luxury opportunities to satisfy the most elaborate tastes await at the Carré d’Or boutiques, where homage is paid to numerous distinguished brands including Gucci, Valentino, Prada and Christian Dior. Retail therapy builds a healthy appetite, so dinner at the Café de Paris followed by a dice-roll at the prestigious Casino de Monte Carlo are a must when hoppingaboard aMonaco yacht charter. Furthermore, the nightlife here certainly won’t let you down. As dusk falls, beach clubs such as Nikki Beach transition from mellow lounge spots to a vibrant food and music venuewhere you can party untilthe early hours. Oozing glamour at the heart of the elite Monégasque party scene for over 30 years, revelry at Jimmy’z is an exciting indulgence. Alternatively celebrate at Sass Café, a local favourite, located near the Grimaldi Forum, it is the place to go to dance until dawn.
Specialist for Monaco yacht charters, Ocean Independence Senior Charter Manager Rebecca Pattinson comments, “Monaco is, simply put, one of a kind. A luxury yacht charterhere presents a magical blend of pleasure, luxury and indulgence – the sky really is the limit. Chartering a yachtat the Monaco Grand Prix is without a doubt the social occasion of the year and once the cars cross the finish line, the harbour erupts into the biggest party ever! The only way to fully appreciate it is to do it!”.
Yacht charter itineraries that include Monaco offer far more than sand, sea and sunshine. Encompassing all aspects of a grand lifestyle, from dining to yachting, shopping to racing, the ultimate in luxury is visible at every turn. This is the place to admire historical landmarks, stroll through stunning gardens and soak up picturesque seascapes whilst relishing the opulent atmosphere that makes this exclusive principality so very special.
Brunch is a popular pastime in Monaco with both residents and visitors to the principality, offering the best of both breakfast and lunch. Indeed, a leisurely Monaco brunch is the ideal way to punctuate the day and enjoy downtime with friends and family.
While the principality may be one of the smallest countries in the world, it has an incredible selection of world-class restaurants to choose from.
Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, those enjoying Monaco brunch will need to adhere to the latest guidelines. At the time of publishing, a maximum of 12 people are allowed to dine together and reservations must be made in advance. Monegasques and residents must also present a valid Health Pass to eat inside a restaurant. A Health Pass is not required for dining outside.
Here we highlight some of the best Monaco brunch destinations by the city state’s most elegant districts. Whether you live in Monaco, or are just visiting, the below Monaco brunch spots are guaranteed to become regular dining destinations.
Best brunches in Monaco: Monte Carlo
Hotel Hermitage Monte Carlo
This elegant resort in world-famous Monte Carlo hosts a gourmet Champagne Monaco brunch every Sunday until April 17 2022. The refined affair is held on the hotel’s elegant Eiffel mezzanine and offers a hearty buffet and live cooking stations, all washed down with Champagne. One of the best brunches in Monaco, this dining destination is guaranteed to delight the most discerning gourmands.
Café de Paris
The place to see and be seen! This legendary destination is located in the famed Carré d’Or, home to the most exquisite Monaco luxury real estate. This chic brasserie never fails to disappoint. While it doesn’t offer a set brunch menu, it still makes for one of the best brunch spots in Monaco. Service starts at 8 a.m. with an elegant breakfast menu, which then transforms to a dedicated lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner menu, with last orders at 11:30 p.m. No matter what time you want to enjoy brunch, Cafe de Paris offers an elegant dining experience.
Known for its snackonomy approach to dining, Mada One offers a leisurely breakfast menu that extends into the hours of brunch. Delicious menu options include eggs benedict, freshly baked pastries, smoked salmon toast, and pancakes. Headed up by Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin, expect food at its very finest in a relaxed and informal setting that has come to personify Mada One.
Best brunches in Monaco: Larvotto
Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
Every Sunday, enjoy an elegant Champagne brunch party at this opulent resort until the end of May 2022 in the wonderful district of Larvotto. Created by Blue Bay’s Michelin starred chef Marcel Ravin, this best brunch in Monaco includes a sumptuous buffet full of sweet and savoury surprises served in a lively atmosphere, including a salad bar, an oyster bar, a show cooking station, and a waffle, crêpe and ice cream stand. The perfect Monaco brunch destination to enjoy a relaxing time enjoying good food with friends and family.
Best brunches in Monaco: Monaco-Ville
This iconic Monaco restaurant offers an extensive breakfast menu that easily covers brunch too. Choose from continental, American or a selection of healthy offerings, along with a wide selection of fresh juices and a personalised choice from the cafeteria. Once breakfast ends, it’s straight into the lunch menu, featuring refined Mediterranean-inspired dishes that showcase culinary excellence. The restaurant’s timeless atmosphere is ideal for enjoying a leisurely meal with friends and family, all combined with impeccable service that is a hallmark of this famed eatery.
What other best brunches in Monaco would you add to our guide?
The world’s leading film festival, Cannes Film Festival, which celebrates the best names in the film industry, is set to return for its 74th edition this July. Shining a spotlight on emerging and established filmmakers and leading stars, what better way to enjoy the best of this famous, world-class event than via a luxury yacht charter?
Taking place annually in the sophisticated city of Cannes along the famous yachting hotspot of the French Riviera, this prestigious event transforms the city into a thriving hub of activity. A celebration of the art of film, the festival encompasses film premieres, red carpet events and parties. Taking place for the first time in its history during summer, due to protective measures, this year’s event is set to run between July 6 and July 17. Placing visitor health and safety as well as environmental protection and conservation at the heart of this year’s event, an ambitious programme has been laid out for 2021. Filled with several events, the programme highlights are best enjoyed from the luxury and privacy of a charter yacht.
As the central focal point of the film festival is the venue of the Palais des Festival in Cannes Vieux Port, charter yachts have become one of the main attractions of the event. Attracting some of the largest, most magnificent superyachts in the world each year, such as the 156m Dilbar and the 143m Sailing Yacht A, a Cannes Film Festival charter yacht is the most exciting and thrilling way to experience the event. Picture yourself joining in on the festival from the comfort of your own private superyacht, such as the stunning 55m Turquoise. Leading filmmakers, actors and models all walk the red carpet outside the Palais to attend premieres, placing the Port in the centre of the action. You can feel the electric and buzzing atmosphere of the festival from the deck of your charter yacht, all while adhering to local safety and health measures.
Whether you are in search of the most luxurious and exclusive accommodation or keen to host elegant events to showcase your brand, a Cannes Film Festival yacht charter makes for an ideal private or corporate opportunity as well. If you opt for a static yacht charter along the quay by the Palais des Festival, you will be able to host your own decadent events and parties onboard your yacht during the festival. Become a part of the festival in an elegant yet safe and COVID-19 compliant manner.Alternatively, choose to incorporate the event into your luxury charter journey along the spectacular French Riviera. Dock in either Port Canto or the Old Port for a day or two and enjoy seeing the festivities go by. Then enjoy a leisurely cruise to Saint Tropez, Antibes or Nice, further away from the humming activity taking place in Cannes. No matter which option you go for, a charter yacht is the best way to enjoy the leading film festival of the season!
Monaco always celebrates the end of year in glamorous style and this year promises to be no exception. Event organisers are working hard behind the scenes to put on a host of fun-filled, elegant Monaco events, whilst ensuring a safe Covid-secure environment for all. From Monaco’s eagerly anticipated Jazz Festival, to shopping extravaganzas, glamorous fundraisers, and theatre productions, the winter season in Monaco offers something for everyone. If you are looking for things to do in Monaco, then explore our curated selection of some of the best end of year Monaco events that guarantee festive cheer.
End Of Year Monaco Events
Grand Monaco Street Sale – Nov. 6 – 8
This vibrant Monaco event is a wonderful way to stock up on unique gifts for the festive season. Organised by the Union of Traders and Artisans of Monaco, shoppers can enjoy three full days of deep discounts and promotions. This year, the street sale takes place from November 6-8 in Espace Fontvieille.
Speakeasy – Nov. 13
Head to the Grimaldi Forum on November 13 and enjoy a trip back to the 1930s with this gripping theatre production. Speakeasy is the original creation of the Rat Pack company and is set in an American underground bar during the height of prohibition. Elegantly mixing circus art and choreography, this Monaco event offers a fantastic night out at the theatre. Cap the evening off with a delicious meal at one of Monaco’s many award-winning restaurants.
Monte Carlo Jazz Festival – From Nov. 16 – 27
The Monte Carlo Jazz Festival is always an eagerly awaited Monaco event. Now in its 15th year, the Jazz Festival offers a packed programme of concerts by world-renowned musicians at venues across the principality. This year’s line-up includes Kyle Eastwood, Thomas Dutronc, and Hugh Coltman. Running for some ten days from November 16, the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival is a Monaco event not-to-be-missed.
Santa Claus is Missing – Dec. 9
This Monaco event is for little ones and big kids at heart. Held at the Theatre Princesse Grace Monaco, youngsters will delight in watching Mirliton and Sobriquet, two Christmas elves, set off on a treasure hunt in search of Santa Claus who has gone missing. The treasure hunt takes them across the world, from the North Pole to the desert, with lots of twists and turns along the way. This fun-filled Monaco event is followed by a Christmas snack and guaranteed to get the entire family in the festive spirit!
Club Vivanova Charity Gala – Dec. 12
On December 12, the principality will play host to one of the most elegant annual charity fundraisers, Club Vivanova’s 6th annual Luxury Lifestyle Charity Gala Dinner at the Fairmont Monte Carlo. The Monaco event – Turning Luxury into Charity – will raise money for two charities, Chances for Children, and The Animal Fund. Guests at this glittering Monaco event will enjoy a Premier Cru Champagne reception, sumptuous four-course dinner, live musical entertainment by High on Heels, charity auction, and Aston Martin DBX launch. The event will wrap up with the Vodka23 After Party. For those seeking things to do in Monaco that also enable them to do good, Club Vivanova’s Charity Gala is a must.
Of course, one Monaco event that you can enjoy throughout all the year is exploring Monaco luxury real estate. Whether you are seeking to buy an investment property, looking for a larger apartment, penthouse, a luxury villa, or searching for a new Monaco rental, our agents at La Costa Properties Monaco are here to help you, no matter the time of year.
When you’re staying on the French Riviera, you’ll probably want to splurge on one or two excellent restaurants as a treat, but you’ll doubtless want to explore some of the best affordable restaurants on the Cote d’Azur too.
On its five stunning Caps, which are the best affordable restaurants on the Cote d’Azur? Here we’ll discover the hidden gems that serve up delicious food and a fun atmosphere, just with less of the formality and expense.
A look at the best affordable restaurants on the Cote d’Azur
La Joliette: This relaxed beachside club and restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, with plenty of fresh seafood and vegetarian options too.
Le Cap, Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel: On this beautiful terrace overlooking the sea, tuck into classics such as Caesar salad or steak tartare, Thai and Asian dishes, pasta, fish and meat. They also have a children’s menu.
Les Amoureux: Just around the Cap in Nice’s old port, this understated restaurant serves up great pizzas, artisan Neapolitan beers and delicious desserts. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is cosy.
Daki-Daia: While this understated establishment might not shout about itself being the best restaurant in Nice, the Moroccan and Lebanese local offers seasonal mezze dishes and house cocktails, with friendly service in a perfect location overlooking the port.
Jasmine Grill & Lounge, Hotel Royal Riviera:This eaterie is known for its wonderful ambiance and views, welcoming and professional staff and a wide choice of dishes, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
La Goelette: At a great location overlooking the Port St Jean, this veggie-friendly restaurant also serves up big portions of seafood risotto, paella and pasta with an efficient and friendly service, while its own live DJ entertains.
La Cambuse: Overlooking the port, this unpretentious and dog-friendly restaurant serves fresh seasonal produce, including grilled seafood, fish stews and soups, burgers, charcuterie platters and omelettes.
La Grotte & L’Olivier: Located in a stunning cliffside setting in the old village, this restaurant serves great cocktails, salads, pizzas and fish, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, all with an excellent service.
To enjoy all that the French Riviera has to offer, why not rent a villa on the Cap de Nice, from where you can try the best restaurant in Nice, as well as some of the best affordable restaurants of the Cote d’Azur?
September is the best month to visit the South of France, and the ideal time to charter a luxury yacht on the stunning French Riviera. Summer has yet to come to an end and Fall has yet to start, which lets you enjoy the warm temperatures, sunshine and scenery with fewer crowds around. The stunning white beaches and turquoise waters that make up the stunning coastline of the Cote d’Azur are easily admired from the comforts of a luxury charter yacht. Evenings are pleasant balmy, offering gorgeous sunsets which can either be enjoyed from the privacy of your deck or a world-class restaurant.
As one of the most popular cruising hotspots in the world, visiting the French Riviera in September means fewer tourists and people, and more time to enjoy the number of festivals, events and parties taking place. Take your time exploring the hidden charms of Cannes, the magical city of Monaco or historical sites in Nice in peace. Be sure to take advantage of the European Heritage Days, which lets you visit unique locations usually closed off to the public. But don’t worry, there will still be plenty of locals around creating a warm, vibrant and welcoming atmosphere wherever you may go – from world-class dining to luxury shopping districts and historical sites.
If you are cruising down the French Riviera in September, then be sure to stop by the Cannes Yachting Festival, taking place from September 8 to 13 at Port Canto. See some of the most amazing motor yachts, sailboats and superyachts up close and in person. If you are looking to see some of these yachts in action, then be sure to stop by St Tropez towards the end of the month to watch the sailing regatta Le Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
Nestled between France’s Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco mixes astonishing coastal cliffs and utopic beaches with mountainous zones and lush greenery. Not sure where to go to appreciate the wide variety of trails, viewpoints and gardens around Monaco? Here are our top 4 Monaco nature spots.
Here’s where to appreciate nature in Monaco & beyond
The Sentier Littoral
The Sentier Littoral is a long coastal path outlining the rugged Cote d’Azur coastline. A favourite of Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo, the path is family-friendly, safe and signposted all along the way. The Sentier Littoral also crosses some of the best of Monaco’s gardens and landmarks – such as the Japanese gardens and the Grimaldi Forum – meaning you can sneak a peek as you wander.
Start out at Plage Marquet in Monaco and make your way to Cap d’Ail. For hiking aficionados, the path continues all the way up to Menton. The crystal-clear Mediterranean is the perfect blue backdrop for this scenic route that will show you the best of Monaco’s nature. Discover rare flora and fauna, volcanic rock and lush wooded areas along the way, and don’t forget to pack a towel in case you decide to take a cool dip in a secluded beach.
The Gorges du Loup
Spectacular waterfalls, thrilling wooded trails and steep limestone canyon views await you in the Loup Valley, at the feet of the Gourdon. This must-see spot, although located roughly 50 kilometres from the Principality, will amaze all those looking for nature near Monaco. Make sure you stop by the impressive Cascade de Courmes, a freefalling waterfall that lands on mossy rocks and turquoise pools.
The small medieval villages and picturesque towns in the surrounding Provence are worth a visit as well!
The Dog’s Head of Monaco
If you don’t want to leave the Principality, the Chemin Romain is a fantastic path that mixes panoramic urban views with stunning Monaco nature. Start the hike in Cap d’Ail and climb your way up to the Dog’s Head, a 550-meter-high rock historically used as a military strategic base that overlooks the French Riviera and beautiful Monaco gardens.
From wildflower patches to vistas of the glittering sea and views of luxurious Monaco real estate, this 6.5 kilometer walk is worth breaking a sweat for. The signposted path can be quite steep and climbing may be required in some areas.
The Massif de l’Esterel
Roughly 80 kilometres away from Monaco, the Massif’s rugged landscapes, sharp cliffs and arid red rock almost feels like an other-worldly experience. The Massif offers many marked paths for all levels of hiking and biking. From deep ravines, secluded coves and sunny peaks to dry lands, coastal views and beautiful lush greenery, the range of microclimates and landscapes are representative of the wide variety of nature near Monaco.
The Massif offers year-round spectacular views of the Mediterranean but only a few lucky ones will be able to spot Corsica on extra-clear days. Don’t miss out on the vistas from the Pic de l’Ours and Pic du Cap Roux.
In the late 19th century Britain held a foreign policy known as ‘Splendid Isolation.’ It has always seemed a fitting name for a luxury private yacht (MY Splendid Isolation, anyone?). And never so much as now. In the age of coronavirus, isolation has never been so splendid.
A charter yacht is perfectly equipped for riding out or recovering from a pandemic, all the while still offering the glamorous surroundings, exquisite food, and pampering one can expect of the world’s most elite vacation option. Days on a yacht charter are spent diving and snorkelling, swimming off the yacht, and exploring quiet beaches and hidden forest paths. The yacht has WIFI, an abundance of onboard entertainment and watertoys, and a professional crew including a private chef. There is no need to go ashore at all.
A yacht is a floating luxury island with its very own drawbridge. In times like these, it is a fortress.
With many yachting regions in lockdown, it’s clear that right now is not the time to charter in much of the world. But when quarantine ends, people will desperately want to go on holiday with their loved ones again – to feel the sunshine on their faces, the water on their skin, and revel in the heady rush of newfound freedom. Families will be looking for safe, low-risk holiday options– ones which don’t involve crowds, hotels, or cruise ships. Vacations where they can leave the world and its worries behind.
In times of uncertainty, there is no safer vacation option than a private yacht.
Looking forward: Charter in Summer 2020
The peak of the virus in Europe is expected sometime in the next month, and it is predicted that life will begin to look more like normal in July. The fact that we are now in mid April means that the Mediterranean yacht charter season can likely be salvaged. It may start in July and run a little later than usual, but as the charter season has been extending further into autumn with each passing year, we can reasonably expect a good number of September and October charters in addition to those in July and August.
Of course, there is no certainty, but those clients feeling cautious have no need to delay making a booking, as new MYBA charter contracts are being drawn up with an addendum allowing the client to cancel or postpone their charter in the event that the situation becomes dangerous or the charterer cannot get to the yacht due to border closures. In fact, those who act now might even get a bargain on charter rates and have their pick of popular charter yachts which would normally be booked out a year in advance. There’s another upside too: for those chartering early in the recovery as countries just start to open up again, they may experience a Mediterranean yacht season quite unlike any other, with quiet anchorages, crystal clear waters, and crowd-free beaches.
Here are some reassuring reasons why a yacht charter in summer 2020 is still a good idea.
Yachts have enviable self-sufficiency
A well-stocked yacht is the perfect place to be during a pandemic, or as Europe begins its recovery.
The reason for this is what is referred to as a yacht’s ‘autonomy’: the self-sufficiency of a yacht in regards to its water, fuel, and food supply. Because any yachts with transatlantic range need to be self-sufficient for a minimum of two weeks, these vessels can conduct long charters without needing to return to port. Explorer charter yachts are particularly well-suited, as they are built for long-range and remote cruising with high levels of self-sufficiency.
Yachts have their own watermakers and sewerage systems, refrigeration and storage capabilities. Garbage disposal can be done via tender runs to port, and the yacht’s fuel supply is also used to run generators to power the yacht’s electricity needs. When the yacht does need to be restocked, it doesn’t even have to come into a marina; crew can order what they need through dedicated yacht provisioners, who deliver the supplies to the dock or to the boat at anchor. Packaging contamination isn’t a concern either, as yacht crews are already in the habit of disposing of cardboard and extra packaging on the dock before loading.
In fact, yacht brokers and captains have been engaging in these kinds of logistics for years, organising for seaplanes to drop off caviar and rare wines in the Maldives and Alaskan King Crabs to be flown to yachts in Mykonos or St Barts. No new systems are required, as their networks of provisioners are already in place. The yachting industry is already in good practice for this event (even though we didn’t know it!)
A small group of guests and a screened crew
In a hotel, you cannot help but come into contact with strangers – in the restaurant, at the pool, in the lobby. When you venture out to explore, it will be by taxi or bus. The staff of hotels are enormous – many of whom you will never see, but will in some way touch your things – from the laundry staff to housekeeping to the chefs that handle your food. Add in the people you do have direct contact with – the concierge and receptionists, the porters and the wait staff – and you have hundreds of potential infection points. As for cruises, they have always been known as a hotbed of contagion, with vast numbers of people mixing together and rushed cleaning schedules.
Yachts are the polar opposite: with very small groups, no strangers, and hyper-clean environments. On a yacht, you have a small group of crew who will be tested for COVID-19 before each charter. You know each of their faces, and you know they are healthy. As a precaution, guests will also be screened before boarding, so that no outbreak can happen on board and you can cruise into your holiday without fear.
On a yacht, cleanliness is (always) next to godliness
People planning holidays in the aftermath of the lockdowns will be seeking one thing above all: a low-risk holiday that is far from crowds and germ-filled environments. Which is where a yacht excels beyond all other forms of holidays.
A luxury yacht is astonishingly clean – almost certainly the cleanest space you will ever spend time in – and far, far cleaner than hotels, with their daily turnovers and rushed housekeeping staff. Before the charter starts, the yacht crew spend several days cleaning, with an army of cotton buds and toothbrushes, sprays and polishes. Air conditioning vents are swept out with cotton buds, and every fabric is laundered and vacuumed, freshened and ironed. Even the walls are washed. When the charter commences, your cabin and ensuite is cleaned a minimum of twice daily – all fingerprints gone, every droplet of water wiped out of sinks and showers, fluffy fresh towels appearing as if by magic. On the exterior, it is the same standard: every surface soaped and squeegeed, buffed and shined, until it gleams in the Mediterranean sun.
On a yacht, dust is not welcome. Yacht windows rarely open, and doors are kept shut to preserve the pristine, almost hermetically sealed cleanliness of the interior. No soil or street dirt is walked onto the yacht, as shoes are taken off at the passerelle.
Remember, this is normal procedure. Yachts are always this immaculate. Additional steps have been taken during the COVID-19 crisis to step up these cleaning regimes even further, with the addition of disinfectants and even air filters which remove pathogens.
When it comes to cleanliness, there is no vacation option than even comes close. And with thousands of crew currently in lockdown on their yachts across the Mediterranean and having nothing else to do but clean, charter yachts will never be cleaner than in the summer of 2020. Crew will be well-rested after a long break from charters and keen to get back to work.
Charter yachts are required to have impressive medical supplies on board (often including defibrillators), large yachts have an appointed health officer, and all crew are required to have some degree of first aid training, with the captain also trained in Advanced First Aid. There’s also a remote health service expressly set up for yachts to access medical support over the phone. In the unlikely event someone did get ill on board, the crew would act professionally and swiftly to contain the situation. All charter yacht crews have been required to implement new emergency procedures and systems to be ready for any COVID-19 cases.
Able to ‘raise the drawbridge’ at the first sign of trouble and power away from land, a yacht is one of the most secure holiday types imaginable. Additionally, charter yacht crew are required to have undertaken a module of security training, and when in port, there is someone to guard the passerelle at all times, as well as CCTV cameras stationed around the decks. Yachts are also accustomed to accommodating additional security personnel on board. Your captain will be running risk assessments of every anchorage and town the yacht visits; if there are any health developments, you will simply return to the yacht and retreat to safety.
Any risk is further minimised where charter clients arrive at the yachting destination by private jet at a private terminal, followed by private transfer to the yacht. A yacht charter broker can assist with organising private jet transport that radically minimises your contact points.
It’s a place your children can be safe, have fun, and be ‘yacht-schooled’
For charter clients with children, this situation has brought about a whole new set of challenges. At this stage, no-one knows when schools will reopen across Europe, but there’s every chance that the school break will extend through the six-week summer holiday. Which means that children are going to go a long, long time without traditional schooling.
A yacht always offers lots of fun for kids, but it can also provide a different kind of education – one where the chef can give cooking lessons, the captain teaches kids to read the radar or plot a course, and the engineer gives a tour of the engine room, explaining how the generators and engines work. The stewardesses might help the children dress the dinner table and do crafts, and the deck crew can continue teaching the kids fishing and watersports.
You may be surprised at some of the degrees your yacht crew hold, (don’t be surprised if they tell you they studied in marine biology, politics, or even astrophysics) so there may also be an opportunity for some really interesting lessons. The places a yacht cruises can lead to some fascinating history projects, while a dive or snorkel can be followed by looking through a fish identification book, or drawing what they’ve seen. From birdwatching to learning to gut a fish, your child could discover new passions and skills, and come out with a more varied education.
Please do note that crew aren’t employed as babysitters, and important to realise that crew daily schedules are already extremely full. However, these are unconventional times, and parents who are willing to accept some trade-offs (for example an easy, fuss-free lunch in exchange for the chef having time to give their kids a cooking lesson) will find that their children’s education may well be enriched in new ways. We would, however, strongly encourage that a tutor or nanny is brought on board, and that any crew-led activities with children are considered merely supplementary.
After a time of fear and quarantine, it will be high time to make happy memories. At Bespoke Yacht Charters, we’re not underestimating the scope of this crisis. But we will be here to provide the holiday of a lifetime on the other side.
You have never truly seen the French Riviera, until you have seen it from the sea – that stupendous view of towering Alps and red-rock hills rising up above the blue-green Med, all in a spectacular built landscape of medieval villages, grand villas, and skyscrapers topped with waving palms. The experience of being on a boat gives an entirely different perspective on what is perhaps the most famous stretch of coastline on our planet.
Alas, not everyone has the time (or the budget) to spend a week or more floating along the Cote d’Azur on a superyacht. But it’s a grave mistake to discount the boat hire experience altogether, for a single day at sea on the French Riviera is worth a month in other places. If a day is all you have, it will be a day to remember.
Luxury Day Boat Hire on the French Riviera
Day boat charters are a superb way to explore this enchanting stretch of coastline. There are a multitude of places to hire a boat along the Riviera to indulge in the Mediterranean yachting dream – if but for a single, perfect day. Whether you’re exploring the dreamy Cannes Islands, anchoring off the exotic island of Porquerolles, or rubbing shoulders with celebrities at a Saint Tropez beach club, renting a boat affords you the most stylish access to all of the Cote d’Azur’s best spots.
Here are some of the perfect day charter locations for a French Riviera day boat charter. Note that many crewed day boats for rent do have luxurious cabin accommodation on board and can also be hired for overnight trips.
Monaco & Cap Ferrat
Cast off from the infamous Port Hercules, and head out beyond the cliffs of Monaco. Drop anchor briefly to dive off the yacht into the deep, cool sea, surfacing to admire one of the great views of the Riviera – the city of Monte Carlo spilling down its steep hillside, its crowd of grand hotels and casinos and the Prince’s Palace sitting proudly above the port.
After your refreshing swim, the captain will motor around to Cap Ferrat where you’ll spend a blissful morning snorkelling around the headland and using the yacht’s watertoys. Lunch on board at anchor, followed by a walk through the famous Villa de Rothschild Gardens. Spend a lazy hour on a deckchair at Paloma Beach club (Picasso’s old hangout), sipping cold rose from an icy-cold ice bucket and watching for celebrities. Enjoy canapes on deck as you head back around to Monaco, disembark your charter boat and head into one of the world’s most glittering cities for a night at the Casino de Monte Carlo.
Cannes & Cannes Islands
Just off the palm-lined boulevards of Cannes lies the other face of the French Riviera: the quiet, enchanting islands of Les Isles de Lerins. Idyllic and timeless, this little archipelago offers the perfect day out on a boat, with its rocky, crystal clear coves shaded by pine trees and winding forest paths leading past medieval monasteries and vineyards.
St Marguerite is the largest of the four islands and the most-visited, with wonderful walking trails and the fort where the real ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was imprisoned. Across the water on Ile St Honorat you’ll discover an ancient monastery with a working vineyard, more lovely coves, and La Tonelle restaurant, with a view looking back across the water to the French Riviera. After snorkelling, picnicking, and exploring the day away, return to Cannes refreshed and sun-bronzed and ready for a big night out.
Saint Tropez & Pampelonne Beach
Join your day charter boat in St Tropez, enjoying the summer buzz of one of the prettiest ports in the world. Get settled on deck as you head out of the marina and across to Pampelonne Beach, where 23 beach clubs promise a day of decadence on five kilometres of golden sand. Club 55 remains the legend of the scene for its history of Hollywood glamour, but there are some hot contenders, including Bagatelle, Loulou à Ramatuelle and the Phillipe-Starke-designed La Réserve à la Plage. In 2019 there’s was a shakeup forcing the retirement of some of the more tired clubs, and the opening of some new ones making the St Tropez beach club scene ritzier than ever.
With St Tropez’ traffic issues snarling up the road to the beach, there’s no better way to arrive at Pampelonne than by boat, anchoring off the beach and diving off the deck into the sea. Spend a day swimming off your boat and doing watersports, lazing on the beach, drinking cocktails and engaging in some of the world’s finest celebrity-spotting. Return to St Tropez as the light turns golden and the Provencal buildings glow a burnished red, feeling the thrilling energy of the summer night as you step ashore into the beautiful crowd.
Ile de Porquerolles
Hire a day boat in St Tropez or Toulon and set off for Porquerolles, an island often compared to the Caribbean for its exquisite white sand beaches and startling turquoise sea. Sparsely inhabited and blissfully car-free, there is an unmistakeable sense of the exotic about this island, but its bewitching landscape of vineyards and wildflowers, olive groves and Aleppo pines is pure, timeless Mediterranean.
Anchor off Plage Notre Dame – voted Europe’s best beach in 2015– or head to one of the beach bar-restaurants at Plage d’Argent or Plage de la Courtade. Hire a bike or stroll the rocky cliff paths in the island’s north, snorkel or scuba dive in the gin-clear sea, or visit one of the island’s 16th century forts. Take a seafood lunch on the boat or head ashore to one of the islands’ excellent restaurants, and walk it off with a wander among the exotic palm trees and cacti at the botanic garden. Art lovers must visit the Fondation Carmignac, a spectacular pop art gallery featuring works by Andy Warhol and others, lit from above by water refracting through a glass-bottom pool. Deeply contented after a day in paradise, head back across to the mainland.
Stretching from Marseille to Cassis, the Calanques National Park is a magnificent stretch of cliff coastline indented with tiny fjord-like inlets, creating some of the most spectacular anchorage spots in the South of France. With deep turquoise water so crystal clear that you can see the yacht’s anchor on the sea bed far below, and tiny, dreamlike coves under limestone cliffs, this rugged terrain is France at its most wild and beautiful. Given that road access to the national park is often closed during summer due to fire risk, a day boat charter is the ideal way to explore this astonishing coast.
Pick up your crewed day boat from Cassis, Marseilles, or Toulon, and make your way along the 20 mile coast, finding the perfect calanque to drop anchor in. This is a chance to indulge in the true Mediterranean idyll-swimming off the boat, lunching at anchor, and sunbathing in pretty coves. Active charters will enjoy a hike along the cliff paths, while experienced rock-climbers can scale the limestone calanques. There’s also Le Chateau restaurant in the Calanque Sormiou – the perfect spot to end your day charter with a delicious bowl of seafood bouillabaisse and a glass of Provencal wine, basking in that shimmering, almost nostalgic glow of a perfect day on the French Riviera.
Monaco life offers its residents luxury at every turn. Indeed, the French principality is a compact city-state that offers the very best in luxury living and is renowned the world over for the lavish life its residents and visitors enjoy. Whether you are seeking world-class cuisine, ritzy nightlife, world-famous events, or luxurious shopping, check out why living in Monaco offers the very best of the good life.
Here we round up some of the best things to enjoy about Monaco life.
Luxurious Shopping at Every Turn
With one of the highest density of millionaires in the world, there’s no shortage of luxury shopping hot spots when it comes to living in Monaco.
One popular spot is the Metropole Shopping Centre in Monte Carlo, featuring a smorgasbord of some of the world’s most luxurious brands such as Gucci and Versace. Alternatively head to the Carré d’Or district, where exclusive brands jostle for the attention of those with ultra-deep pockets.
Join the High-Rollers
Monte Carlo’s famed casino – or the Casino de Monte-Carlo as it is officially named – is where high-rollers, celebrities, and VIPs go to gamble. Here you’ll find all the traditional gambling games, including English and European roulette and Texas hold-em poker, alongside a dazzling array of slot machines. Remember to dress to impress.
Gourmands will not be disappointed when living in Monaco. Indeed, Monaco life offers a delicious choice of some of the finest restaurants in the world to choose from. Top restaurants include Restaurant Joel Robuchon Monte-Carlo, which boasts an open Teppanyaki-style kitchen, and Le Vistamar, which serves up mouth-watering European cuisine coupled with some of the best views in Monte Carlo.
Party The Night Away
Exclusive parties at some of the world’s best clubs is all part of the fun of Monaco life. Jimmy’z is a local celebrity hot spot and one of the most renowned destinations to party the night away. Dubbed the temple of clubbing, here revellers can enjoy some of the best beats by a roster of celebrity DJs, a stunning terrace coupled with a spectacular sea view, lush gardens, hookah, and some of the world’s best Champagne.
Other notable hot spots include Le Bar Americain, a swanky jazz club renowned for its live music programme, lust worthy cocktails and fabulous sea views.
Living in Monaco includes the opportunity to join in the fun of some of the world’s most exclusive events. The Monaco Yacht Show and the Monaco Grand Prix are two of the most eagerly awaited events on the annual Monaco social calendar and are both an intrinsic part of Monaco life.
The Monaco Yacht show is held annually at the end of September and is the world’s leading superyacht event boasting more than 100 yachts and mega yachts. Some 30,000 visitors join in the revellery of the event, which spans four fabulous days.
Held every May, the Monaco Grand Prix is the slowest and most difficult of all circuits in the Formula 1 World Championship and offers four-days of spectacular racing and wraparound events. Thousands of spectators gather to watch the world’s best racers speed through the streets of Monaco, offering a not-to-miss spectacle.
So, if you’re looking to enjoy a luxurious life, investing in Monte Carlo real estate will enable you to enjoy Monaco life at its very best.
It’s very nearly that time of year again – when we get a chance to see the latest eagerly-awaited yacht launches and catch up with everyone in the boating community, all the while soaking up that early autumn Mediterranean sun. If you are new to the industry and don’t yet know the must-attend events, the French Riviera in September 2019 is the place to be. Read this guide to the best boat festivals in France in September – from French Riviera yacht charter inspiration to exhilarating sailing races, these shows have it all.
Here are Four of The Best Yachting Events on the French Riviera in September 2019:
Cannes Yachting Festival
When? Tuesday 10 to Sunday 15 September 2019, 10am to 7pm
What? The Cannes Yachting Festival (CYF) has been an institution of the Cote d’Azur boating crowd since its opening in 1977. It kicks it off in style as the first yacht show of the season, bringing hundreds of global pleasure yacht builders to the South of France to exclusively launch their new vessels. Often referred to as Cannes leading in-the-water boat show, expect a vast array of motor yachts, sailing yachts, multihulls, tenders and day boats on display – making it perfect for prospective buyers of any kind. This year, attendees can look forward to a new dedicated sailing area, alongside pre-existing highlights such as the Luxury Gallery, Concours d’Elegance and VIP program. It’s truly one of the coolest boat festivals in France in September 2019.
Where? Port Canto (the newly-appointed sailing port, as well as the place to find second-hand brokerage boats and toys) and the Vieux Port (dedicated to new motor yachts and the Luxury Gallery).
Cannes Royal Regattas
When? Sunday 22 to Saturday 28 September 2019
What? Since 1859 the world’s sailing yacht elite have flocked to Cannes to enjoy an exhilarating race, with the Lérins Islands, the Esterel and Mercantour massifs as their backdrop. And with near-perfect sailing conditions and a stunning racecourse, who can blame them? Take part in racing one of 150 beautiful yachts, measuring from 10 to 50 metres in size, or watch in awe from the Bay of Cannes – either way, you are in for an incredible week at one of the most adrenaline-fuelled events on the French Riviera in September 2019. Evenings spell free music shows and plenty of delicious food and drink, so you’ll always be entertained.
Where? Quai Saint Pierre and Quai Lebœuf
Monaco Yacht Show
When? Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 September 2019, 11am to 7.30pm
What? The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) represents luxury in its finest form. Be awed as you stroll past and explore dazzling custom superyachts, each one more lavish than the last. With over 125 to see and only four days to do it, planning ahead of time is a necessity if you want to make the most of the show – don’t forget that the 2019 event will also see forty new yacht launches in a worldwide debut. However, MYS is about more than just the yachts, with the luxury car deck a recent addition to tempt classic automobile connoisseurs, and a selection of evening soirees at which to blow off some steam. Look out for His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, an ongoing supporter of the MYS, frequently sighted at the show.
Where? Port Hercules, Monte-Carlo
Les Voiles de Saint Tropez
When? Saturday 28 to Sunday 6 September 2019
What? This year will mark the 20th anniversary of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, so guests can look forward to an even more exciting regatta than usual. Bringing together an incredible 300 classic and modern yachts and filling the harbour with sailors, enthusiasts and eager onlookers, Les Voiles is an unforgettable event on the French Riviera this September 2019. Twentieth birthday highlights will include moving the Wally Class modern yacht race from the usual Windward-Leewards to a series of the coastal races, with three state-of-the-art Wallycentos competing. Get ready to be on the edge of your seat!
Where? Port de Saint-Tropez
So there we have it – four must-attend yachting festivals in France in September. With all this to look forward to, bring on autumn!
We live in an era where everything is constantly changing; developments in technology allow the ability to innovate and enhance just about any sector. Because of this, it goes without saying that the way we do (almost) everything is being impacted as a result.
The boating industry is no exception – sailing has come a long way since the days of celestial navigation and wooden and steel structures, but what does the future of this popular leisure activity look like? It is an industry that has been operating the same way for a long time, but Dream Yacht have looked into how aspects such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), electrification, wearable technology and other big technological developments will be impacting and enhancing the way we glide along the seas.
AI and Autonomous Sailing
AI is transforming and changing the world around us, and is expected to play a huge part in the future of the maritime industry. It is not uncommon for boat builders to team up with car manufacturers – who are increasingly implementing machine learning algorithms which use data to mechanise the way a vehicle is driven. These particular algorithms can provide onboard computers with methods of solving problems that are typically encountered and can therefore be predicted, allowing autonomous driving capabilities.
This is a technique which will be incorporated more often in the future when building boats, allowing them to have autonomous systems or a remote human operator. This capability will help ease navigation, improve safety and save fuel. Large organisations such as Rolls Royce are funding and carrying out research which will support autonomous ship research.
Smart-Home Integration Capabilities
Intelligent solutions used in homes such as security and access controls, home theatres and temperature control systems are more frequently being incorporated on luxury yachts. This modern movement allows voyagers to seamlessly connect their on-board and off-shore lives, thanks to technological developments.
The smart technologies can be used to control lights and room temperature as well as open and close blinds dependant on time and weather – this reduces energy consumption and allows optimum levels of natural light. Other technology can provide and display GPS and navigation data on various screens, allowing onboard guests to be kept aware of current locations and ETAs.
Another development which will transform sailing experiences is Project Loon; Google’s ‘internet in the sky’. The network of high altitude balloons situated on the edge of space work together to provide an internet connection to remote locations across the world. This will allow people on the sea to remain seamlessly connected to those on the land, as well as allow the installation of even more advanced systems onboard to enhance the living space.
Electrification of Vessels
A popular automotive trend that is being applied to the boating industry is the electrification of machines. It goes without saying that electric boats are more complicated than electric cars – one of the main implications being that the boat battery life is very hard to predict. Aspects such as weather, wave height and currents aren’t very predictable and all impact the power needed from the boat battery.
Recreational boating has become really popular in recent years, and amongst the people who have taken up this pastime are environmentally-conscious seafarers. People want to enjoy themselves without harming the aquatic ecosystem; which has added more pressure on the capabilities of electrifying boats.
Green technology firms and scientists have introduced several innovations that will change recreational and commercial boating in the near future. Hybrid and electric propulsion systems have many benefits; in addition to reducing emissions and optimising fuel consumption, they are lighter and more compact and have reduced maintenance costs. The use of sustainable technology is currently being tested and on the highest end global race boat programs and there are now many boat builders out there that have embarked on the electric journey.
Almost all of these are already in use in other industries and therefore it is just a matter of time before they are fully adopted in maritime. The boating industry will need to innovate and roll with change or risk being left behind as these technologies will have major impacts and revolutionise experiences.
Anyone who’s walked around the Principality in the last few years will have noticed several new developments. Monaco’s most recent properties are strikingly contemporary, embellishing a skyline dominated by 1970s buildings like invitations to a life of 21st century luxury.
The Tour Odéon has caused a lot of ink to flow in the world’s media and the same goes for the fascinating Portier Cove land extension project, whose only visible elements for the moment are a few gigantic concrete caissons that will form the perimeter of the future eco-district.
Monaco’s Le Stella Complex Embodies 21st Century Luxury
Less has been said about Le Stella. The magnificent white structure built on a corner plot in the vibrant Condamine district is immediately recognisable because of the undulating bands of concrete that wrap around its facade like ribbons. Daylight plays on the curves and apertures of the facade, giving it a rippling effect.
Monaco-born Alexandre Giraldi and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Lott were the architects behind this most mesmerising of new developments Monaco offers to home-hunters.
The complex, which was completed in 2018, is composed of two villas and two residential blocks, which rise to 39 metres from a common base.
Luxury Villas and Apartments
Le Stella’s lower floors house retail and office space and a school. In the summer of 2019, the International University of Monaco will leave its premises in Fontvieille and take over 2000m2 of the building.
The higher levels comprise 99 apartments, mostly duplexes, which are split between two buildings. The apartments face Port Hercules and their rear rooms offer views of the Prince’s Palace on the Rock.
Bathed in daylight, the elegant duplexes have between one and three bedrooms and tall sliding windows. Each floor has a loggia, which extends the living space. The first floor of a typical one-bedroom duplex (priced at more than 4 million euros) is composed of an entrance hall with in-built cupboards, a guest toilet and a fitted kitchen opening onto a spacious living room. The second floor comprises a bedroom that opens onto the loggia, a large bathroom and a back room that offers different possibilities. Residents can enjoy a fitness area and have a 24/7 concierge service at their disposal. The luxurious villas (rarities in Monaco) come with indoor cinemas, saunas and swimming pools.
All the properties in Le Stella have tasteful fixtures and fittings, underfloor heating, air-conditioning and underground parking spaces.
With its new developments, Monaco has changed and will continue to do so. The bold, creative design of Le Stella writes a new page in the city-state’s architectural history, while its apartments tick all the boxes for anyone looking for a sophisticated and refined living environment.
Many well-known car manufacturers have branched out and teamed up with boat builders in recent years to co-create some of the best machines to tackle the seas. Dream Yacht has compiled a list of their favourite collaborations between car and boat manufacturers, and the outcomes are breathtaking:
Mercedes-Benz and Cigarette Racing (50’ Marauder AMG)
Mercedes Benz’s AMG range is jaw dropping at the best of times, but when the German car manufacturer teamed up with Cigarette Racing, the outcome was phenomenal. The two brands have set benchmarks in this sector, and to celebrate 10 years of collaboration, they released the 50’ Marauder AMG.
With both manufacturers renowned for creating machines that are focused on speed and performance, it comes as no surprise that the 50’ Marauder AMG is powered by two Mercury Racing engines, which together produce up to 3,100hp.
The boat was inspired by the breathtaking Mercedes-AMG GT R and incorporates design elements such as a sporty cabin layout, seats which were crafted by the AMG Performance Studio and not forgetting the distinctive AMG Green Hell Magno paint.
Aston Martin and Quintessence Yachts (AM37)
As a brand that has strong ties to the iconic James Bond movies, it only makes sense that Aston Martin would team up with a boat manufacturer to create a sought-after machine. Together, Aston Martin and Quintessence Yachts have created a speedboat fit for 007.
The 37-foot AM37 marked the prestige car manufacturer’s entry into the nautical world back in 2016 when it was debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show. The powerboat comprises design, technology, style and comfort in a unique way, making it nothing less than desirable.
Aston Martin’s bespoke personalisation service ‘Q by Aston Martin’ allowed for the interior to be completely customised. The cabin of the AM37 flaunts Baltic blue and cream truffle upholstery, which is perfectly complemented by sparks of chrome and the Mako blue hull finish. Ostentatiously displayed on iconic models such as the famous DB11 and DBS Volante, it makes sense for the powerboat to be finished in this stunning paintwork.
As part of an exclusive collaboration, Lexus and Marquis-Larson Boat Group created a 65-foot premium performance yacht. Branded as LY 650, the boat is an extension of Lexus luxury, with a maritime interpretation. It boasts advanced technology, three luxurious staterooms and several entertainment areas along with an array of amenities.
Despite its grand design and large dimensions, power is not compromised with the LY 650. The luxury yacht is expected to go into production in the second half of 2019.
The only existing superyacht with Porsche DNA, the GTT 115 is a unique and stunning creation, with only 7 ever being created. Utilising three variable-speed generators in conjunction with two 1,650hp V12 diesel engines and a pair of electric motors, power is not compromised despite the hybrid capabilities.
The triple deck superyacht is made up of subtle Porsche design elements, particularly the paintwork colours it is available in. Carrara White, Rhodium Silver, Chalk and Monte-Carlo blue exterior colours take pride of place on popular models such as 911 Turbo S and the 911 Carrera GTS. Meanwhile, the exterior is made up of classy design elements, including a seamless blend of exotic natural woods and Italian marble which is complemented by stylish furnishings and accessories.
Henrik Fisker and Benetti (Benetti Fisker 50)
Henrik Fisker, an automotive designer who has worked with the likes of prestige brands such as BMW and Aston Martin, branched out into the nautical world in 2016, following the announcement of a partnership with Benetti. Fisker and the Italian boat building company together created a 50-meter-long three-deck superyacht that was built on a concept of sustainability, incorporating reclaimed wood, solar panels and an optional hybrid engine into the design.
The boat has six cabins and can accommodate up to 12 guests who can spend their time utilising amenities such as the retractable ocean-view terrace, minibar, a staircase leading to a private home theater, library, curved television, walk-in closets,and a ceiling that recreates the night sky.
So, there you have it. Some of the most impressive boats built to grace the sea with unique and distinctive automotive design features from some of the most prestigious manufacturers.
The glittering coastal town of Cannes welcomes thousands of visitors every year for high profile French Riviera events. They include the Cannes Film Festival in May, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June, the Cannes International Yachting Festival in September and the International Luxury Travel Market in December.
In May, all eyes turn towards the French Riviera and its fascinating neighbour Monaco as they deliver a double dose of glamour. The month’s festivities – attended by the global glitterati – begin with the Cannes Film Festival, which will be held from 14 to 25 May in 2019. The dazzling event will coincide with the practice races of the Monaco Grand Prix, with the main race taking place on 26 May.
Cannes Film Festival: premieres and parties
The Cannes Film Festival is considered to be the world’s most prestigious film festival and has premiered most of the greatest films ever released. In the words of Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Mexican director who will preside the jury of the 72th Cannes Film Festival: “Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart.”
The world’s film industry heads to Cannes for the star-studded red carpet premieres, screenings, meetings, networking and parties that make up the event.
Many of the films selected to be premiered at the festival are in competition for the Palme d’Or (golden palm) and other awards. Films that don’t meet the competition criteria premiere out of the competition.
Although taking home a prize from what is one of the most famous French Riviera events is no guarantee of commercial or critical success, hugely important deals are sealed for funding and distribution. The festival’s nightlife is renowned: wealthy investors and producers host lavish parties in luxurious hotel suites and aboard yachts.
Although the Cannes Film Festival is an industry-only event, the public heads to the beach to enjoy the films screened there every evening. Some people queue for tickets for the Critics’ Week part of the festival to see films by emerging directors.
The Croisette, the road where the festival venue is located, attracts a public eager to see the stars stepping onto the red carpet as they arrive for the black-tie screenings.
Monaco Grand Prix: prestige and logistical acrobatics
The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix has a history that dates back to 1929 and is part of the FIA Formula One World Championship. It is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and contributes to the image of Monaco as a glamorous destination.
The Monaco circuit challenges drivers with tight corners and elevation changes between the iconic yacht-filled Port Hercules and Monte Carlo and back. As the event approaches, the second-smallest country in the world is taken over by it and the tension begins to mount. In just six weeks – to keep disruptions to everyday life to a minimum – grandstands are erected, roads are resurfaced and kilometres of barriers are built. Some yachts are moved from the harbour to make space for floating VIP hospitality areas.
Some 200,000 spectators attend the Grand Prix in Monaco, a country that counts less than 39,000 residents. The event runs over four days, with practice runs preceding the main race and the atmosphere is electric. Balconies with views over the track are crowded with spectators, the rich and famous take to VIP terraces with gourmet catering and DJs, and invite-only yacht parties continue into the early hours of the morning.
A world of opportunity on the French Riviera
The frenzy of the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix is followed by the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which will take place from 17 to 21 June in 2019. Monaco and the French Riviera are renowned yachting hotspots and, with a large fleet of luxury yachts available in the Mediterranean all year round, an increasingly popular choice of accommodation for attendees is a Cannes Lions yacht charter.
Attendees who are considering a luxury yacht charter for French Riviera events will find quality vessels from top yacht charter companies ranging from 24 to more than 60 metres available in Cannes and Monaco. A luxurious day charter provides the perfect setting for a critical business meeting or party, while week-long charters offer the ultimate superyacht experience.
On all luxury yacht charters for the top French Riviera events, experienced professional crew are on board to ensure a seamless experience – including a private chef trained to create only the most extraordinary culinary delights. Throughout the day the experienced chef may serve up delicious canapes and refreshments during important meetings and conferences, while at night, a feast of fine dining awaits, ready to be enjoyed under the stars with friends and colleagues.
For companies looking to make an impression, the option of a yacht charter offers unrivalled brand visibility. Many exclusive yacht charters are available in the port directly next to the Palais des Festivals, the iconic building that hosts both the Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
With luxury yacht charters in Cannes an increasingly popular accommodation option for attendees of French Riviera events, booking well ahead is essential. For those looking for a superior experience for both business and pleasure, nothing beats a taste of the French Riviera via superyacht.
The rivalry between sailors and motor yacht enthusiasts is legendary. At times fiercely competitive, (and at almost all times accompanied by humorous name-calling), the division between the sailing yacht and motor yacht fraternities continues to divide the yachting world.
Generally, experienced yachties will display a strong preference for either sail or motor yachts, putting their lifetime loyalties in either one camp or the other. For purists, it’s either sailing yachts, OR motor yachts… and never the two shall meet. The preference tends to start early: sailing grandfathers teach their infant grandsons to shake their fist at passing ‘stinkpots’, and families on speedboats roll their eyes at slow-going ‘blow-boats’ clogging up the bay on regatta day.
And so the war continues through the generations, however good-natured it may be.
Choosing (or Changing) Your Side
Yet if you’re fairly new to the yachting experience, maybe you don’t know yet where your allegiance lies in the great civil war of seafarers. Or perhaps (just perhaps) you’re the open-minded type, looking for a different type of yachting experience this summer to suit your group – whether that’s with family, friends, or for a corporate charter.
In truth, sailing and motor yachts both have an extraordinary amount to offer a charter group, and sometimes you’d be mad not to switch and enjoy the experience of going over to ‘the dark side’. For there are some circumstances where motor yachts are better for certain types of charters and people, and the reverse is also unmistakeably true.
If you’re considering changing teams – even if just for one illicit charter – or are chartering for the first time, here are a few pointers on what separates the charter experience on the two types of yachts, and what might make you lean towards one or the other for your next vacation. Of course, there are a myriad of yacht designs within each of the two broad categories, so these are merely generalisations, with plenty of exceptions to each rule.
Sailing Yachts vs Motor Yachts: Which is Best for Your Next Charter?
Round One : The Battle of Luxury and On-Board Amenities
In days gone by, this one was much easier to call, with motor yachts easily eclipsing their smaller sailboat brethren with their multiple decks and huge volumes – allowing for plenty of glamorous amenities and accommodation space.
But sailboats have grown up in the intervening years, with huge, ultra-swanky sailing superyachts also taking to the seas. These extraordinarily comfortable cruising yachts have large volumes and wider beams, making room for stunning additions like Jacuzzis, gyms, on-deck cinemas, and even the odd beach club. Contemporary sailing yacht interiors are often just as spectacular as those found on motor yachts, with grand salons and ensuite staterooms, and are kitted out with all the mod-cons like internet and whizz-bang AV systems.
But, of course, while sailing yachts have evolved so too have motor yachts, with these grand floating palaces just getting bigger and more luxurious by the year. Spas, cinemas, helipads and swimming pools – even sports courts – are now found on the very large motor yachts, and when it comes to features like water toy storage, sailing yachts can rarely compete.
The Verdict: If you revel in space, glamour, and all the latest toys, then a motor yacht is probably your heart’s desire.
Round Two : A Yacht for all Seasons
Sailing yachts have a distinct advantage over their motor yacht cousins when it comes to encountering wild and windy weather. As long as it’s not blowing a gale, a sailing yacht crew and their charterers react to a strong breeze with glee, hoisting the sails and making their way out to sea to get the adrenaline pumping, enjoying the sheer thrill of the sport.
And when the wind drops and the sea is glassy still, a sailing yacht captain simply puts the engine on and motors to a beautiful anchorage for a day of traditional yachting pleasures like swimming and snorkelling in heavenly conditions.
Motor yachts, while eminently capable of coping with heavy weather, tend to turn tail and head for port when the weather turns grey, windy, or rainy. They are built to cross oceans, but from a guest perspective, they excel in the sunshine, and you probably wouldn’t take a motor yacht out in poor weather just for a fun cruise. A sailing yacht, in short, has more versatility in different weather conditions. Both wind and calm are happy times indeed.
Verdict: A sailing yacht is the yacht for all weathers, and soundly wins this round. This is something to think about if you’re planning to charter in a region that gets a lot of wind in the summer, such as the Aegean Greek Islands, or are chartering in the shoulder seasons when weather can be more inclement.
Round Three : The Need for Speed
Sure, a performance sailing yacht can go at a hefty clip in a strong wind, but there’s the small matter of not being in control of that wind. If the air is still (or blowing in the wrong direction), the engine on a sailing boat will still get you there…eventually. As such, you generally won’t be able to cover as much ‘ground’ in a sailing yacht charter itinerary as you would on a motor yacht.
Verdict: If you’re the type that’s always in a hurry and wants to get to the next destination quickly or cover a lot of destinations on your charter, then a motor yacht is for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy the journey as much as the destination and love being out on the water, then a sailing yacht will likely nicely suit your temperament.
Round Four : The Thrill Factor
Who wins this round will depend very much on what makes you tick.
I don’t know anyone on earth who wouldn’t get a little thrill out of entering Monaco or St Tropez on a huge motor yacht, watching the summertime crowds gather to see who’s on board. Part of the motor yacht appeal is the presence of the things: their size, their grandeur – the sheer, unapologetic showiness of it all.
But for those who enjoy the thrill of the sea and the sport of sailing– whether that’s racing in a regatta or just heeling over in a strong wind, racing down the Riviera with the backdrop of the Alps flitting by – well, a sailing yacht is the only thing that will get your blood racing.
The Verdict: Well, that depends on how you get your thrills now, doesn’t it.
Round Five : The Guest Experience
What kind of yacht you prefer will often come down – at least just a little bit – to how involved you want to be in the process of being on the water. While sailing yachts will absolutely never require you to pitch in and learn the ropes, there’s no question that for many avid sailing yacht charterers, getting involved is a huge part of the fun – and this is particularly the case if you’ve got children that you’d love to see learn a new sport on holiday. There’s nothing quite like standing at the helm of a sailing superyacht, wind in your hair, knowing you’re in control of this extraordinary vessel, or mastering a new skill as you learn about reading the weather and sea conditions.
The participation element of yacht charter is something that motor yacht guests rarely get to experience, as the navigation and operation of a motor yacht isn’t generally a collaborative effort where guests play a part. On a motor yacht charter, the guest experience tends to be more focussed on the luxury and relaxation side of things.
Additionally, because of the collaborative sporting nature of sailing yachts, the crew–guest relationship on these vessels tends to be somewhat more relaxed, with a sense of participating together towards a goal and a growing sense of camaraderie building over the course of the charter.
The Verdict: There’s nothing at all wrong with either style of holiday, but if you want to be part of the action, then a sailing yacht is a clear choice. If you’d prefer to lie back on a deckchair and drink cocktails and pay no notice to the operation of the vessel, then a motor yacht is often a better bet. (Although you can definitely do that on a sailing yacht too.)
Round Six : The Type of Charter
Here’s the most important consideration of all. What kind of yacht charter are you planning? You should definitely adapt your preferred style of yacht to each individual charter, rather than just chartering the same kind of vessel each time.
For example, if you’re planning a corporate team-building yacht charter, then a classic sailing yacht charter is a superb opportunity to get everyone bonding together while learning how to sail a century-old yacht. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a corporate yacht charter for the Cannes Film Festival or MIPIM, you’ll certainly appreciate the added deck space of a motor yacht so you can throw opulent parties and host VIP clients.
You might want an ultra-modern performance sailing superyacht to compete in the Superyacht Cup in Porto Cervo, but charter a large motor yacht with lots of interior space and water toys for that trip along the French Riviera with the extended family.
Verdict: Don’t get so wedded to one type of vessel that you completely miss the wonders of the others. You don’t actually have to choose a side. Just choose what’s best for you this upcoming trip, and embrace everything about this style of charter.
Variety is the spice of yachting, so ‘play both sides’ to your heart’s content. To figure out which type of yacht is best for your particular needs this summer, contact the Mediterranean yacht charter experts at Bespoke Yacht Charter. No matter what kind of charter you’re planning (or which side of the sailing/motor divide you naturally fall on) we have the perfect yacht to surpass your expectations – and possibly test your lifelong allegiances along the way.