A South of France yacht charter is a feast for the senses. There are certain sights and smells, sounds, touches and tastes that epitomize long summer days on the French Riviera. Float along the coast, savouring the breathtaking backdrop of snow-capped Alps and red rock edged by turquoise sea, the cool smell of pine forest and the sleepy sound of buzzing cicadas. Close your eyes enjoy the lap of water on the hull, the fragrance of lavender in the markets, the feel of your toes sinking into soft sand. Remember the water that sparkles in that mythical Provencal light, the sharp tang of salt in the air, and blue-green coves of perfect clarity. As your charter yacht floats along the coastline from Monaco to St Tropez, you will be transported into a sensory dream. Here are some of the experiences that will delight your five senses on a French Riviera yacht charter.
Our planet is no doubt blessed with a myriad of breathtakingly stunning scenery, but very few places compare to the luxurious blend of vintage luxury and enchanting landscapes that is the French Riviera and its legendary sun-drenched beaches. This delightfully sculpted scenery which stretches from St. Tropez up until the French-Italian border is an avalanche of hospitality; complete with sandy beaches, blue seas (and skies), trendy shopping stores and exclusive boutiques. Dazzling with historic vineyards, extravagant chateaus, and calm waters transcended by traversing yachts, the French Riviera immerses its visitors in an ethereal world of splendor and magnificence. Add a touch of style and classical French hospitality, and you see why this place leads the chart of top celebrity tourist destinations.
Cannes on the French Riviera is an action attraction sure to tickle the fancy of every tourist. The town hosts the famous Cannes Film Festival on an annual basis – providing a glistering perspective of what luxury and holiday resorting should be like. With an aura of regality and modest affluence, the sun perched Mediterranean coastline, and nearby medieval styled villages provide a lucid imagery of the rich French cultural history. It’s however not just about the scenery, as embossed in the rose gold streets of the nearby, Eze, Antibes, Saint Tropez and Menton as a firsthand historical perspective of French Sovereignty. Antibes in particular, with its picturesque streets and prestigious museums, reunites you with history; and if you have a taste for the exclusive, its impressive line up of celebrity villas will leave you craving for more of the same.
What’s the best way to explore the French Riviera; by land where you get up close and personal with its stunning architecture or via the air where you’re treated to an almost godlike perspective of its stunning scenery? How about a taste of the two; up close and personal plus a godlike view and then a serving of luxurious adventure – cue the waters of the French Riviera and its luxury yachts. Of the many highlights the French Riviera is known for, its exotic yachting and beach culture stands out as one of the most prominent in the world. Since the 18th century when its white pebble beaches were routinely toured by the likes of King Edward VII, Queen Victoria, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, the French Riviera has conveyed a sense of wealth and privileged luxury; the kind that has drawn hordes of affluent visitors to its endearing yet reassuringly calm waters. So, whether you arrive on your private yacht or join the enthusiastic company of other tourists to hitch a ride aboard a cruise, ferry or boat, rest assured that you will a get a taste of the regally grand adventures of the French Riviera’s breathtaking waters.
Away from the Sea and onto the Roads of the French Riviera
Granted the sea and its frivolities pack a unique touch of adventure, but no trip to the French Riviera is complete without a day, or two spent touring its scenic landscapes and interacting with its soulful scenery. Far from the tardy definitions of a conventional tour, you too can experience the French Riviera from an elite perspective, with a custom planned tour in the supercar of your dreams. If you thought the bustling waters of the Riviera were endearing, then get set for a treat. A driving tour of the French Riviera aboard a supercar replaces the gentle sways of the adventurous sea with the high-octane pumped twists and turns of France’s greatest driving roads – it really is, the ultimate way to infuse a vibrant and spirited experience into your French Riviera adventure.
The Cote d’Azur and Provence feature a stunning landscape made for the 21st century explorer. The seemingly endless stretches of roads wiggle around the sun draped hills and snow-tipped mountains leaving in their wake Provence’s signature lavender fields and vignette olive groves. But that’s just a snippet of what lies in store; the Alpes-Maritimes, a streak of cliff-top roads snaking up the French Riviera’s daunting mountain range is length for length one of the most enthralling routes for driving in all of Europe. Its range is dotted with iconic hilltop villages, each painted with a byzantine palette of class and vintage luxury. From Gourdon, through Vence and up into Moustiers Sainte Marie, expect a visually scintillating experience that will most certainly leave an indelible imprint on your travel memories.
Planning your Car Tour on the French Riviera
Ready to delve into the French Riviera? Start off your tour from Cannes where an experienced tour guide will meet you at about 6:30 pm in the comfort of your hotel lobby. You will be provided with a detailed rundown of what to expect before the keys to your select dream car is handed over; this could be a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, a Porsche or even a Bugatti if you’re hell-bent on keeping the whole experience, French.
After your first night, spent shrugging off any accompanying bits of sea sluggishness, you should be well in tune with the magic of the French Riviera – the land version. Your first route to conquer is the long stretch of road leading from Cannes up into Provence. Do this by coasting along the famous Croisette promenade and its breathtaking view of the adjacent bay of Cannes. Make your way to the charming and eccentric village of Gourdon. This town hosts an assortment of cute small boutiques, antique and art, sumptuous cuisine, perfumes, olive oils, all reminiscent of medieval France. But all this pales in comparison to the magnificent view this hilltop village provides; Gourdon perched at an altitude of almost 760m treats you to an exclusive perspective of the Mediterranean coastline and the Alps.
From here, its onwards to the iconic Artuby bridge in all its artistic curves and silhouetted brilliance. The Verdon National park lies just ahead and nestled within its confines is the Gorges du Verdon, France’s own Grand Canyon; make sure to take some photos, the views are spectacular. After lunch, head off into Provence where your luxury hotel awaits you.
Day two and you’re back on track, only this time for a taste of the spectacular with one of Europe’s finest collection of mountain passes and twisting roads; if you are familiar with the Swiss Alps; you know what to expect with the Mediterranean Alps roads. Breeze through the legendary Route Napoleon and its nearby twin the Route de Thorenc. Both feature hanging cliffs and fast-paced straights; and while others pause to take a breather from the corners, you effortlessly conquer the road with the confidence that comes from being in your very own supercar.
Your road tour of the French Riviera comes to an end with the shimmering tarmac of Col de Vence, and its striking view of the sea. From here it’s smooth sailing via the highway back to Monte-Carlo.
The perfect French Riviera yacht charter is a tale of two glorious extremes.
On the one hand, there’s the spine-tingling glamour of docking in an exclusive marina like Monaco or St Tropez for a night of Michelin star dining and champagne-spraying decadence.
On the other, there’s the idyllic peace of sitting at anchor with a view of beaches and mountains, the only sounds the lapping of water on the hull and the soporific buzz of cicadas in the nearby pines. From your anchorage you can dive off the swim platform, get the water-toys out, or tender into one of the French Riviera’s fabulous beaches.
Being able to switch between exclusive marinas and tranquil anchorages within minutes is one of the reasons that the French Riviera continues to be one of the ultimate superyacht destinations.
To help you decide where to drop anchor on your South of France yacht charter, here are some of the best anchorage spots along the Cote d’Azur, cruising westward from Monaco to Marseille.
The French Riviera is an esteemed location for luxury real estate, and the perfect setting if you’re looking for a rich lifestyle filled with entertainment, sunshine, beautiful scenery and outdoor adventures. Considered to be one of the ultimate yachting destinations in the world, the French Riviera has a perfect Mediterranean climate, as well as stunning luxury homes, whether you are looking for classic or contemporary, large or intimate.
Situated in the south-east of France, the coastal region goes from Menton (near the Italian border) to Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Cassis. Building regulations are strict to ensure the beautiful French coastline is not ruined, therefore demand for French Riviera property is high. Consider these four prime locations when searching for property on the French Riviera.
Cannes is known for its bevy of luxury properties that attract the wealthy. The area’s plush real estate is why this is such a major hub for affluent home buyers. Homes are available in modern, bustling areas as well as in quieter historic districts and residential neighborhoods. Search for houses or apartments that are set against palm trees on the waterfront or in the heart of town near the best cafes and restaurants. If you’re seeking something more peaceful then look in the hills surrounding Cannes and benefit from stunning sea views! If you’re going to be renting your property out short- or long-term, look for an apartment in the centre of Cannes or a villa in a gated community, where you can rely on high security and peace of mind.
This villa in Cannes boasts contemporary architecture and refined décor. The entrance hall level has a large living room; dining room; fully-equipped kitchen overlooking a covered terrace; and three suites, all of which open into the garden, and that also have a dressing room and either a bathroom or shower room. The upper floor includes a master suite and a second suite, both with a large, private terrace. Outdoors, there’s a pool, pool house and driveway that leads to four garages.
Life in Cannes means easy access to a picturesque coastline and beaches, plus high-profile events, gourmet cuisine and high class shopping. The area is buzzing year-round, with a strong nightlife that includes live music, casinos and theatre. During the summer, large boats congregate on the nearby Lérins Islands.
Located between Cannes and Nice, Antibes is home to Port Vauban, the largest private marina in Europe which is filled with huge superyachts. Exclusive villas, cozy penthouses and modern homes are close to immaculate beaches that can be visited year-round. While there are plenty of turnkey properties ready for immediate move-in, there are also project properties that you can work on in order to create your own, customised dream home (many of them already have renovation permits, too). Features of Antibes property include private garages, serene pool areas, fully-fitted kitchens, rooftop terraces, expansive patios, swimming pools and guest accommodation.
This lovely, contemporary Cap d’Antibes villa has been recently renovated using high-end materials. Aside from five bedrooms, this home also has a large, bright living room as well as a cinema room. Spend an afternoon lounging by the private swimming pool, then head into the pool house when you need a break from the sunshine.
Calm and laid-back, Antibes is known for the Marché Provencal covered market, where you can head for gourmet ingredients. Don’t miss scuba diving season, which lasts from May to October. Roam around to catch glimpses of pastel architecture and medieval towers.
Though super small (less than one square mile), Monaco is a tiny principality with a huge personality – one that’s in high demand, too. Located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Southern Alps, living here gives you easy access to both the water and the mountains. Local architecture includes Belle Époque buildings, decadent palaces surrounded by manicured landscaping, and penthouses and apartments that look out onto the sea. By moving here, you’ll be amongst famous celebrities such as professional sportsmen (namely cyclists, golfers and F1 drivers), as well as models, musicians and some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
This one-bedroom apartment in Monaco is located in a prestigious building (complete with concierge service) on a residential boulevard. Bright and south-facing, this apartment has high ceilings, a lounge, a dressing room with made-to-measure units, a bedroom with terrace access, and an open-plan kitchen that leads onto a large balcony.
For a teeny, tiny place, Monaco packs in a lot to do. Head to a casino or museum, go golfing or attend a star-studded event. The area is extremely safe too, with 24-hour video surveillance of the entire principality and the world’s largest police for per capita and per square metre.
Steeped in indulgence, excess and the best that life has to offer, Saint-Tropez is delightfully lacking when it comes to tourism sights. Head to the coastal Sentier du Littoral path, which runs along the peninsula and past the locale’s best, most extravagant villas. Other types of Saint-Tropez property include luxury apartments and vineyard estates. A large number of artists live in this part of the French Riviera, and you can watch them setup every morning on the port.
This modern villa in Saint-Tropez has a dazzling, pristine interior that stretches across three levels. Five bedrooms have bath and shower rooms, the kitchen is state-of-the-art and many of the living areas are open-plan. Other amenities include a wine cellar, home cellar, electric gates and home automation system. The manicured, fenced-in garden has a variety of Mediterranean plants and trees, plus an automatic watering system.
From crystal-clear swimming holes and the rocky coast to high-end dining and designer shopping, Saint-Tropez offers the ultimate jet setting lifestyle. When the 100,000 inhabitants thin out after the summer season, the area becomes peaceful and charming. Stroll down Old Town’s narrow streets or spend an afternoon at Le Café.
One Last Thought
When you purchase a French Riviera property, you also buy into a lifestyle. Opulent housing is available along the waterfront, as well on the outskirts of town, away from the hustle and bustle. When buying such a property, consider speaking to a buyer’s agent such as French property specialists, Home Hunts, they will go out and handpick a selection of luxury properties that meet your requirements and specifications, whether you’re searching for a full-time residence abroad or a holiday home.
Monaco Yacht Show 2017 is set to take place from 27 to 30 September 2017 at Port Hercules where around 34,000 attendees will congregate to see, share and admire innovations, trends, luxury yachts and nautical products within the yachting sector.
Undeniably the most significant yachting show for the Mediterranean, the 27th edition of the Monaco Yacht Show under the patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco will be THE place to find the largest yachts, the biggest industry launches and the leading cutting-edge developments across tech, marine accessories, tenders, toys and yacht services.
The show attracts yacht buyers, major shipyards, brokers, designers, equipment manufacturers and other luxury companies and continually adapts to attract players within luxury markets with annual restructuring and improvements. This year, Quai Antoine 1er will be a focal point with relocation of the Car Deck, a new lounge – Starboard, and the Tenders and Toys exhibition zone.
When Duran Duran appeared on a stage that seemed to skim the water’s surface and surrounded by magnificent boats, the Ferretti Group’s guests must certainly have felt that they could identify with the sentiment expressed by the title of one of this legendary British band’s famous songs: All You Need Is Now.
The spectacle and glamour of this memorable event were made tangible in the enchanting Monégasque night.
A live performance full of hit songs and energy once again proved Duran Duran’s boundless talent, as they switched between irresistible dance rhythms and the pop songs that have made music history for the last thirty years.
The Ferretti Group and the Yacht Club De Monaco renewed a partnership that is unique worldwide and capable of producing an unforgettable event for the third year in a row. “Extraordinary World”, a name inspired by Ordinary World, one of the British band’s most famous hits, was the name given to this private concert celebrating the Ferretti Group’s unique and extraordinary ability to design and build yachts that go far beyond the ordinary.
“I have followed Duran Duran’s career since they first started out, and I have always loved their songs as well as their ability to change and experiment without ever losing their identity or their inspiration”, commented the Ferretti Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Alberto Galassi.
“Duran Duran agreed to put on this one-time, one-of-a-kind concert for our yacht Owners and for the members of the Yacht Club de Monaco. They are an extraordinary band, which, like our yachts, has style, personality, and that ability to innovate and experiment which always puts you a step above the rest, in music as in shipbuilding.
It’s no coincidence that they have come through diverse eras but always remained at the top. Thanks to their music and our guests, the Ferretti Group Private Preview 2017 has once again been an evening to remember.”
The set list, which elicited an enthusiastic response from the over 500 guests, was a triumphant parade of hits ranging from Ordinary World to the songs that first made the band famous, like Wild Boys, Notorious, Hungry Like a Wolf, Girls on Film, A View to a Kill and the more recent Pressure Off and White Lines. The encore was marked by the legendary hits Save a Prayer and Rio.
“We are happy that our renewed partnership with the Ferretti Group was able to produce this fabulous private concert”, declared Bernard d’Alessandri, Secretary General of the Yacht Club de Monaco. “And we were delighted to welcome Simon Le Bon, who is passionate about yachting. I also remember well his participation in the 1985/1986 Whitbread on Drum, a truly unique sailing adventure.”
A fleet consisting of a full 25 vessels, moored in front of the Yacht Club and representing all of the Ferretti Group brands provided a luxurious backdrop for the concert, rendering even more extraordinary this event that opened the third edition of the yearly Private Preview.
From their privileged positions in seats on the Quai Louis II and from the terraces of the Yacht Club, guests were able to admire 6 new yachts that are making their international première: the new flybridge boats Ferretti Yachts 780 and Ferretti Yachts 920, the Pershing 9X, the new Riva flybridge yacht 100’ Corsaro and the most recent addition to the open fleet, the 56’ Rivale, along with the Navetta 33, the second semi-displacement ship in the Custom Line fleet.
All are available until tomorrow afternoon, along with the rest of the fleet, for exclusive tours and sea trials, and are ready to set sail, upon conclusion of the Preview, for Cannes, where, from Tuesday the 12th to Sunday the 17th of September, they will be the stars of the 40th Cannes Yachting Festival.
You know the South of France summer is in full swing when celebrities and their bodyguards are popping in and out of boutiques, and charter guests speed back to their yachts, their tenders laden down with shopping bags full of designer gowns and swimwear from the world’s great fashion houses.
It’s far from unknown for superyacht guests to drop a cool €100,000 on a morning’s shopping trip in the glamorous boutiques of Saint Tropez, Cannes, or Monaco. But that’s not to say you need to have a spare hundred grand to enjoy the shopping experience during your South of France yacht charter.
Our Riviera shopping guide takes you from the haute couture fashion houses and elite ready-to-wear designers, through to local boutique gems and colourful local markets. And as no-one fancies giving money to the tax-man unnecessarily, we’ve also included some information on how to shop duty-free on the French Riviera.
Shopping in Monaco
If you begin your yacht charter in Monaco, there’s no better way to start than taking an afternoon stroll through the Principality to find a stunning designer outfit for your first evening on the yacht.
The Cercle d’Or & Summer Pavilions
The haute couture designers and luxury jewellers hang their shingles around the famous Cercle d’Or, where it’s just one prestigious fashion brand after another, including Prada, Gucci, Valentino, Cartier, Bvlgari, Hermès, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dior, and Chanel.
During summer 2017, 40 ultra-luxe brands will be displaying in the ‘Promenade Monte Carlo Shopping’: an exclusive installation of summer pavilions near the Place du Casino. The ideal route for a Cercle d’Or shopping tour begins at the Pavilions before carrying along the famous Avenue de Monte Carlo and onto Allée Francois Blanc.
If you’re a bargain-hunter roaming this part of town, slip behind the casino and away from the Cercle d’Or to Avenue Saint Michel, where Stock Griffe boutique offers big name brands for up to 70% off.
In the town centre, Boulevard des Moulins, Boulevard d’Italie, and Avenue Princesse Grace showcase many high end boutiques, including local offerings such as Monegasque luxury brand, 209 Mare.
The Condamine area down by the marina has more than 200 boutiques of dazzling variety and budget – from fashion and homewares to gourmet stores. For those shoppers who love to explore, La Condamine holds many treasures, including Le Dressing: a vintage designer shop featuring second-hand beauties from designers like Chanel.
Monaco even does shopping malls with exceptional style. Galerie du Metropole is one of the most luxurious malls on the planet, with acres of marble, porters to help with your bags, and 80 luxury stores including Armani and Brunello Cucinelli.
If you’re after a more low key or practical shopping experience, head to Fontvieille shopping mall, where you’ll find electronics, fashion stores, and a large Carrefour supermarket.
Finally, despite its high-end shopping reputation, Monaco also does a wonderful daily market in La Condamine featuring Mediterranean produce and local crafts, and a funky little flea market at Fontvieille on Saturdays.
Things worth knowing
There’s a 20% VAT surcharge on goods you buy in Monaco: it may be known as a tax haven, but unfortunately that doesn’t apply to the shopping experience! However, if you’re a visitor from a country outside the EU, you will be eligible for a VAT refund on purchases over €175 made in a single store.
Shopping in Cannes
Cannes is one of the world’s ultimate shopping destinations, and you’ll feel the excitement in the air as you skip from Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent to Dior, passing celebrities carrying little dogs in their Hermès handbags.
Cannes Croisette is a byword for luxury shopping, with flagship haute couture boutiques lining the boulevard beneath the palm trees and ornate Belle Epoque hotels. As well as the big global names such as Dior and Chanel, there are also some very fine French boutiques worth knowing about, such as Paule Kar, Chacok, and Leonard Fashion.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a glamorous evening gown for your night out in Cannes but have a bit of an eye on your budget, try MyAnnika, a boutique specialising in evening dresses at affordable prices.
During the Cannes Film Festival, there’s even a red carpet laid out along the shopping strip, and the Croisette is largely pedestrianised on summer evenings as of 2017, making this prestigious shopping destination even more drop-dead gorgeous than ever. And if you’re in the mood to get a head-start on the summer crowds with a spring yacht charter, the Croisette hosts a shopping festival each April, with fashion shows and season previews. Be still, my beating heart.
If you must drag yourself away from the Croisette, Rue d’Antibes is the place to do it. This famous street just behind the Croisette is the other fashionable place to shop in Cannes, with a succession of luxury brands like Vilebrequin and famous high street brands like Zara, as well as sunglass stores and decadent chocolate shops for gifts to take home.
And as if it couldn’t get any better, the block between the Croisette and the Rue d’Antibes completes the famous Carré d’Or, where fine jewels are laid out in the window displays between chic bars and swimwear stores.
Rue des Etats-Unis
This recently-updated shopping street features high-end interior design shops to find that perfect French piece to ship home.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to shop like a Cannois local, then Rue Meynadier is for you, with its eclectic mix of affordable fashion and artisan food stores.
If you’re still hungry for more, the Galerie Gray d’Albion shopping mall is located just by the Croisette, featuring a range of high-end stores including La Perla. If you’re looking for more practical shopping, head to the neighbouring town of Cannes La Bocca.
To get the true Cannes experience on your yacht charter, a visit to the local markets is a must, and Marche Forville delights with its bustling atmosphere, and colourful stalls of fruit and flowers, cheese and fish.
Things worth knowing
Like Monaco, you can claim a VAT refund on purchases over €175 in a single store if you hail from a country outside the EU. If you’re planning a South of France shopping spree, apply for a Global Blue ‘shop tax free card’ so you can automatically be refunded at participating stores, or just ask in the store for a detaxe’ form to claim at the airport upon departure.
Shopping in Saint Tropez
Welcome to little boutique heaven, where the towering names of the fashion world sit on cobbled laneways next to unique Saint Tropez boutiques. The village of Saint Tropez isn’t big and all its boutiques are a leisurely stroll from each other, so just grab your credit card and explore to your heart’s content, with a focus on the luxury triangle between Place des Lices, Rue Gambetta, and Rue Allard.
Global Fashion houses
You’ll find the instantly-recognisable names of Hermès, Armani, Dior, and Louis Vuitton emblazoned above the doorways of Saint Tropez’ pastel facades, as well as Zadig et Voltaire, Lanvin, Swarovksi and Eres, just to name a few. However, it’s worth noting that the luxury shopping scene is just as much about the local as the international in enchanting St Tropez.
Arguably the most famous item in a Saint Tropez wardrobe is the iconic Tropezienne sandal, which was established by the Rondini family in 1927, with stiff competition from the K.Jacques family who set up shop 5 years later.
As you might expect, swimwear is also a hot item in sunny Saint Tropez, where the local Vilebrequin and Kiwi St Tropez boutiques began their meteoric rise on the superyacht fashion scene.
For jewellery, Gas Bijoux delights with its chunky, colourful designs, while Au Soleil de Saint Tropez is the last word in boho chic (as worn by the stars.)
There’s something for everyone in fashionable St Tropez. If you’re feeling nautical, Blanc Blue is a local boutique full of sailor-style stripes and scarves, while those up for a spot of polo at the St Tropez polo club will find all the right attire at La Martina. Bla Blas is an absolute treasure trove of quirky labels, while Be Shorts— well, you can guess what they sell.
Markets and Cellars
One St Tropez shopping experience which is not to be missed is a Saturday morning at the Place des Lices market, where Provencal produce, gifts, and clothing are spread out in stalls underneath the shade of century-old plane trees.
And finally, if you’re wanting to take home some excellent Provencal wine for a gift or to cellar, head to La Cave de Saint Tropez or Terre de Mer.
Things to know
The same tax free opportunities exist in St Tropez as in Cannes, with a Global Blue card definitely the way to go if you’re planning on splashing some cash.
A yacht charter is the perfect way to make the most of a luxury shopping adventure along the French Riviera. Where land-locked tourists have to battle with summer traffic in the South of France, you just float along between the great shopping destinations of the Riviera, falling ever deeper in love as you go.
Whether you’re cruising down the French Riviera, floating through the sunlit seas of Sardinia, or docking in the Caribbean paradise of St Barths, a superyacht charter is the ultimate in glamour and barefoot luxury. And you’ll want to look the part, with a stylish wardrobe and designer accessories delivering just the right amount of bling for an effortless sense of superyacht cool.
But since superyachts have their own unique dress code, it’s not always easy to decide what to pack!
There are certain high-end fashion brands that are synonymous with the superyacht set and we’ll discuss these ‘brands that belong’ in detail in this guide, along with some practical insider tips on what to bring on a yacht charter, including what luggage to use, what technology to pack, and those funny old rules about shoes.
Maybe you take a family holiday every year, but you want this one to be special. You’re tossing up between all the usual luxury vacation options the exclusive hotel or private villa, the high-end cruise ship or island resort.
Forget all that. There’s a much better way – one which combines all the best of these traditional holiday choices and surpasses them with ease. A luxury yacht charter beats all the other vacation options, hands-down.
So what makes a yacht so special? And how does a superyacht charter trump all other vacation options?
‘How long is a piece of string’ is the quick answer to this question. The variation in charter yacht pricing and facilities is simply breathtaking, with French Riviera yacht charters beginning at around €20,000 per week for smaller yachts, and soaring stratospherically upwards to over €1 million per week for the finest megayachts – complete with helipads, elevators, beach clubs, and infinity pools.
It’s fair, then, to say there are some gaps in pricing and facilities. And in those gaps lies your opportunity to join the superyacht set. You may have to sacrifice the infinity pool, but you don’t have to sacrifice the dream.
With more superyachts joining the charter fleet every year, yacht charters are more affordable than ever before. And once you factor in sharing the cost of your charter with a group of family and friends, yacht charter at the small to medium motor-yacht range becomes financially comparable to other luxury holiday options on the French Riviera such as high-end hotels, villas, and cruise ships. And when it comes to experiences, well, luxury yachts win that contest hands-down.
One of the best ways to experience a yacht charter destination is immersing yourself into its gastronomic pleasures – regional food, good wine, harvest festivals and local markets. On the French Riviera, discovering the food markets ashore highlights a Provençal ritual and the link between farm, orchard, ocean and table. With a fabulous climate that sustains agriculture, to experience any French town or city at its core it’s worth being there on market day.
The French Riviera is the most glamorous stretch of coastline in the world, and as such, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when planning a family yacht charter. Yet there’s actually so much great stuff to do with kids on the Cote d’Azur that you’ll struggle to fit it all in a 7-day charter! From tropical beach treasure hunts and underwater villages to zip-lining, firework shows and rollercoasters, the French Riviera is a children’s playground.
We’ve written before about why yacht charters are so great for the whole family, and how to make sure they’re a brilliant success.
The celebrity history of the French Riviera reads like a Who’s Who of the last century. It is a riveting story of butcher kings and widow queens, sex sirens and princesses, scheming billionaires and socialite visionaries, hard-drinking writers and eccentric artists—all flocking to the Riviera to live lives full of decadence, intrigue, and debauchery under the Mediterranean sun.
It is impossible to overestimate the impact a few key individuals had on the meteoric rise of the Cote d’Azur, transforming it from a sleepy 19th century place of medieval villages and rocky sheep farms into the ultimate celebrity destination and the birthplace of the superyacht industry.
Let us take you for a journey down the French Riviera, stopping at the haunts of the celebrities, socialites, and royals who forever changed the French Riviera.
Every summer season, Monaco and Cannes host some incredible fireworks displays that are truly spectacular and a must-see if you’re lucky enough to be on the French Riviera when one is taking place! These displays are held as International Fireworks Competitions with teams from various countries competing for prizes. The performances are truly magnificent, on a par with what you might see on New Year’s Eve in London, New York or Sydney. Set to thunderous soundtracks, the displays last as long as thirty minutes, the bright lights of Monaco and Cannes reflecting in the Mediterranean, create a truly stunning backdrop!
One of the highlights of a French Riviera luxury vacation is travelling slowly down the coast from Menton to Saint Tropez, revelling in the astonishing cuisine of the region and dining in some of the world’s finest restaurants.
A luxury yacht charter along the glittering Cote d’Azur is the ultimate foodie experience, as you dine at Michelin starred restaurants on garden terraces with dizzying sea views, and in opulent dining rooms of golden vaulted ceilings and dripping chandeliers.
The 14th edition of Top Marques Monaco 2017 drew to a close on Sunday 23rd April 2017, concluding the most successful edition in the event’s history. Held in association with the Edmond de Rothschild Group under the high patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the four-day exhibition showcased the latest and greatest in luxury supercars, fine jewellery, furniture, yachts, various other technological innovations, and even apartments for sale in Monaco. Over 45,000 guests passed the doors of Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum, with an increase of 25% in advanced ticket sales. There were seven world premieres on display in the Ravel Supercar Hall; over 1,200 test drives were carried out buy prospective buyers and press on Monaco’s F1 circuit, passing Port Hercule, the Fairmont Hotel and lavish Monaco real estate; and over 5,000 glasses of champagne and wine were served in the VIP bar. Discover the 10 attractions that stole the show at this year’s edition of Top Marques Monaco.
10. Venturi VM200-FE-02
Set to race in the Monaco ePrix – part of the FIA Formula E Championship – the Venturi VM200-FE-02 is an electric racing car with a difference. With a maximum power of 200 kw (equivalent to 270bhp) and a top speed of 150 mph, the Venturi racing car is a menace on the track but as quiet as the wind. Maro Engel and Stephane Sarrazin will drive it in Monaco on 13th May 2017.
Inspired by nature and rooted in technology, the Dendrobium electric hypercar opens up like a Dendrobium flower, yet merges aluminium, carbon-fibre and glass. The vehicle’s interior resembles something from the distant future.
8. 1969 Shelby GT350
A classic American muscle car, the immaculate 1969 Shelby GT350 stole the attention of many Visitors. With a price tag of €90,000 and a roaring V8 engine, the beautiful automobile will steal a buyer’s heart in no time.
7. Speedback GT – David Brown Automotive
The Speedback GT was meticulously coachbuilt by the team at David Brown Automotive for the 21st Century. Over 7,200 man-hours went into its construction. Although the spectacular car has a top speed of 155 mph and goes from 0 to 60 in just 4.6 seconds, this supercar is not about the performance. This is automotive sophistication at its finest.
6. Shelby Cobra 427 S/C CSX 6000
On display in both dark blue and metallic silver, the Shelby Cobra 427 S/C CSX 6000 is a thing of beauty and captured the adoration of diehard car enthusiasts with its classic styling and muscle performance credentials.
5. Lamborghini Centenario
Built to mark the 100th birthday of Ferruccio Lamborghini – a successful builder of tractors in the 1950s and 1960s in Bologna, Italy – 5 Lamborghini Centenario Tractors have been built. With a price tag of €250,000 (+tax), the vehicle has 2 seats, exposed metal colour, and was designed by Adler Capelli.
4. FV-Frangivento – The Charlotte Roadster
The aqua-themed Charlotte Roadster by Italian FV-Frangivento contains a fish tank behind the cockpit. The stunning interior console is unlike anything you’re likely to see in a car ever again. The hypercar is entirely electric, but can be adapted to contain a hybrid engine too.
The first of its kind, the Pal-V is a gyroplane and an automobile in one, meaning it can legally travel on roads and has the ability to fly. The ground-breaking product incorporates a number of patented technologies and was inspired by nature.
The AeroMobil has made a bit impression in the worlds of aviation, automotive and technology in recent weeks. A road-legal car, the AeroMobil has extendable wings that launch the vehicle into the air. The sleek, stylish design complements innovative technology. An airframe parachute system complements various other safety features to make for an impressive, convenient and safe flying supercar.
1. Silver Muse
For the first time in the history of Top Marques Monaco, a luxury cruise liner was included in the line-up of attractions. Press were invited onboard to experience the opulence of the Silver Muse – a recent launch from Silversea. The magnificent vessel looked perfect at home in the port of Monaco, surrounded by charter yachts, luxury Monaco real estate and an endless supply of supercars.
Manoj Bairstow, Managing director of Top Marques commented: “we say it every year, but this edition of Top Marques really was an incredible show of technology, innovation and the very best in luxury products, and in my mind, our greatest Top Marques to date.
The atmosphere in the Grimaldi Forum and around Monaco throughout Top Marques was electric, and we were delighted with the number of visitors that came over the four days.
Each year the attendance numbers grow significantly. We are now seeing visitors from all over the world at Top Marques which is a testament to the quality of our exhibitors.”
If you’ve ever flown into Nice airport in the summertime and looked down at the superyachts crisscrossing the blue, or wandered past the yachts docked in glamorous Saint Tropez, you’ve almost certainly wondered what it’s like to cruise along the French Riviera. How does it feel to be a guest on one of those wonderful yachts?
It is hard to overestimate the effect the heartbreaking landscapes and light of the French Riviera had on some of the world’s great artists. Monet and Matisse, Picasso, Signac and Chagall are just a few who fell under the spell of the French Riviera, enchanted by that mythic, ethereal light falling across the Cote d’Azur’s pastel facades, dusky-blue Alps and sparkling seas.
Many of these great artists came and stayed, finding a new vigour in their painting and spending much of their lives here creating Mediterranean-inspired masterpieces in the fabled southern light.
A luxury yacht charter in the south of france is the ultimate way to visit the artistic highlights of the Riviera, following the lives and works of the masters along a memory-trail of rose’ and Gauloises smoke, scandalous love affairs and tragic suicides. On your yacht charter you can go ashore to visit the fabulous museums and former homes of these artists, dine in fine restaurants hung with their paintings, and admire the very same views that inspired their masterworks. Follow the path of the masters from the dreamy coves of Cap d’Antibes to the flowery hill village of St Paul de Vence and along the coast to the pastel beauty of Saint Tropez.
If you are ever to understand the heart of a place, you must try its food. Food tells a story, and nowhere more than on the French Riviera, which has been rapidly transformed from a sleepy 19th century coastline of sheep farms and fishing villages to a jet-set destination littered with Michelin star restaurants and Provencal restaurants among the grapevines.
The delicacies of the French Riviera chart the cultural history of the area: of rustic peasant foods like socca and the fishermen’s hearty bouillabaisse stew, right through to the Tarte Tropezienne – a cake propelled to fame by a 1950’s silver screen starlet. Above all, Southern French food tells the tale of humble local produce done to perfection—of quality ingredients prepared in a way that startles the palate with something that it expects to be ordinary.
The French Riviera is one of Europe’s best destinations for cultural heritage, art and design with several world-class museums and historic sites with beautiful collections. From museums filled with artistic curiosities to important exhibits of maritime heritage, enjoy our definitive guide to ten of the best French Riviera museums.