When it comes to yachting, locations don’t get much more perfect than the French Riviera, which is why chartering your own yacht here, is one of the most luxurious things you can do.
Luxury yachting was practically born here. It all started back in the days when the French Riviera was sleepier and far less known than it is now. As members of high society and royalty started sailing up and down the coast in the late 19th century, the area grew and became known as a destination for the rich and famous. Popularity once again spiked and the area has never looked back, after the biggest names in politics and Hollywood started to bring their yachts here in the 1950’s.
Superyacht owners have a penchant for Antibes, Cannes, Monaco and Saint-Tropez, and while there’s plenty to explore in these areas, you can branch out a bit, too. Here are 10 reasons to charter a luxury yacht on the French Riviera.
The charter can be as short or as long as you want
You can book something as short as a single-day charter or one that lasts for several days. A small yacht can take you on a day trip, like to Calanques National Park where you can see beautiful landscapes featuring lime rock. A larger yacht can keep you and your guests at sea for several days if you want to explore more of the coast.
The yacht crew can provide plenty of entertainment
Chartering a yacht means you’ll be treated like royalty by the highly professional, skilled crew that will entertain and serve you from day-to-night. You’ll have every comfort you could want, not to mention a gourmet chef who’ll whip up just about anything you ask for.
If you stay on deck a large portion of the time, you can arrange adventurous or fun activities like deep sea fishing, diving, snorkeling or playing with water toys like floating pools, jet skis and slides. On-board experiences can also include live music, themed parties and wine tastings.
You’ll have VIP status when you leave the yacht
When you do reach a port, a luxury vehicle will take you to wherever you want to go, whether that’s out for a day of shopping or a night at the casino or hottest nightclub. You’ll even have exclusive and VIP activities arranged for you.
You’ll be amongst yachting enthusiasts, owners and designers
Antibes is one of the biggest yachting destinations and its Port Vauban yachting harbour is Europe’s biggest port. Antibes is also home to the International Yacht Club d’Antibes.
Le Voiles de Saint-Tropez, held in early autumn, is for sail boat and yacht racers to compete. Head to your yacht’s deck with a glass of Champagne to watch the race.
There’s also the Monaco Yacht Show in September on Port Hercules. This four-day event is a meeting place for the most prestigious yachts in the world. Guests can meet the leaders of the biggest yachting companies on the map and see their top models or go to the designer’ gallery to meet the architects.
Place your bets at one of the French Riviera’s casinos
The Palm Beach Casino in Cannes is close to where many yachts anchor, and when you need a break from gambling you can stroll to the old harbour or order a fresh seafood dinner at one of the area’s many restaurants. Monte-Carlo has a beloved casino as well.
Celebrities are pretty much everywhere
For celebrity spotting, make your way to one of the bars or restaurants at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, particularly during the Cannes Film Festival. You can also catch glimpses of celebs on their stunning yachts along Billionaires Row, which refers to the harbour’s of Antibes, Cannes and Monaco.
You can be in town for the Cannes Film Festival (and other extravagant events)
If you’re in town for the annual film festival, you’ll have an impossible time finding a hotel room or a villa or apartment to rent. By chartering a yacht, though, you can simply dock in Cannes, go into town for the day and evening, then head back to the boat when it’s time to turn in.
There’s always a party going on somewhere
Juan-les-Pins, a glamorous town in Antibes, is the place to go for a party any time of the day or night, with trendy places like the Absinthe Bar that’s designed like a cave. Cap Ferrat in Monaco has beach clubs that have been popular for decades. In Saint-Tropez, Champagne spray parties are popular in Pampelonne Beach’s private clubs. Les Caves du Roy, Club Les Palmier and Nikki Beach are all hot spots, too.
You can plan a peaceful, low key holiday
For a calm, serene yachting experience free of crowds and noise, consider the Lerins Islands, the Massif de l’Eseterel and Villefranche-sur-Mer. In Antibes, you’ll find some of the best beaches in all of the French Riviera, including the calm Fontonne beach and the pretty Garoupe beach.
The dining and shopping are unparalleled
If you’re in Monaco, have dinner at Le Grill at the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo, then have after-dinner drinks at Jimmy’z. In Saint-Tropez, Le Club 55 is a great spot for lunch (or an all-day party), and Joseph’s is popular for dinner. The wealthy leave their yachts for the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, a stretch along the Med with upscale boutiques and bistros.
Summertime is the most popular yachting season in the South of France, specifically from May to October. Property in the French Riviera is opulent, which is why it’s such an appealing area for real estate. Whether you make a habit of chartering yachts or invest in one of your own, having a home base in the French Riviera means you can explore up and down the coast whenever you want.