The French Riviera Yacht Charter (Cote d' Azur)
The Cote d’ Azur (known in English as the French Riviera) is an area within the South of France, running from Monaco in the north-east down to Toulon to the south-west, which is an exceptionally popular destination for large private luxury yachts during the summer season and so there is potentially also an abundance of boats to choose from which are available to charter.
What can you expect on a yacht charter in the Cote d’ Azur?
The Cote d’ Azur (French Riviera) is a stretch of coastline along the southeast of France which comprises Monaco, Nice and Cannes down to Toulon or even Cassis, as there is no official definition of the territory. The towns along the Cote d’ Azur have developed a reputation since the 19th Century as a summering spot for the rich and famous, creating a well-established tourism industry for boutiques and high-end luxury goods. This is where to see glitz and glamour; its where to ‘be seen’ alongside the wealthy and famous.
Along with Italy, the is the most popular charter destination in the world for large luxury yachts (commonly termed superyachts or megayachts, depending on your nationality) and accordingly there are many types of private charter yachts to choose from, as compared to less popular locations around the world. This is where the biggest and best luxury yachts gather and cruise.
On a yacht charter holiday on the French Riviera, in the South of France, you can experience all the razzle-dazzle you need. This is the part of the Mediterranean where you can find the glitz and glamour; the Versace; the Dior; and the Cartier. You can experience famous towns where the rich and famous hang out, like Nice, Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez and Marseilles. Or you can just relax and enjoy the naturally beautiful coastline and quiet restaurants - it's all up to you on your luxury yacht. This article covers the must know places to go in the luxury yachting hotspot of France.
There will be energy and excitement oozing from Europe's luxury holidaymakers, as this is one of their favourite places to enjoy their summer coastal vacations. If you prefer lovely tranquil anchorages and unassuming waterside seafood restaurants on your yacht charter vacation, you can find this too! There are a large number of different yacht charters in the French Riviera so let CharterWorld organise your charter with our expert knowledge of all the best Mediterranean charter yachts and the best company for your particular requirements.
Charter Yacht HANA by CRN Yachts
The French / Italian border is composed of 100 miles of the most extravagant and exclusive waterfront in the world. There are 30 harbors and more than 3000 restaurants. One can not help but be impressed by the elegance and the extravagance that come hand-in-hand with the luxury super yachts that grace these waters. This is the playground of the rich and famous. From May through to September, almost everyone, who is anyone, will make an appearance onboard a private yacht.
If you're looking for a state of the art charter yacht, with all the toys, France is the place to find it. In Monaco, Antibes, Cannes and St Tropez, you will find some of the most impressive and lavish super yachts, in the world. Antibes now houses the largest marina along this stretch of coastline, and it is literally overflowing with luxury yachts, super yachts, power boats and sail boats.
The climate, cuisine and sophistication of the French Rivera, has for some time, made it a popular destination for sailors and visitors from around the world. The coastline is striking, lipped with beaches that rest beneath hillsides heavy with yellow mimosas. In summer you will find large numbers of charter yachts cruising the shoreline, although boating is possible here all year long. The climate is balmy, with long, dry summers, moderate breezes, mild winters and plenty of sunshine.
From the sophisticated clubs and casinos of Monaco, head west to the quaint ports of Ville Franche and St Jean Cap Ferrat. Anchor off and indulge in water sports or sunbathing from the deck of your charter yacht. Enjoy the silhouette of the stunning and colorful French coastline as your backdrop. Go ashore for a glamorous evening at the Hotel Bel Air or a quaint waterfront restaurant. Be sure to take a trip through the groves of cacti palms and lemon on your way to the picture-book village of Eze. Enjoy the restaurant and the thousand year old castle, Chateau dela Chevre d'or.
The French Riviera yacht charter scene is ever increasing in popularity and the types of charter yachts available in Nice, Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez, Iles d'Hyeres and Marseilles are all types of yacht charter including motor, sailing, skippered, crewed yachts, catamarans. One thing is sure: this is where you can holiday on the most luxurious boats in the world.
More About the Key Places to See:
Along with Cannes, Monaco is one of the most famous destinations along the French Riviera for luxury yacht charterers. With its impressive deep water harbour, Port Hercules (French: Port Hercule), the summer season is marked in May with the Monaco Grand Prix and closes with the Monaco Yacht Show in September, however the city never rests and there is plenty to see and do: Casino Monte Carlo, the Oceanographic Museum, lavish spas, bars, galleries and gardens make for interesting days out at both ends of the budget.
Nice lies quite close to the border between France and Italy and was once a part of the latter, which is still reflected in the historic sites and customs of the region. Filled with architectural wonders from Nice’s ‘Belle Epoch’ visitors could as easily while away the hours taking in the buildings as shopping in the bespoke boutiques at Galeries Lafayette. Discover the medieval quarter with its narrow alleyways and traditional markets, or gaze upon the artistry of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, a visual delight outside that discloses an ornate icon wall coloured in gold within. The Notre-Dame d’Nice may come second place to the Notre-Dame d’Paris but its interiors are ornately detailed in the Gothic style of the mid-19th Century and well worth the trip.
Before Nice reached the height of its fame, artists such as Pablo Picasso would come from across Europe and paint in vivid detail the local sights in the laidback atmosphere of what was then a provincial coastal town. The Musée Matisse has a choice selection of the Impressionist’s work, spanning from his beginnings in Realism and developing into an ever more Abstract style. As the afternoon progresses, sample the region’s finest wines whilst touring through the countryside before heading back into town for a delicious evening meal at the exceptional Michelin starred restaurant Le Louis XV.
Yachts will have no issues with mooring in Antibes as the very large marina offers over 2,000 berths and is able to accommodate superyachts over 100 metres. Antibes has a roaring social scene and an eclectic mix of theatre shows and live music performances year-round, although the summer months of July and August are the height of the tourist season and when the city takes out all the stops.
Those looking to take life at a gentler pace will find plenty of routes to stroll through the city and gardens open to the public are scattered throughout the urban landscape. The curious might also want to visit the historical sites and there is a museum dedicated to one of France’s most recognisable concoctions: Absinthe. As Nice has a museum honouring Matisse, so does Picasso have his own display at the castle Château Grimaldi in Antibes. The gallery is one of the largest collections of his work, featuring almost 200 pieces which include ceramics, lithographs and tapestries.
The Cannes Film Festival is, unsurprisingly, the busiest time of the year for yacht charters along the Cote d’ Azur and if you intend on docking at one of the marinas during the event – which usually takes place in May - it is essential to secure your place months in advance. As a centre of modern culture, Cannes holds events throughout the year and each month has a different offering, hosting the International Games Festival in February, the International Fireworks Festival in July and an International Dance Festival in November. For perfect relaxation after a long day on foot, head to Les Thermes Marins de Cannes for a massage that will unknot every muscle in your body before invigorating Brazil nut oils give your skin a new lease of life.
The old town of Toulon is a picturesque maze of winding pedestrian streets and sculpted fountains that form the backdrop for morning markets and informative tours. Sightseers can witness Mediterranean life in action and sample local delicacies before heading to the Jardin d'acclimatation du Mourillon for a sample of Mediterranean gardening against the backdrop of the Ligurian Sea.
Cassis is an excellent final destination for relaxation on your luxury yacht charter: Located within the boundaries of Calanques National Park, Cassis offers low-key charm and a pristine natural environment to explore, paddle and rest within on the secluded sandy beaches looking out onto glassy waters. Although smaller in size than other settlements along the Cote d’Azur, Cassis has its own casino, boutiques, cafes and wine bars so that guests looking for one last party can still satisfy their desires.
As with most of the Mediterranean, the French Riviera / Cote d' Azur yacht charter season generally runs from April to the end of October. The summer season in July and August is the hottest and tends to have the warmest sunshine, lightest winds and also the largest crowds. This is also the high season as far as French Riviera yacht charter is concerned. Other good times to charter your yacht is generally on either of the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October), each side of the main summer season (July-August), as the temperatures are still comfortable, and the onshore tourists have yet to arrive in their largest numbers.
Top 10 Reasons to Charter a Luxury Superyacht In the French Riviera
The French Riviera is renowned around the world as the ultimate destination for a crewed yacht charter vacation. Stretching from Monaco all the way down to Iles d'Hyeres, this fabulous location is considered to be one of the best in the world for glamorous, high profile mega yacht charter holidays. Here are ten reasons why you should explore the French Riviera onboard a luxurious superyacht:-
1. Want to mix with the rich and famous on your French Riviera superyacht charter, then sail to Billionaires Row in, the Monaco, Cannes or Antibes Harbours. Fantastic superyachts line up to show off their expansive deck spaces, luxurious amenities and onboard celebrities. Known as a playground for the superyacht charter jet set, these yachting locations are definitely the place to be seen.
2. During a superyacht charter vacation, don't miss out on Les Voiles de St. Tropez yacht racing extravaganza. Enjoy this spectacular event from onboard your luxury yacht charter vessel. It's one of the world's most famous regattas with both modern and classic sailing yachts trying to compete against one another.
3. The French Riviera is known as a popular luxury yacht destination with vessels from all over the world. Don't miss out on the opportunity for your captain and crew to drop anchor to spend some time on some of the fabulous beaches like Pampelonne Beach or Cavalaire-sur-Mer in the Cote d'Azur.
4. No visit to the French Riviera is complete without exploring quaint towns and harbours. Spend a few days in Cap D'Ail in southern France, one of Monaco's wealthiest superyacht playground resorts. It's the ideal place to shop and eat while watching the world go by.
5. Why not arrange motor yacht charter to coincide with the annual Cannes Film Festival? The seaside town of Cannes offers the perfect escape in unrivalled luxury and is famous for the stars attending one of the world's most prestigious film festivals. Cannes still retains its original charm, fine dining options and nautical atmosphere.
6. Many tourists choose the French Riviera as their top superyacht destination to combine the very best in sailing and world class golf courses. Golfe de Cannes-Mandelieu is one of the oldest and most spectacular golf courses on the French Riviera, ideal for golf enthusiasts and beginners.
7. Enjoy an action packed superyacht charter holiday around the coast of the French Riviera. Stretching from the east of Marseille, extending to the Italian border, there's plenty to do and see. It's where the high life happens with wonderful coastlines, gorgeous beaches and exquisite cuisine onboard prepared by professional chefs as well as onshore in boutique restaurants.
8. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the best places to enjoy the many water toys onboard your sailing yacht charter especially during the hot summer months. Attentive crew will help you make the most of the towable inflatable rides, jet skis, wave runners, sea bobs and even floating pools for the kids, awesome
9. It's not surprising that the French Riviera is a major tourist attraction for yacht rental. It's where the Alps meet the Mediterranean providing the ideal backdrop for a sailing vacation. The small peninsula of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat between Eze and Nice has some of the most expensive houses in France. Pay a visit to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a magnificent house and gardens, open to the public.
10. How about island hopping as part of your French Riviera charter yachts itinerary? Sail past the Massif de l'Esterel before heading to the historical island of St Raphael, then onto Porquerolles and Port Cros, a wonderful national park. Enjoy the many different sights you pass and feel the wind in your hair.
Need any more reasons to charter a luxury superyacht on the French Riviera? Contact an impartial yacht broker for all the information and advice on the locations and boats and for the best deal on all the yachts currently available to you.
Below is a tiny sample of the the current superyachts for rent in France: