French Riviera yacht charter amongst glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival
As the weather heats up for summer in the Med, thoughts turn to the chic French Riviera for the season of events that attract celebrities and billionaires alike. Also known as the Côte d’Azur this beautiful stretch of coastline has been a symbol of glamour and luxury since the early 20th century and every year plays host to the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix.
The annual Cannes Film Festival is perhaps the most famous celebration of cinema in the world and its red carpets draw the crème-de-la-crème of the movie industry to show off their films and fashion. Once the film credits roll, it’s all about the glitzy parties and the streets and hotels are packed with people hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars. Perhaps one of the most famous stars of her time was Grace Kelly and it was at a party during the Cannes Film Festival in 1955, where she met Prince Rainer III of Monaco. Less than a year later she returned to the Riviera to take her place as Princess Grace of Monaco.
The tiny principality of Monaco is host to the annual Monaco Grand Prix which takes place in the streets of Monte Carlo and is one of the most challenging Formula 1 races in the world, gaining attention from motorsport enthusiasts and the rich and famous who are drawn by the prestige of being trackside. A yacht charter during the Monaco Grand Prix is the ultimate way to experience this event. Not only do you get to watch the race from the comfort of your own yacht, but you also get to enjoy the luxurious amenities that come with it; sipping champagne while watching the cars whizzing by or having a gourmet meal prepared by your personal chef as you soak up the electric atmosphere.
A yacht offers a peaceful and private retreat away from the crowds where you can relax on the deck, enjoy the views and maybe anchor nearby some famous faces. Chartering a luxury yacht is also a great way to entertain guests or clients if you are attending these events on business and offers impressive accommodation and unique event space in one.
Away from the allure of these unique events and once the crowds have returned home, one of the biggest draws of the French Riviera is the stunning coastline. The beaches here are some of the most beautiful in the world, with soft white sand and crystal-clear water lapping at the shore. There are plenty of charming towns and villages with narrow streets, bustling markets and quaint cafes which complement the designer boutiques, luxury hotels and high-end restaurants of the larger towns and cities.
Travelling the coast by luxury yacht offers the opportunity to experience everything the region has to offer and visit as many or as few places as you wish without having to drive along the vertiginous, cliff-edge roads.
Monaco – a unique principality
Despite its reputation as a playground for the wealthy, the principality of Monaco is a place with a rich and vibrant local culture and is home to a great choice of clubs and bars, from rooftop lounges to intimate jazz clubs. The cuisine on offer is also delightful and varied with a wealth of world-class restaurants, ranging from fine dining to casual beachside cafes. Seafood is a particular specialty, with fresh fish and shellfish caught daily from the Mediterranean. For those with a sweet tooth, Monaco’s famous pastry shops offer a range of delicious treats, from macarons to croissants to the local specialty, fougasse.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Monaco is the Monte Carlo Casino. Opened in the mid-19th century, its ornate architecture and lavish interior design make it a must-see for anyone visiting Monaco, even if they don’t plan on gambling. However, for those who do enjoy a flutter, the casino offers a range of table games and slot machines, as well as a high-stakes poker room.
Another must-visit attraction in Monaco is the Prince’s Palace. Perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, this stunning palace has been the home of the ruling Grimaldi family since the 13th century. Visitors can tour the palace’s opulent staterooms, as well as the private apartments of the current Prince and his family.
Cannes – a relaxed beach resort … most of the time
Cannes is relatively tranquil for most of the year and offers a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere where visitors can wander through the narrow streets, stopping at local shops and cafes or taking a leisurely stroll along the seafront promenade. Historic landmarks and cultural attractions include the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, the iconic venue which hosts Cannes Film Festival, the Musée de la Castre, located in a medieval castle overlooking the town and the Musée de la Mer which focuses on the town’s maritime history.
Berths in the marina during the film festival are hard to come by, but at other times of year a well-planned charter will have secured your position in advance, so you can go ashore to enjoy the sites knowing that your captain and crew are waiting for you with a cold drink on your return.
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St Tropez – an international hotspot
The town of St Tropez has a long history, but it was in the 1950s and 1960s that it became an international hotspot, attracting all the entertainment greats. In her 1950s film ‘And God Created Women’ Brigitte Bardot stepped onto French soil and effectively created the St Tropez we know today. The Cote d’Azur was transformed into an exclusive resort for Hollywood’s elite and Brigette later moved there permanently. Her name has become etched in St Tropez’s history – so much so that she was honoured with a statue on her 83rd birthday.
Today, the town remains a hub of luxury and style, with high-end fashion boutiques, world-class restaurants, and exclusive clubs. And we can’t forget the beaches – Pampelonne Beach is the longest in St Tropez, set in a beautiful, sheltered bay where you will find famous beach clubs such as Nikki Beach and Les Palmiers. A luxury charter yacht can anchor in the bay allowing guests to spend the day sunbathing on deck, playing on the water toys, wining and dining or calling ashore to be seen at their favourite club. Those arriving at the dock by exclusive yacht tender are sure to turn heads.
The French Riviera is home to yachts of all shapes and sizes which can be chartered for a few days to attend one of the events or for a few weeks to incorporate business and pleasure or even for a full tour of the Mediterranean over the summer months.
Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations with excellent yachts at amazing prices – worldwide.
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