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French Riviera Yacht Charter Guide

Yacht Charter on the French Riviera

The French Riviera is the ultimate superyacht destination. As the birthplace of luxury yachting, to embark upon a crewed motor yacht charter on the French Riviera is to discover one of the great cruising grounds of the world, offering a magical combination of pine-edged coves, tranquil Mediterranean islands, and a hedonistic high-life of Michelin-star dining, sophisticated beach clubs and luxury boutiques.

Each summer, the elite return to the Riviera for another yachting season of glittering parties and long, blissful days diving off their yacht into the blue-green sea. And little wonder, as the South of France is yachting heaven.

When to Hire a Yacht on the French Riviera?

The French Riviera summer yachting season officially kicks off in May with the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix, before reaching its zenith in July and August, when a fleet of spectacular superyachts converge on the fashionable marinas and blue-green anchorages of the Cote d’Azur.

While the yachting season traditionally ends in late September, the season has been significantly extended in recent years, running through October and even into November during spells of stunning fall weather. For those considering a corporate motor or sailing yacht charter on the French Riviera, Cannes hosts international conferences year-round where you can use a luxury yacht to promote your company brand.

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Yachts to Charter on the French Riviera

As the world’s yachting epicentre, there’s a dazzling range of yachts to charter on the French Riviera, from 10m day charter boats that streak along the coast in a blur of speed and fun, to opulent 100m displacement megayachts with beach clubs and helipads and day spas. Every build of motoryacht is represented here on the Riviera, from the opulent Italian style of the Benettis and Ferettis, to the Dutch masterpieces from Amels, Heesen and Feadship.

For those who prefer to charter sailing yachts, the Cote d’Azur also offers an astonishing selection, from the luxurious sailing superyachts from Wally and Perini Navi, to gaff-rigged classic yachts and performance racing yachts. 

There’s a busy schedule of summer sailing regattas to attend during a French Riviera regatta charter, from the Mediterranean Panerai Classic Series to prestigious independent events such as Monaco Sailing Week and the Voiles de Saint Tropez. 

Crewed Yacht Charters on the Cote d’Azur

A crewed yacht charter allows you to truly relax on your yachting vacation, as the captain and crew deliver the holiday of your dreams. The highly trained private chef is on hand to create decadent gourmet menus throughout the day, while the interior crew keep your stateroom spotless and serve elegant meals on deck at beautifully-dressed tables. 

The deck crew are always ready to take you ashore or out on the watertoys, while the engineer keeps this extraordinary yachting machine running in perfect order. The captain meanwhile, will consult with you every morning to deliver a tailored itinerary, dropping anchor in secluded anchorages and using their contacts to secure you VIP tables in some of the world’s finest restaurants. 

As you lie on your deckchair or watch the view of the Alps drift by from the sundeck Jacuzzi, the crew will always be alert to your needs— whether that’s bringing you a fresh towel and an icy-cold cocktail, or calling the yacht’s chef up from the galley to discuss tonight’s menu. A crewed yacht charter is the only way to cruise the Riviera in style. 

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St Tropez Yacht Charter

Your yacht then enters the famed Gulf of St Tropez, the vast expanses of soft sand beaches giving way to the pastel facades of the world’s most famous fishing village, where celebrities stroll the cobblestones and the champagne sprays in the warm night air. On charter in Saint Tropez, your yacht will drop anchor at the fabulously famous Pampelonne Beach, where a young Brigitte Bardot once posed in a tiny bikini and shot St Tropez to stardom. 

In high summer the wide beach is a playground for the jet-set, with Club 55, Bagatelle, and Nikki Beach the favoured hotspots for a day of cocktails and music in the Mediterranean sun. Back in St Tropez village you’ll shop the haute couture boutiques and sit in pavement cafes on the port, watching the world go by as you sip on a crisp glass of Provencal rose. 

As sunset approaches the energy lifts with a drink at lively Bar du Port, before taking your table at the magnificent three-Michelin star La Vague d’Or. After dinner, enjoy the music in the square at Brasserie des Arts, and then it’s time to make your choice between St Tropez’s fabulously A-list nightclubs, Les Caves du Roy or the VIP room. 

The next morning, you’ll wake up at Porquerolle Island to enjoy its Caribbean-like beaches and exotic air. Alternatively, you can cruise down the coast to the dreamy Calanques, where yachts anchor beneath the cliffs in crystal clear water of an almost shocking blue. And if you can bear to leave your charter yacht for a morning, head up into the Provencal hills, where arty perched villages sit high above the Mediterranean, to enjoy lunch in a shady restaurant terrace with views of bougainvillea and shining sea. 

With so much beauty and decadence on offer, it is no wonder that the French Riviera remains the ultimate yachting playground. To book your yacht charter on the French Riviera, contact the French Riviera yachting specialists, Engel & Völkers Yachting.

- Crewed Motor & Sailing Yacht Charter Saint Tropez

Cannes Yacht Charter

Glitzy, glamorous Cannes is a highlight on any French Riviera yacht charter, and you may want to spend two days here. On charter in Cannes, you’ll have lunch at a table on the sand at Z-Plage or Baoli Beach Club, before passing an unforgettable afternoon shopping along the Croisette, collecting Hermes and Dior shopping bags as you go. High tea is a delight at the grand Hotel Carlton Intercontinental, or you might pass the afternoon in a state of bliss at the Thermes Marins de Cannes.

It’s back to the yacht to dress up in your finest and enjoy cocktails and canapes on deck, before getting up high at 360, the ultra-glamorous rooftop bar at Radisson Blu. For dinner, you have some difficult choices to make: a Michelin starred meal by the pool at 5 Senses, another Michelin starred meal at Park 45, or securing a table at Cannes’ top restaurant, the 2-Michelin starred Le Palme d’Or. As the night wears on you might like to go to the Amiral piano bar at Hotel Martinez for an atmospheric nightcap, or keep the night going until dawn at Cannes’ celebrity nightclub, the lush Bali-themed Baoili. 

There’s a strong celebrity vibe here in Cannes, particularly if you’re chartering during the Cannes Film Festival, when the Mediterranean city is abuzz with paparazzi and silver screen royalty walking the red carpet. A Cannes Film Festival Charter is something to aspire to, whether you’re attending the show for pleasure or are promoting your company as part of a corporate Cannes charter.That’s not all there is to Cannes, which is why you may need that second day (or more!). 

Offshore, you’ll discover the tranquil Cannes Islands, where quiet forest paths lead to sparkling coves, and monks tend their vineyards in ancient monasteries. On charter in the Cannes Islands, swim through crystalline waters, explore the fort where the real Man in the Iron Mast was imprisoned, and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch on deck in the afternoon breeze. In the evening, the captain might anchor the yacht off the Croisette to enjoy the fireworks show that explodes across the night sky in summer, the colours raining down on the grand hotel facades and lighting up the dark sea. 

Cannes is a city which name is synonymous to luxury and exclusivity. It is located in the heart of Cote d’Azur and is a true summer paradise where the visitors can enjoy the best of the French south. Legendary Cannes Film Festival is not the only thing that makes this place so special. Dozens of luxurious shops representing the world-famous brands, Michelin restaurants and 5 star hotels attract celebrities and millionaires from all over the world throughout the year.

Whether you prefer to dine in the iconic Palme d’Or on Boulevard de la Croisette, in a cozy restaurant hidden somewhere in the streets of the old town or in chic l’Oasis just out of Cannes. Whether after you’d like to spend a hot night in Baoli Club or enjoy a pleasant walk in the picturesque Old Port.

There are plenty of amazing private sandy beaches in Cannes, some of them are great for the daytime parties, but if you prefer a more peaceful ambience, it is better to go off the bay. Isles des Lerins located about half-mile away from Cannes is the best choice for a getaway from the crowd of busy Cannes. St. Honorat, famous for the Cistercian monastery is a peaceful island where no motor vehicles are allowed in order to preserve the untouched nature of the place. The biggest island called St. Marguerite is known for the Fort Royale, the prison where the famous Man in the Iron Mask was held in 17th century. If you would like to enjoy a quality meal or just rest on a quiet beach, La Guerite will be a good choice.

- Crewed Motor & Sailing Yacht Charter Cannes

Antibes Yacht Charter

With its old town clustered on the city ramparts and Picasso tower rising up against a backdrop of the Alps, the medieval city of Antibes is a spectacular place to arrive by yacht.Offering one of the largest superyacht ports in the world, Antibes is a famous yachting destination—and justifiably so, for it was on the wealthy headland of Cap d’Antibes that the fashion of summering on the French Riviera began. 

On an Antibes yacht charter, you can explore the narrow winding streets of the old town, shop at the bustling Provencal market, and admire Picasso’s work in the tower museum, where the great artist lived and worked after World War II. 

Your charter yacht will then drop anchor off the Cap d’Antibes, where you’ll play on the watertoys, swim at crystal clear coves under the pines, and go ashore to enjoy lunch or a spa treatment at the breathtaking Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, where celebrities and royals have stayed since the 19th century.

- Crewed Motor & Sailing Yacht Charter Antibes

Yacht Charter Nice & Villefranche 

From Monaco, your charter yacht will cruise along the coast to Villefranche, an enchantingly pretty medieval town that spills down a steep hill to the sea. The gorgeous deep water bay is fringed by sapphire water in the shallows, and pine trees and grand villas overlook the pebbled beach. 

Spend a morning exploring Villefranche before pulling anchor and cruising around the headland to the Port of Nice. On your Nice yacht charter, you’ll stroll the Promenade des Anglais, that famous, palm-lined boulevard that follows the sweeping curve of the Bay of Angels past ornate 19th century hotels. 

Take a leisurely wander through the Italianate old town, soaking up the colour and joie de vivre of the Cours Saleya flower markets, and visit one of the superb art museums of Nice—whether the splendid Matisse Museum, the Musee Massena, or for something more modern, MAMAC. 

As evening approaches, head to the atmospheric wood-panelled bar of the Hotel Negresco for an aperitif and some live jazz, before adjourning to the hotel’s 2 Michelin star Chantecler Restaurant to enjoy French gastronomy under the iconic glass dome. 

Alternatively, Nice offers some sophisticated rooftop bars and restaurants with breathtaking views of the coast, including La Terrasse at the Hotel Meridien, and La Terrasse de Nice at the Radisson Blu.

- Crewed Motor & Sailing Yacht Charter Nice Villefranche Cote D Azur

Monaco Yacht Charter

Your French Riviera yacht charter will begin in the exclusive Principality of Monaco, where the royal Palace sits on the clifftop above the port, and belle époque hotels and skyscrapers line the steep city streets.

Port Hercules is one of the great superyacht marinas in the world, providing easy access to the glittering pleasures of Monte Carlo. In the afternoon of your Monaco yacht charter you might shop the flagship boutiques of the Carre d’Or, soak up the heavenly pampering at the swanky Thermes des Marins spa, or head to Monte Carlo Bay Beach Club for an afternoon of cocktails and music by the sparkling sea.

Alternatively, you can relax on deck as the captain gets underway for the nearby anchorage of Cap Ferrat, where you’ll wander the Villa Ephrussi gardens and pass a decadent afternoon at Paloma Beach Club.

As twilight begins to fall, you’ll return to your berth in Monaco and enjoy drinks on the sundeck, before stepping ashore to dine at one of the many Michelin star restaurants, including the crown jewel: the 3 starred Louis XV Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris.

A visit to the famed Monte Carlo Casino is a must on a Monaco yacht charter, as is a late-night visit to Jimmy’z, where racing car drivers, supermodels and billionaires dance and mingle in the warm night air.Monaco is at its most glamorous and exciting during the Grand Prix in May, when thousands of people gather on the decks of the assembled superyachts to cheer on the F1 cars as they scream along the portside racetrack. A Monaco Grand Prix yacht charter is one of the great events on the superyacht calendar.

- Crewed Motor & Sailing Yacht Charter Monaco
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Engel & Völkers
Licence Partner Monaco Yachting

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