A Comprehensive Guide to Yacht Charter in Cannes
‘You can’t explain a painting. You have to feel it.’
As with these words from Renoir, visiting the French Riviera can only be felt by experiencing it, going to see the same landscapes that attracted famous painters, dining at the same restaurants that hold Michelin accolades and chartering a yacht in the same bays that writers and poets gain inspiration from.
Cannes, a major destination in the south of France, is an excellent starting point for yacht charters on the French Riviera. With easy accessibility to both Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Cannes-Mandelieu Airport, Cannes has a well-established infrastructure for major conferences and events, and ample luxury offerings to satisfy any yacht charter guest.
Time ashore can be spent dining at great restaurants from traditional French bistros to fine cuisine, browsing some of the best luxury boutiques on the Côte d’Azur or sightseeing at world-class art museums and galleries.
Bespoke Yacht Charter have over 14 years experience arranging yacht charters in Cannes for private or corporate clients, so we understand what makes Cannes an ideal base for your French Riviera charter.
Please enjoy reading our ‘Comprehensive Guide to Yacht Charter in Cannes’ with useful tips about how to book a yacht charter and if you have any further questions, we welcome any enquiries.
Why Charter a Yacht in Cannes
A visit to Cannes is a must-see during a luxury charter itinerary on the French Riviera. Cannes is a famous destination with a high profile and attracts a calling card of the world’s social and business glitteratti.
Cannes hosts two main world-class marinas – Vieux Port and Port Pierre Canto – with developed infrastructure affirming its status as a premium charter destination. Its location provides charter clients an ideal opportunity to explore the French Riviera’s other popular yacht charter hotspots including St Tropez, Antibes, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Cap d’Ail and Monaco.
For charter clients who have flexibility with dates, Cannes is lovely in the spring or autumn as the weather is still favourable without the summertime crowds on shore and you will save money with low-season charter rates. For clients wanting to experience Cannes at its most vibrant, the town hosts a number of conferences and major events during the year when the population soars and the atmosphere is electric! Chartering a luxury yacht during MIPIM, MIPCOM, Cannes Lions or the Cannes Film Festival is the ultimate in style.
On shore, Cannes has superb dining options ranging from Italian pasta eateries to Michelin-starred restaurants and an array of good nightlife including wine bars, casinos, trendy nightclubs and swish cocktail lounges. There are world-class luxury hotels, gorgeous Spas with luxurious treatments and excellent golf courses just 15 minutes drive away.
Cultural and artistic sites include Musée de la Castre and Notre Dame de l’Esperance at Le Suquet, Espace Miramar and La Malmaison for art exhibitions, the cinematic Painted Walls (‘Murs peints de Cannes’) and the monastery and Fort Royal at the Îles de Lérins. Marché Forville, is a ‘must-visit’ as it’s one of the French Riviera’s best markets; vendors sell everything from cheeses, cured meats and fresh pasta to olives, flowers and Provençal vegetables.
Shopping in Cannes is a highlight for many charter clients with a diverse selection of shops easy reached from Vieux Port ranging from high street brands, interiors and beauty to top designer labels and haute couture showrooms.
La Croisette is a major drawcard for Cannes – take a stroll and admire the grand palace hotels, stop for a cocktail at one of the beach restaurants, go shopping at chic boutiques or simply sit on the blue chairs under the palm trees and take in the panoramic vistas of the Bay of Cannes.
Yachts for Charter in Cannes
Whether you are searching for a sailing or motor yacht vacation with friends and family, or a crewed superyacht rental for entertaining clients, contact us to discuss French Riviera yachts for charter.
We have a portfolio of over 2,000 luxury motor yachts, superyachts or sailing vessels from 25-metres to 100-metres available for charter worldwide including locally for Cannes, St Tropez, Monaco, Antibes and other Mediterranean regions.
Here’s a glimpse into some charter yachts based in Cannes:
Blue Ice is a 45.72-metre (150 ft) sport cruiser built by Palmer Johnson. The yacht is designed by Nuvolari & Lenard and she can sleep up to 10 guests in 5 cabins, including a Master Suite, 2 double cabins, 2 Twin cabins and 2 pullman beds. With impressive entertainment facilities, Blue Ice is ideal for socialising with friends, family or clients who can enjoy the Jacuzzi, fitness equipment or certified RYA Training Centre kitted out with plenty of water toys.
From €160,000 per week plus VAT and APA.
Thirty-two metre (104.99ft) Clara One is a superb yacht charter choice for French Riviera events with spacious areas on the aft deck and upper deck giving flexibility for entertaining, even in cooler months as she has fitted awnings. She is the only yacht of her range that can accommodate 14 guests in 7 cabins, allows a maximum of 70 guests for a seated meal and can welcome 150 guests at quay side. Additionally, she is licensed to cruise with 36 guests making her an elegant choice for family celebrations or corporate parties.
From €8,000 per day plus VAT and APA.
Sleek and modern, Miss II (23.96m / 78ft) is a Jaguar power yacht that sleeps 8 guests in 4 cabins with 2 professional crew on hand. A stylish yacht, she has ample sunbathing areas forward and a dining table and large sun loungers on the aft deck, well-positioned to capture the Mediterranean sun. Extra amenities such as an LED TV, sound system and fun water toys including a seabob and paddle board mean guests can relax or entertain as much as they choose.
From €5,000 per day day plus VAT and APA. She can cruise with more than 12 and up to 20 guests for €7,000 per day plus VAT and APA.
Please feel free to contact us today to discuss other charter options.
Planning and Booking a Yacht Charter in Cannes
Chartering a yacht in Cannes is an immersive experience in luxury – a yacht offers many different activities for different ages to enjoy, it’s a playground for thrill seekers or leisurely sun worshippers, a gastronomic journey for gourmands.
A yacht allows you to venture to dynamic places along the French Riviera coastline or cruise to secluded places away from the crowds. You have everything in one place all with exceptional comfort, a private chef and professional crew.
We understand that planning and booking a yacht charter can be daunting, so we have listed some tips to help you to understand the costs and processes involved in chartering a yacht.
Use a reputable charter broker
Bespoke Yacht Charter are well versed in the latest yachts for charter, crew, destinations, maritime regulations and charter paperwork.
Your broker will assess what you want out of your charter and have recommendations based on your budget and requirements.
They are discreet, professional and skilled at arranging yacht charters for families, friends or corporate parties and want you to have an amazing time! Anything is possible if you ask.
Advisable to book in advance
We advise our clients to book their preferred yacht as far in advance as possible – often, in peak season the availability is in high demand.
July and August are busy months, also major events such as Cannes Lions, MIPIM, MIPCOM, Cannes Film Festival, and Monaco Grand Prix have deadlines to submit paperwork for yacht berths so to avoid disappointment book far in advance.
Decide on how you will use your yacht
What size party do you want to accommodate? Your charter broker can advise you the best option to suit your charter guests. Do you have a boat license or will you need the services of a certified skipper? Bareboat (without a skipper) charters are available for smaller vessels and for day charters, though you will need to prove you have a boat license/certification.
There are also limited options and locations to rent a small boat with a horsepower of less than 9 hp without a license, these vessels are called ‘bateau sans permis’.
Many clients choose large crewed yachts as they enjoy the freedom to fully relax with the comfort from attentive service of onboard professional crew.
Research your destination
Where do you want to go and what type of activities do you want to do? Do you want to relax, visit cultural points of interest, have a fun holiday?
Some yachts are only available to charter in specific areas. Your yacht charter broker in Cannes is an expert source of information for your interests and can tailor your itinerary to create your ideal French Riviera yacht charter experience.
They offer a wealth of knowledge about restaurants, ideal times of the year to charter, shopping and sightseeing.
Be specific with your preference sheet
It’s essential you communicate your likes and dislikes by completing your preference sheet in detail so your charter broker can ensure your requirements are met for your charter.
Select a yacht
Your charter broker will give you information on a range of yachts they feel meet your needs based on yacht size, guest numbers, cruising destination, facilities, interests.
Consider the overall use of your yacht – don’t be put off by the exterior or age of some yachts. Many have had world-class refits to bring them up to date and prove to be brilliant options at lower cost than newly launched yachts.
Likewise, if you dream of a charter on the latest innovative yacht, we can arrange that seamlessly.
Signing the Charter Agreement
Your charter broker will draft a Charter Agreement to set out rights, obligations and regulations related to your charter. This includes details of the yacht, taxes, payment terms and costs, dates, destinations and your preference form.
For the French Riviera, it will usually be a MYBA Charter Agreement (The Worldwide Yachting Association, formerly known as Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association).
At this time, you will be required to pay part of the charter fee as specified by the broker. The charter cost will be influenced by your choice of yacht, preferences and season including special events.
You can also arrange additional charter insurance through your broker to cover you for cancellation or curtailment.
APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance)
Under MYBA charter terms, clients are liable for additional costs – known as ‘plus all expenses’. This is referred to as APA, or the Advance Provisioning Allowance, and is additional to the charter fee.
It covers the cost of provisioning (food & beverages), fuel (including cruising, fuel for generators at anchor, fuel for tenders and water toys), berthing and miscellaneous expenses.
The APA is roughly 25-50% additional to the charter cost and paid prior to the charter, to enable the yacht to provision and book berths etc. depending on your preferences.
The Captain is responsible for managing the expenses and keeping receipts and advising about unused amounts. Fuel is only charged if it is used, food and beverage is customised so the cost is dependent on the charter client’s requirements. Unused funds are returned to the charterer.
Final Charter Payment
For small yacht rentals on the French Riviera, usually you will pay the final balance on the day of your charter. For large yachts, the final balance of the charter fee and the APA amount will be expected before the charter embarks, usually thirty days before the charter commences.
Recommended Restaurants and Bars in Cannes
Whether you’re a casual diner or a serious gourmand, we know where to find the best restaurants in Cannes. As well as excellent dining options, Cannes has a diverse nightlife with bars and clubs to suit you whether you want to mingle with VIP’s listening to world-class DJ’s or relax with piano music and a classy cocktail at a lounge bar. Here are our picks for where to wine and dine in Cannes when venturing ashore:
Located at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez on the Croisette, La Palme d’Or is Cannes’ only two-star Michelin restaurant and under the guidance of Executive Chef Christian Sinicropi.
Decorated with black and white portraits of celebrities and named after the top award at the Cannes Film Festival, La Palme d’Or is popular with film industry execs and creative professionals who visit for innovative cuisine and the superb sea views.
The highly descriptive menu is based around three distinct main courses of one ingredient, such as Dublin Bay prawns, tuna or pigeon and gives diners a glimpse into Sinicropi’s visionary process – he fuses cooking with art (the food is served on ceramics he created with his wife Catherine) and art unfolds as part of the culinary presentation.
Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, the five-course lunch menu ‘La Croisette en Mouvement’ is notably excellent value.
After a meal at La Palme d’Or, head to the Martinez’s welcoming lounge bar, Le Bar L’Amiral. Open daily with live music every night except Sunday, it’s a stylish meeting place for an apéritif or business drinks during congress events. Say hello to barman David Palanque who is an award-winning mixologist, or better still try his M.O.M.A cocktail with Vodka Absolut Elyx, pineapple juice and tarte au citron syrup.
If you fancy a non-specific bar crawl, head to the streets a block back from the Croisette bordered by rue Macé, rue Gérard Morod, rue Victor Cousin, rue des Frères Pradignacs and rue du Commandant André where you’ll find an eclectic array of drinking establishments.
Bobo Bistro (21 rue du Commandant André) in this zone is a good dining option if you need to be located near to Vieux Port and the Palais des Festivals. Worth making a reservation for, especially during festival or congress dates, the friendly staff serve delicious pizzas, stuffed courgette flowers and good mussels. If you enjoy people-watching try to get a table on the pavement.
Ciró (33 rue Bivouac Napoleon) offers authentic Italian cuisine in a street situated between rue d’Antibes and the Croisette. Reservations are recommended as it’s popular with locals and tourists alike; we recommend the seafood linguine en papillote and saving room for the Italian cheesecake.
One of the French Riviera’s most exclusive nightclubs, Le Bâoli is located at the far end of the Croisette at Port Canto and sets the platform for summer partying. Combining a fine dining restaurant with Mediterranean and Asian cuisine with a tropical garden with canopies, sofas and palm trees, Le Bâoli is great for lounging or living it up. From midnight, the venue becomes a nocturnal playground for A-listers with Champagne buckets on low tables and music from world-class DJ’s. Expect a who’s who of film, sports and entertainment amidst sipping your glass of Champagne.
For sublime paninis and foccacia sandwiches, the best address in town is Federal (31 rue Hoche), open Monday to Saturday from 8am-10pm. Located on a popular street with caféterias and restaurants, Federal stands out with their fresh foccacia made each morning and tasty fillings such as roasted vegetables, coppa ham and sundried tomatoes – we recommend the Granma panini with Italian ham, grilled peppers and truffle cream. They also have a counter selection of sweet tarts and cakes and can serve you a Spritz, cocktail or glass of wine.
Cannes has a number of wine bars with excellent options by the glass or bottle. Most have predominantly French wines, but you can find New World wines at some bars. Two of Cannes’ best wine bars for hospitality, wine list and ambiance are Le Bouche à Oreille and Le Bar a Vin, both within 10 minutes’ walk from Cannes train station or the Croisette.
L’Affable is one of the best restaurants in Cannes that offers great service, high standards of cooking and good prices. The lunch menus are good value for the location and standard of food. Reservations are necessary; try the rack of lamb and the signature Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert.
Best Luxury Stays in Cannes
Cannes has some of France’s most famous hotels with luxury accommodation and amenities on par with any major global destination. If you’re merging a yacht charter itinerary with a stay on land, there are outstanding luxury hotels within a short distance from Cannes’ ports.
Historically-listed Intercontinental Carlton Cannes is a well-known landmark on the Croisette with a magnificent façade and styled on Belle Époque glamour. Popular with celebrities, royalty and the film industry stars during Cannes Film Festival, the Carlton Bar is THE place to be for sundowners with clients – ask Franck the Head Barman for the cocktail du jour.
The link with the film industry continues beyond the red carpet laid out annually on the steps of the Palais des Festivals; the hotel famously featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film ‘To Catch A Thief’ and many of the Suites are named after movie stars including Sophie Marceau, Nicolas Cage or Princess Grace. Special mention should be made of Le Grand Salon, their opulent ballroom with chandeliers and marble décor. Enjoy the historic surroundings and say hello to Hotel Concierge Maxime who will ensure your stay there is as glittering as the guest list over the years.
Home to a magnificent hotel lobby with chandeliers, statues, bonsai trees and gold columns, Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic warmly welcomes guests seeking a stay ashore before or after their yacht charter. As one of the original palace hotels on the Croisette, the Majestic knows how to treat their guests as VIP’s but in a non-snobbish manner; nice touches include butler service, portraits of stars interspersed throughout the hotel corridors and tours of the hotel facilities for first-time guests.
Amenities for guests include a heated swimming pool, on site spa and restaurants Fouquets (a sister to the Parisian restaurant) and La Petite Maison de Nicole. The Majestic has a great beach club ‘La Plage’ designed by Jean -Philippe Nuel with stylish Kettal beach furniture and the private pontoon is a fabulous place to while away an afternoon. For chic locations to enjoy a drink, the Majestic’s summertime bar Rotonde Louise Pommery is a trendy spot, or drop into the Bar Galerie du Fouquet’s for a cocktail or premium spirit in baroque surroundings.
Another Film Festival favourite for A-listers, the stunning Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez won’t let you through the doors during festival periods unless you have a reservation. As well as highly-regarded La Palme d’Or for dining and Le Bar l’Amiral for drinks, the Martinez has a swimming pool, gym with outdoor loungers, spa and pretty Annick Goutal bathroom toiletries in the rooms.
As part of the Hyatt portfolio, they are very un-Hyatt with grandeur and understated Art Deco opulence a huge reason why the hotel is so famous. They also have one of Cannes’ largest private beaches – take your pick from lounging on the pontoon or one of 400 sun loungers.
Away from the Croisette, try the four-star Le Cavendish Hotel which is situated a few minutes from Cannes train station. Set in a Belle Époque building, the rooms are large for a hotel of this price range and the décor is chic and elegant. The breakfasts are lovely with local products including honey from Grasse and the hotel hosts complimentary drinks for guests nightly – rare for Cannes! We recommend the refinement of the Rotunda rooms with parquet floors, high ceilings and large balconies.
Tips for Shopping in Cannes
Shopping in Cannes is one of the top attractions with timeless finds, classic French brands and global designer labels competing for the most opulent window displays along some of the French Riviera’s most iconic streets.
From bespoke leather shoes to luxury watches, from haute couture fashion to up-and-coming labels Cannes is a Pandora’s box for shopaholics.
Rue d’Antibes is the main retail street through central Cannes and home to major fashion stores and lifestyle brands including Diesel, Zara, Kenzo, FNAC, Maje, Petit Bateau and Lacoste.
For indoor shopping, Galaries Lafayettes Cannes sells swimwear, accessories, homewares, casual and formal clothing and beauty brands. Monoprix nearby is a supermarket in essence but also sells accessories and clothing. The Galerie du Gray d’Albion is Cannes’ largest shopping centre with fashion, art and caféterias available for keen shoppers to peruse.
The Croisette is where you can find major global luxury brands for jewellery, leather goods, accessories and fashion spread along 2 kilometres of seafront real estate. Premium labels with boutiques on the Croisette include Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Burberry, Valentino, Escada, Dior, Omega and the fabulous Jean-Paul Gaultier store with interiors by Philippe Starck.
Berluti (29 rue du Commandant André) close to the Croisette, is a must-visit for customized leather loafers, oxfords and boots as well as briefcases. As one of France’s premium luxury leather houses their previous clients include Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cashmere specialist Eric Bompard (26 rue du Commandant André) is the place to go for scarves, jackets and ponchos for cooler days.
One street away, Déclic Depot (6 rue Victor Cousin) is one of Cannes’ best kept shopping secrets. A boutique selling vintage and gently-used luxury labels such as Prada, Chanel, Gucci and Versace you can find a leather handbag, jewellery, clothes or accessories for a fraction of the price of a new item. The store isn’t in a particularly prominent location so look for the pink and white sign stating ‘Dépot Vente’.
As well as premier brands Rolex and Omega on the Croisette, watch lovers should stop into Cresus on rue des Etats-Unis, or visit Charles’ workshop at Man vs Time (3 rue Gérard Monod) who has impeccable knowledge of bespoke watches and vintage timepieces.
Seasoned shoppers should note that France has only two regulated sales (soldes) during the year – in January (winter) and July (summer) with each sale lasting for three weeks. The discounts are graduated with bigger reductions offered as the sale continues. Cannes also hosts a Shopping Festival each year where shoppers can enjoy fashion shows and season previews. Across the French Riviera, there are also great deals in autumn at the Grande Braderies (Jumble Sales) held in Juan les Pins, Antibes and St Tropez.
Shoppers are also entitled to claim a refund on the sales tax (VAT or TVA) on purchases of €175 made in a single store. Ask the sales assistant for a ‘Détaxe’ form and you can claim your refund at the border before you depart France. Special conditions do apply, for example, you must be a non-European Union resident, 16 years of age or older and not have used the goods you purchased yet; for further information you can find out more here.
Day Trips from Cannes
Cannes is an ideal base for day trips to the well-known resorts along the French Riviera as well as lunch dates at some of the extravagant hotels on the coastline or visiting the peaceful Îles de Lérins just off the mainland.
St Tropez is an iconic town with a wonderful contrast of quaint fishing village alongside contemporary shopping and a suitably swanky line-up of superyachts at the port. Plage de Pampelonne is naturally the main destination for charter clients looking to wine and dine with their toes in the sand and Champagne service or a chilled glass of AOC rosé sipped at a leisurely pace. Enroute from Cannes, charter guests can admire the photogenic beauty of the Massif de l’Ésterels with rust red volcanic rock and beautiful coves.
Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Cap d’Antibes, is one of the grande dames in luxury accommodation on the French Riviera and a popular hideaway for A-listers during major events. An exceptional venue for VIP parties, Executive Chef Arnaud Poëtte’s team will cure your gastronomic cravings at the Eden-Roc Restaurant or enjoy a casual meal such as a light salad or sushi by Chef Christophe Marc at the Eden-Roc Grill overlooking the legendary pool beside the sea.
With medieval remparts and one of the French Riviera’s busiest markets, Antibes is a popular day charter option. Visit the Picasso Museum, stroll in the Mediterranean sun along the remparts, explore the small art galleries in the back streets of the Old Town or dine at one of the atmospheric restaurants such as Michelangelo’s or Le Figuier de St Espirit with stone walls, white linen tabletops and high-end service.
The French Riviera’s main city, Nice, has a bustling Old Town with an excellent market and plenty of restaurants, bars and shopping. Nice Port is located close to amenities and nearby to good vantage points at Colline du Château or Mont Boron for views across Nice. Don’t miss visiting one of Nice’s world-class museums, buying Provençal olive oil from A L’Olivier in Vieux Nice or luxury shopping on rue Paradis with deluxe brands Louis Vuitton, Chanel, MaxMara and French beauty house Carita Paris.
One of Bespoke Yacht Charter’s main charter destinations, Monaco is a place to enjoy the finer things in life with exemplary restaurants and legendary points of interest such as the Casino de Monte-Carlo, Palais Princier and Café de Paris. Whether you book a yacht charter with friends for Monaco Grand Prix in May, a romantic weekend getaway with a Spa session at the Thèrmes Marin Monte-Carlo or a family adventure with sightseeing at the Monaco Oceanarium and Antique Cars Collection of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III, you will find plenty to see and do in Monaco.
This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter.
To discuss your Cannes luxury yacht charter requirements, please contact: