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Shaken, Not Stirred : How to charter a yacht like James Bond

On your French Riviera yacht charter, you’ll likely visit many locations from the cinematic world reaching from Brigitte Bardot’s favourite Saint-Tropez to the luxurious hotels in Monaco.

The James Bond film franchise was built on alluring locations and Ian Fleming’s creation has resulted in one of the most enduringly popular fictional characters. While the world debates who has been the best James Bond to date, you can be assured that the sweeping scenery, diverse nightlife and luxury locations make the French Riviera a star in its own right worth discovering on a luxury yacht charter.

Carlton Hotel Cannes

Cannes is the perfect base to start or finish your French Riviera yacht charter in true style with magnificent palace hotels positioned along the Croisette, haute cuisine in glamorous restaurants and high-energy events including Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions. The Intercontinental Carlton Cannes welcomed Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in the 1955 Hitchcock classic To Catch a Thief and had plenty of screen time with Elton John’s I’m Still Standing video and since then the glitterati can’t stay away – just add a bottle of Champagne, some caviar and a certain je ne sais quoi.

Hotel du Cap view over the yachts and bay

At the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Cap d’Antibes, there’s only one way to reach the hotel when you aim for a James Bond-style arrival. Take your Riva in for an elegant lunch; don’t forget your designer sunglasses or Omega Seamaster watch as there’s not a cufflink out of place at this iconic hotel.

The port of Nice in the south of France

Luxury continues at the Hotel Negresco in Nice that was featured in John Gardiner’s 1981 James Bond novel, Licence Renewed. Step ashore for a classy cocktail in the Negresco’s bar lined with walnut woodwork and tapestry, or choose to host your friends onboard your luxury yacht moored at Nice Port for a tipple of Bond’s preferences such as Macallan 18-year-old whisky, Château Angélus Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Émilion or Champagne Bollinger.

The seafront at Villefranche-sur-Mer on France's Cote d'Azur

Cruising east along the French Riviera coast, Villefranche-sur-Mer is steeped in Bond history. Domino stepped ashore at Quai de l’Amiral Courbet and Sean Connery stood at Place Amélie Pollanais in Never Say Never Again. The town’s ancient Citadelle was used for exterior filming of Largo’s Palmyra, with interior shots filmed at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild across the bay of Villefranche on the Saint Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula.

Villa Fleur du Cap - former home of David Niven on Cap Ferrat

Bond always seems to find his way onboard anything fast or glamorous, and Villefranche-sur-Mer is the perfect location to immerse yourself in the lap of luxury with a yacht kitted out with all the water sports gear you need for day replicating a 007 lifestyle. Of course, stopping into one of the waterfront restaurants for dinner is much easier when you have your own private boat to transport you from anchor to apéritif hour.

The village of Eze on the French Riviera

Imagining you’re in an Aston Martin DB5 in a thrilling car chase along the vertiginous roads above the Côte d’Azur coastline may seem familiar – scenes like this appeared in 1995 film GoldenEye and they are often attributed to the Corniche roads when in fact they were filmed a short distance away inland near Gréolières. From your luxury yacht, you can see magnificent coastal villas that could easily substitute as a villain’s lair as well as the perched village of Eze where actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore have visited La Chevre d’Or and Château d’Eza.

Casino Square in Monte-Carlo, Principality of Monaco

Bond may be the epitome of an English gentleman, but the films ooze international appeal and have embraced the prestige and cosmopolitan setting of Monaco. In GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan arrives at the Casino de Monte-Carlo which is steeped in history and lore. Today, the exterior of the Casino de Monte-Carlo is the most photographed location in Monaco with a fantastical parade of supercars and rare vehicles gleaming at Place du Casino. Bond enters the casino and walks through the private gaming room the Salle Touzet Nord to the Salle Médecin, but film buffs will notice a catch – the Baccarat scenes were actually filmed in a studio.

Yachts at Monaco Yacht Club

The yachting set will recognise Port Hercules that shares a few moments on the silver screen when Xenia Onatopp steals the Tiger helicopter from the French Navy and also when Bond looks down on the port from Fort St Antoine theatre. With a Monaco yacht charter, you’ll be pampered and spoiled with premium service and anything else you need that demands careful attention to detail.

Eden-Roc Champagne Lounge Hotel du Cap in Antibes

Agent 007 himself would approve of bespoke menus, anchoring in stunning bays and sunset cocktails onboard a luxury yacht. And for the best martini on the French Riviera? We’ll let you decide on your next Côte d’Azur yacht charter.

This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter.

To start planning your luxury yacht charter on the French Riviera, please contact Alexander Coles at Bespoke Yacht Charter:

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