Caribbean Sailing Vacations by Ed Hamilton

Coastal France - The Cote d'Azur

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Monte CarloThe Cote d’Azur—or French Riviera, as it is known the world over—is one of the most popular resort-filled destinations for summertime Mediterranean yacht charter. Many of the charter industry’s largest, most expensive luxury yachts visit the city of Cannes each May so that charter guests can mingle with movie stars during the famous Cannes Film Festival. In many cases, the charter yachts are as impressive as the stars themselves, drawing onlookers along the docks from morning until night. Some people pay more than $1 million a week for the privilege of chartering a yacht to be a part of this crowd.

            Of course, there are other options for yacht charter vacations on the French Riviera, many of them onboard more affordable yachts that visit Cannes during other summer months or that cruise right by on their way to the famous cities of Antibes, Nice and Monaco. There are also smaller ports of call with less crowd congestion that you can meander around and explore, places like the charmingly colorful Villefranche-sur-Mer and the historic stone Eze, South coast of Francecity of Eze.

            Antibes is actually as interesting for yacht-spotting as Cannes, what with the city boasting the largest yacht harbor in all the Cote d’Azur. You can walk down a single dock during any week of the summer and see billions of dollars worth of luxury yachts, many of them available for charter to the world’s richest and most famous. Nice is just as metropolitan as Antibes, with both an old town you can explore as well as new high-rise resorts along its stretches of white-sand beach. Monaco—a small country unto itself known as a tax haven for millionaires and billionaires—is perhaps best known in terms of yacht charter as the place where you can go ashore to play in the Monte Carlo Casino as if you were James Bond himself.

            On the quieter side of the French Riviera, you can enjoy coastal towns such as Villefranche-sur-Mer, which is just a few miles Nice, French Rivieraeast of Nice but is a world away in terms of culture. The bay at Villefranche is one of the deepest in all of the Mediterranean Sea and thus draws larger ships, including cruise ships, but the town itself is quaint compared with places like Nice and Antibes, so your charter yacht captain can arrange for you to arrive long after the crowds have left and the charming streets will be yours alone to explore.

            The town of Eze is also near Nice, a short cab ride away from the coast. Your charter yacht captain can arrange for you to enter its medieval walled-village shops long after the typical tourists have left there, too, so that you can chat with the local shopkeepers just like U2’s Bono, who owns a villa there. Please give me details of suitable yachts.

Websites for yachts based in The Mediterranean:
Sailboats - Powerboats

Ask us to suggest some suitable boats and crews

Photo credits for this page: All pictures taken by Ed Hamilton
Note: all pictures on this site are used with permission and may not be reproduced without permission from the photographer/owner.