If you’ve ever flown into Nice airport in the summertime and looked down at the superyachts crisscrossing the blue, or wandered past the yachts docked in glamorous Saint Tropez, you’ve almost certainly wondered what it’s like to cruise along the French Riviera. How does it feel to be a guest on one of those wonderful yachts?
A French Riviera yacht charter is a collection of extraordinary moments—where decadence, exclusivity, and celebrity combine in a spectacular Mediterranean setting. There’s nothing quite like a Cote d’Azur yacht charter, and here are a few of the experiences you’ll encounter as you float your stylish way from glitzy Monaco to champagne-spraying Saint Tropez.
Your captain will collect you from Nice airport and take you to your charter yacht, or you can come by helicopter and feel the frisson of excitement as you approach Monaco’s mighty cliffs and land at the Monte Carlo helipad. Your charter will begin at 12pm as you step aboard the yacht, greet the smartly-dressed crew lined up to welcome you, and are shown to your luxurious staterooms.
As the yacht leaves the port you’ll adjourn to the upper deck for an elegant alfresco lunch, where the stewardess waits to pour you a glass of pale pink Provencal rose at a beautifully-dressed table. Below in the galley, the yacht’s private chef prepares a gourmet lunch perfectly suited to life on the French Riviera—perhaps platters of langoustines grilled with lemon and butter, delicious summer salads, champagne sorbet to finish.
As the courses arrive at the table, you’ll cruise along the steep French coast to the ultra-exclusive headland of Cap Ferrat, where the yacht will drop anchor in the clear, calm water. After dessert is cleared you can get out on the yacht’s watertoys, or go ashore to the superb Paloma beach club, an old-school celebrity favourite where cicadas buzz in the pines and the clear turquoise waters lap at the pretty pebbled shore.
As the afternoon starts to wane it’s time to return to Monte Carlo, where you can fit in a quick shopping session in the famously glamorous boutiques of Le Cercle d’Or, or indulge in a spa treatment at the Hotel de Paris’ Thermes Marins Monte Carlo: a 7000m2 spa complex spread over four stunning levels of pink marble, fragrant gardens, and glimmering seawater pools.
As the long twilight casts its ethereal pink light across the Riviera, you’ll return to your yacht to dress up in glittering evening gowns and smart suits for sunset drinks on the sundeck, before heading out for an evening of sheer decadence and celebrity sparkle. Begin with a drink at Horizon Deck at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, before dining at the opulent Alain Ducasse or the Joel Robuchon Monte Carlo. No visit to Monaco would be complete without a visit to the Casino de Monte Carlo, where supercars line up under the palms outside and high rollers push vast piles of chips across velvet-topped tables.
If you’re in the mood for a party, the rooftop pool of the Nikki Beach franchise is a glamorous, wild place to kick off the night, and Sass Café and Twiga are Monegasque institutions as the evening rolls on into morning. Everyone, of course, will end up at Jimmy’z, dancing to sets by big name DJ’s.
The Captain will move the yacht while you sleep, and you’ll wake up to stare out your window at one of the loveliest deepwater bays in all of creation: the desperately pretty Villefranche. Cure your dusty head from the night before with a refreshing dive off the swim platform, before wrapping yourself in a fluffy white robe and sitting down for breakfast on the aft deck, marvelling at the ever-changing emerald and turquoise shades of the water. After breakfast, explore the steep medieval streets of Villefranche or relax on the beach before heading up to Eze, a stunning village perched like an eagle’s eyrie high above the Mediterranean.
Cruise past the palm-lined promenades and Art Deco hotels of Nice, before anchoring off the Cap d’Antibes for a morning’s snorkelling around the rocky headland with its pine forests and spectacular gated mansions. For lunch there’s the infamous Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, where celebrities host their summer parties and the restaurants offer dizzying views across the bay of Juan Les Pins and Cannes beyond. Sunbathe by the seaside pool carved from the rock, or treat yourself to a spa treatment in pagoda in the lush gardens, feeling the afternoon sea breeze drift over bare skin. Later, anchor off the high stone ramparts of Antibes to enjoy an evening of fireworks displays, and dine on deck with a view of the old town of Antibes lit up against the towering Alps.
Take the short cruise along the coast to Cannes, where boutiques and beach clubs welcome you to this celebrity-starred Mediterranean city. Your yacht will dock by the infamous Palais de Festivals, where you’ll look out across the grand Art Deco facade of the Carlton Intercontinental, and up to the old terracotta roofs of Le Suquet clustered on the hill.
Spend a happy day at Cannes’ beach clubs and shopping the Croisette’s elite boutiques, before heading the chic 360 rooftop bar at the Radisson for heartbreaking sunset views across the Bay of Cannes. Take a table at the 2 Michelin star Palme d’Or, before heading to the Balinese-themed Baoili night club for a night of dancing under the stars.
Pass a dreamy morning anchored off the Cannes islands—a tranquil glimpse of the way the Mediterranean used to be. Stroll through quiet forests and vineyards, explore ancient fortresses, and snorkel crystal clear coves. Enjoy lunch back on board as you cruise down the coast past the stunning red rocks and wild forested mountains towards the Gulf of Saint Tropez.
As your yacht inches into the port of Saint Tropez you’ll be enchanted by the pink and ochre facades glowing in the afternoon light and the bustle of the pavement cafes lined up along the cobblestone waterfront. To experience a Saint Tropez summer (and on a yacht, no less!) is one of life’s most blissful pleasures, as you’ll discover as you stroll through the narrow, pretty streets lined with flowerpots, boutiques and art galleries. Watch the old local men in berets play boules in the shady Place des Lices, have an aperitif at Bar du Port, and book in for dinner at the 3 Michelin star La Vague d’Or or eat under the vines at Auberge des Marches. Ramp up the party after dinner at Brasserie des Arts, before heading to one of the mega-famous Saint Tropez nightclubs, Caves du Roy, VIP Room, or Papagayo to dance until dawn.
Wake up to discover paradise on Porquerolles outside your porthole, a dreamy, almost Caribbean-like island offering some of the best beaches of the Mediterranean. Walk on soft white sands and swim in the sapphire waters, or take a bicycle to explore the verdant island. Return to your yacht for the cruise back to Pampelonne, Saint Tropez’s legendary beach. Get out on the jetskis or head straight into the beach, where the world’s most famous beach clubs await you with their infectious celebrity-casual vibe. Club 55 is the grand doyenne of the St Tropez beach club scene, while Bagatelle and Nikki Beach are also wildly popular with the jet-set. As the sun sets, head back to the Port of saint Tropez for another night of champagne-spraying fun among the beautiful people.
You’ll wake as your yacht re-enters the grand port of Monaco. Finish your charter with breakfast and some last-minute shopping at Monaco’s illustrious boutiques, or just stay onboard to savour the last few hours of your unforgettable French Riviera yacht charter—and start planning the next one!
Bespoke Yacht Charter has a fleet of French Riviera charter yachts of different sizes and budgets to make your Cote d’Azur cruising dream come true.