Every year around this time, two of the French Riviera’s most beautiful harbours transform into a bustling haven for yacht enthusiasts looking to sign million-dollar cheques for a new ride. They also play home to the debut of some very fine yachts — from towering gigayachts to zippy tenders. These two harbours are in Cannes and Monaco, and this year, their respective shows have kickstarted the season with more than 100 new yachts.
But they couldn’t be more different too. Held from 11 — 16 September 2017 at Vieux Port and Port Pierre Canto, the Cannes Yacht Show marked its 40th anniversary with the global debut of 84 yachts. Cannes has always been the launching point for mid-sized yachts, but this year saw a couple of those in excess of 100ft make an appearance.
On the other side of the boat, Monaco had a different fleet of awe-inspiring superyachts to show off. Monte Carlo’s harbour might accommodate fewer vessels, but the exhibition — held from 27 to 30 September — saw some of the best custom-designed yachts the seas would see.
It might be hard to keep track of all the new yachts launched, so we’ve gone ahead and picked out five of our favourites.
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Unlike the regular cumbersome Italian Navetta-styled vessels, the new offering by Custom Line is a radical interpretation that sees sleek lines and a streamlined silhouette. Its good looks can be attributed to the all-star design team, which includes Piero Ferrari (yes, that Ferrari), Studio Zuccon International Project, and the Ferretti Group’s in-house engineering group. The modern 110-footer superyacht exudes quiet opulence with a contemporary exterior that includes an amenity-filled flybridge and a generous foredeck with lounges and sun beds. That decadence carries on inside with natural black-walnut panelling and modern artwork. For overnight stays, the forward master suite encompasses a walk-in closet, bathroom, desk and vanity in the bedroom.
At 279 feet, the Areti is a definite showstopper with its quasi-classical profile. Described as “beach chic”, the Winch Design-styled yacht has all the luxuries a billionaire might seek, such as private terraces in guest staterooms, an “experience” shower with aromatherapy scents to accompany the multi-temperature water jets, and a full-service spa, complete with a plunge pool, hot tub, and sauna. For easy transfers onto land, Areti will accommodate a private helicopter for you and guests. Because it’s built to the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC), the German shipbuilding company has included eight staterooms and a full-beam master suite for one hell of a yacht party.
Fuelled by the owner’s passion for car-racing and adventure, designer Fulvio De Simoni incorporated sharp-edged lines and a contemporary profile to the 161-foot long boat. Two “cuts” — like the vents in a sports car — run along the bow of the boat, which direct the eyes to the rest of the spacious, open-concept layout. Inside, the boat accommodates ups to 12 guests in its 6 staterooms. Of course, the owner gets the best view —an expansive window provides unobstructed views of the water, with a large balcony for al fresco activities. A large garage keeps the toys organised, and fits up to two tenders, a number of jet skis, and scuba diving equipment.
As the new flagship of the Azimut Grande line, the 115-foot Azimut 35 Mentri sees edgy and angular lines define the profile of the sleek flybridge vessel, as opposed to the more common boxier dimensions. The hard top and carbon fibre superstructure are features hardly found on yachts this size, and they contribute greatly towards weight-saving and structural integrity. As owner, you’ll get a master suite with a panoramic floor-to-ceiling window, including one that folds outwards to become a private terrace. The Italian firm has also set the luxury bar high here by applying gigayacht features such as a three-floor spiral staircase with backlit onyx steps, and a lifting platform on the foredeck, successfully reinventing the possibilities of a100-foot-plus vessel.
At 220-feet, it was hard for the custom superyacht to stay out of the limelight at Monaco. But the Seasense’s size wasn’t the only reason why it was so popular. One-of-a-kind features such as the “Benetti Beach Concept” and an “indoor-outdoor” veranda help set this vessel apart from its competitors. With the Beach Concept, you’ll get a large swimming pool that converts into a basketball court — a clever use of space while recreating that Miami beach vibe. Between the indoor lounge and outdoor deck is a 12-person table that’s surrounded by a system of sliding doors, providing an unparalleled 360° view of the sea while you and guests dine. Other creature comforts include a full-featured gym, a wood-burning pizza oven and a grey Antartide Marble spiral staircase.