Monaco & Cannes Yacht Shows

By Natalia Bogdanova

The highly anticipated 2021 Monaco Yacht Show took place from September 22nd to 25th, while Cannes Yachting Festival was held a bit earlier, from 7th to 12th of September, with wealthy locals and tourists alike descending on Port Hercules to see and, perhaps, buy the most upscale and posh yachts launched in the past year. Imagine taking a stroll on the promenade overlooking hundreds of yachts, basking in gentle sun rays or being coloured by a saturated sunset resembling a bloody mary cocktail – a sight worth dying for. 

Monaco Yacht Show

Over the years, the Monaco Yacht Show has become a landmark event in the world of megayachts. In 1991, when the show first opened its doors to avid marine lovers and potential clients, the shipyards largely ignored the event. Since then the yacht show grew exponentially, involving more and more superyacht manufacturers and owners from all over the world coming and demonstrating the might of true marine wild, yet elegant beasts. This year, the Monaco Yacht Show has truly reached its pinnacle of popularity, bringing together the biggest names in the industry and helping them showcase their latest masterpieces.

With the new format of the Monaco Yacht Show and the tailor-made Monaco Yacht Summit, the organisers understand the importance for the yachting industry to deliver the best and most relevant intelligence to the next wave of superyacht clients. Thus, on the eve of the Monaco Yacht Show, a panel of yachting experts from designers and brokers to superyacht builders and financial advisors gathered to explore a range of topics, including the decision-making process of being early stage yacht enthusiasts who are looking to buy or charter their first superyacht. The Monaco Yacht Summit took place on 21st of September, 2021 at the Yacht Club de Monaco with the support of such financial giants like J.P. Morgan Private Bank and the Monaco Economic Board.

Moderated by Martin Hager, editor-in-chief of leading German superyacht magazine Boote Exclusiv, and a former naval architect, the MY Summit hosted a panel of starred speakers who has covered key information for new charter clients and future owners needed to successfully enter the yachting world. 

The speakers came from different backgrounds to talk unique points from perspectives on industry trends and aspects of chartering, buying, building and operating a superyacht to practical steps involved in commissioning and building a new construction project from a client perspective, shipyards, naval architecture, project management and legal expertise and guidance on undertaking a new construction project. The concluding panel involved a fascinating case study that involved the team from the Dutch shipyard Feadship presenting all the key stages in the construction of the impressive 94-metre megayacht Viva, which has been delivered to her owner this year.

The list of speakers included the following titans of their respectful industries:

•  Jonathan Beckett, CEO, Burgess (broker)
•  Michael Breman, Sales Director, Lürssen (shipyard)
•  Rose Damen, Managing Director, Damen/Amels (shipyard)
•  Aino-Leena Grapin, CEO, Winch Design (yacht design)
•  Margarita Amam, CEO, IMS GmbH (refit shipyard)
•  Charlie Birkett, CEO & Founder, Y.CO (brokerage company)
•  Tim Schommer, Partner/Lawyer, Clyde & Co (expert lawyers in yachting)
•  Derek Munro, owners’ representative, Divergent Yachting (yacht management)
•  Daniele Moltedo, Custom Head of Manufacturing & Warranty Department Manager, Benetti (shipyard)

Along the MY Summit, the organisers of the Monaco Yacht show introduced another novelty – the Yacht Design and Innovation Hub, where renowned industry giants presented yacht concepts and visitors were able to interact with designers, sketching the first lines of their future yacht. The Yacht Design & Innovation Hub completed the show’s historical Designer Gallery on Quai des Etats-Unis where visitors are used to directly meeting up with the designers and naval architects on their booths. Here, the soon to be owners or yachting enthusiasts were able to meet and discuss their yacht projects with a selection of designers, showcasing their creative talents in designing a superyacht from a blank sheet. Besides, designers held 15-minute talks about design in yachting and also about their experience or projects to deepen guests' knowledge about the yachting. The programme was specifically designed by MYS Organisers to offer a bespoke experience of unparalleled prestige to future superyacht charterers and owners in visit to the Monaco Yacht Show.

For those who decided to change gears, the Car Deck showcased thirty or so vintage and customised cars plus a selection of bespoke motorbikes that were available for sale and even for a test-drive. With avid luxury collectors of niche brands and fine machines in mind, the exhibition curated a bold panel of choices.

Cannes Yachting Festival

After being canceled because of COVID-19 in 2020, the Cannes Yachting Festival returned this fall from 7th to 12th of September 2021. Not many know that the festival, in fact, boasts quite an extensive and successful history. Founded in 1977, an obscure boat show quickly turned into one of the most prestigious yacht exhibitions – perhaps, because of Cannes sumptuous allure of the provincial, yet highly admired French city. Today, taking place in two of the city’s ports, the Vieux Port and Port Pierre Canto, it featured 600 boats, including motor yachts, superyachts, catamarans, tenders and sailing yachts. 

The drastic layout change came in 2019 – all the sailing yachts were displayed in Port Canto at the other end of the Croisette, leaving motor boats to fill the space vacated at the original Vieux Port location. Visitors now can catch a free sea or bus shuttle between the exhibitions for convenience. This layout change comes handy in our present healthcare situation, since the new layout helped create 1,000 linear metres of extra berthing representing a 7% increase on 2018 according to organisers. 

This year’s programme behind the festival has had truly outstanding features. One of them is a full “Green” route for visitors – an environmental route highlighting exhibitors developing or presenting an environmentally-friendly concept. This is quite a huge step up in the “green” game for yachting. Another great opportunity to see unique yachts is presented by Concours d’Élégance. An event within an event, Concours d’Élégance, was held on Saturday, 11th of September, and showcased in a festive parade a carefully curated a selection of vintage
and modern cabinless day motorboats of less than 12 metres in length judged by a jury of  industry experts. The event was open to festival exhibitors and collector owners, many of whom highly admired this year’s collection. 

The Cannes Festival tried to keep up with the innovative MYS and succeeded by hosting The Innovation Space. Created in partnership with Mer Angels & BNP Paribas Banque Privée, it has showcased the intelligent start-ups in the nautical sector and offered breakthrough technologies and high added value services. These start-ups are meant to create the future of yachting in the best sense of the word, transforming the industry into a more powerful, more responsible and more environmentally friendly field. 

Sunshine, cocktails, and beauteous marine machines was a great fusion for September’s “velvet” season on the Mediterranean. Although we tried to compile a comprehensive report on these sublime events, we urge you to check out our online magazine to learn more about premium yachting features and events.