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Yacht-Spotting at The Cannes Film Festival

The exclusive Cannes Film Festival is one of the French Riviera’s most glamorous events. The 71st annual Cannes Film Festival closed on 19th May 2018. The wonderful Cate Blanchett was President of the Jury this year and the extraordinary Japanese film Shoplifters, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, won the coveted Palme d’Or. But Cannes is about so much more than celebrating the world’s finest cinema. It’s a luxury affair, and that means the yacht spotting opportunities have to be seen to be believed.

If you’re thinking about buying yourself a beautiful luxury craft, Cannes is a brilliant place to find inspiration. In fact some say the yachts are actually the real stars of the show.

Explore the Jetee Edouard Albert for yourself

You’ll see countless exclusive yachts anchored on the French Riviera in May, scattered along the Jetee Edouard Albert like jewels, waiting for the official start of the yacht season. The celebrity-seekers are out in force and fans of luxury yachting are in their element. No wonder when today’s super luxury yachts are built with such an incredible level of attention to detail, with such a strong focus on the ultimate in on-the-water thrills, delivering the most luxurious interiors you can imagine together with extraordinary performance.

The craftsmanship, the dedication, and the sheer skill that goes into creating the interiors behind those sleek, shining hulls has to be seen to be believed. No wonder people find it all so fascinating, and no wonder it costs anything from $200,000 to a million dollars plus for a week’s yacht charter at the festival.

Look carefully and you’ll see clusters of yacht spotters gathered along the docks, and that’s a clear indication there’s a very special vessel on its way into the port, something particularly interesting or high profile. Better still, once the bigger yachts have been safely moored they tend to stay put for the festival, with the owners and guests using the craft as floating hotels. So you have plenty of opportunities to check out some of the planet’s most extraordinary boats, up close and personal.

Websites that track marine traffic

You’ll see numerous boats at festival time, some legends in their own lifetimes, all clustered at Cannes. Technology also helps keen spotters pin down exactly where a yacht they want to see is moored. The Marine Traffic website, for example, lets you search for named vessels and provides maps showing exactly where the craft are, revealing the actual latitude and longitude. It works because every vessel has an AIS, Automatic Identification System, designed to give the Coastguard the information they need to help keep everyone safe at sea.

Another great online resource is, the USA’s best-selling marine magazine site. It includes a brilliant mega yacht forum, a lively place used by crew, designers, and builders as well as spotters.

The Princess Yacht Charter website contains details about a great many marvellous craft, and while not every luxury boat in the world is up for charter, an awful lot of them are. It contains a host of information you can’t get anywhere else, things like photos of yacht interiors, really good when you’re in the market for a boat yourself and mulling over the possibilities.  And presents a vibrant discussion about the location of some of the world’s most amazing mega yachts, plus photos of the craft as they make their magical way around the planet.

A taster – The kind of classic motor yacht you’ll see at Cannes

This year’s festival saw a visit by the Eclipse, owned by steel and investments magnate Roman Abramovich, a glorious 533-foot beauty, plus the Dilbarm owned by Alisher Usmanov, all 512 magnificent feet of her. Both managed to dwarf most of the other craft at Cannes thanks to their sheer size and beauty.

You would be thrilled to see Sailing Yacht A, a 469 foot beast whose design bears very little relation to tradition, with its feet firmly planted in the twenty first century: pure white, curved, smooth and exotic-looking.  She was joined by the 380 foot Atlantis II owned by the Stavros Niarchos Family, also the Eugene Schvidler’s 370 foot Le Grand Bleu and the Qatar royal family’s 361 foot Jubilee, plus a great many more. What an extraordinary sight they made set against the glittering blue waters and tropical skies of the South of France.

Luxury charter – Charter a yacht for Cannes 2019

Maybe you experienced this year’s festival and just can’t get those stunning vessels out of your mind. You could always make plans to charter a super-yacht of your own via Princess Yacht Charters for next year’s festival, treating yourself to a taster of what ownership feels like. Or you could discuss buying a luxury yacht with the Princess team, a group of consummate professionals who eat, breathe and sleep yachts and know everything there is to know about them.

To discover more about Princess Yachts contact one of our team at Princess Motor Yacht Sales at or +44 (0)1489 557755.