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How to choose the best berth for the Monaco Grand Prix

Watching the Monaco Grand Prix from the comfort of a superyacht is the ultimate way to experience the on-track action, electric atmosphere and untold glamour of one of the most iconic sporting fixtures on the planet. 

Monaco’s Port Hercules is home to some of the most coveted berths in the world and competition during race week revs up another gear as the rich and the famous clamour to get a prime viewing spot.

But rest assured, no matter whether you wish to watch the race from a superyacht or use a private yacht as a base while disembarking to enjoy the on-land happenings, there will be a top spot in Monaco to suit you. Here’s how you can select and secure the most suitable berth.

Track view berths

There is no finer way to see the grand prix than while situated on board a luxurious superyacht sipping champagne and sampling gourmet delights. And fortunately, as the Circuit de Monaco wraps around the port, there are berths in Port Hercules offering enviable views of the track.  

These track-view berths are located along Quai des Etats-Unis and around the bend onto Route de la Piscine. This area of the marina is known as Zone 1 and demand for a place here during race week is always significantly higher than the number of berths available.

Applications to secure a Zone 1 spot must be made through the port’s official website at least eight months ahead of the fixture and priority is given to those with the most relevance to the grand prix, such as the racing teams, drivers and sponsors.

With this in mind, it is easy to appreciate why being allocated a zone 1 berth is not always possible. But there are some other options. In particular, buying a yacht hospitality package offered on one of the superyachts that has the connections to secure one of these popular berths. 

Non-track view berths

If you are intent on chartering your own private superyacht over the race weekend, there is more chance of securing a berth in Zone 2 of Port Hercules.

Although it is not possible to see the track from these slips, the yachts are still well placed for those on board to soak up the buzzing atmosphere. Plus, as large screens broadcasting a live feed of the race are strategically placed around the marina, guests will not miss out on the F1 action.  

Attendees in these berths will also be well-positioned to join in with the post-race social scene. Once the racing is over, guests will be able to take the tender ashore and sample Monaco’s upscale culinary offerings, swanky bars and glitzy after parties.

Away from Port Hercules

Another option for yacht-goers is to berth in Fontvieille Harbour, which is located to the south of Port Hercules. The track does not pass through this area of Monaco, but the marina is quieter and remains open at all times – unlike Port Hercules which can't be accessed from the street during race and practice sessions.

This is a good choice for F1 fans who want to watch the race from the grandstands while having a quieter base to retreat to. Applications must be made at least three months ahead of the event.

There is also the opportunity to charter a private yacht and anchor off the coast of Monaco. Some of the world’s finest superyachts can be seen positioned here over the race weekend, with their occupants catching tenders ashore to immerse themselves in the goings-on of the grand prix.

This option can suit those who value their privacy as well as those who want to rent a larger superyacht, as space is limited in Port Hercules. It also cuts out the process of having to apply for a berth. 

Things to know

Due to the circuit taking place on the city streets, much of Monaco is closed off during practice and race sessions, meaning access from the land to Port Hercules and vice versa is not possible.

Therefore, those watching the race from Port Hercules will need to ensure they get on board their superyacht before restrictions fall into place. Similarly, those based on a yacht anchored off the coast will need to arrive on land before access is forbidden.  

Plus, superyachts cannot leave Port Hercules between Wednesday and Monday of race week. This means a minimum charter period for those renting their own private yacht in the port is five days.


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By Rebecca Bradbury   Last Updated 6 March 2019

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