Opened in 2021, this unique underwater art installation lies just a short distance off the mainland in the glittering Bay of Cannes, close to the beautiful island of Sainte Marguerite, part of the Lérins Islands (les Îles de Lérins)
The sculptures are designed to draw attention to the declining state of the world’s oceans, with themes that also echo the cultural heritage of France, including references to the intriguing “man in the iron mask” prisoner – rumoured to have been imprisoned on the island of Sainte-Marguerite from 1687 to 1698.
The underwater ecosystem has been continuously degraded and polluted over the years by human activity
Made of pH-neutral cement, the statues are designed by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor who is renowned for doing similar underwater features across the globe, from Grenada to Australia. His work can be seen variously throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, among others, where they double as artificial coral reefs for the indiginous marine life.
For the Cannes Underwater Museum, there are six sculptures in total, all depicting portraits of local residents; from the young to the old, and took over four years to complete. DeCaires Taylor actually cast 40 faces in total, then narrowed these down to six and turned them into six-foot-tall sculptures.
The site is free to visitors, who can experience the magic for themselves by diving among these beautiful and haunting underwater effigies, positioned at depths of around 3-4 meters to make it possible for even snorkelers to enjoy.
If you fancy a trip to the Lerin Islands, you can grab a water taxi from Vieux Port de Cannes on the mainland to Sainte-Marguerite, the larger of the two islands, which offers nature trails, a museum and the legendary fortress and prison that once held the enigmatic “man in the iron mask.”
The smaller island of Saint-Honorat has been the site of a monastery since the 5th century, which is still inhabited today by a group of Cistercian monks who sustain themselves by selling wine, honey and a liqueur called Lerina, all produced in-house by the monks themselves.
If you're interested in visiting the Cannes Underwater Museum and would like to incorporate a trip into your charter itinerary, please speak with your prefered yacht charter broker.
To find out more about chartering in the region, check out our in-depth France yacht charter guide for more information.
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Cannes Underwater Museum (Musée sous-marin de Cannes)
Cannes Underwater Museum