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Cannes Yachting Festival 2019: How to do the boat show like a pro

By Katia Damborsky   6 September 2019

Heading to the South of France for the 2019 Cannes Yachting Festival? Get the complete insider’s guide to the boat show, from all the must-see new yachts to the best places to eat around Cannes.

Running between 10 - 15 September, the Cannes Yachting Festival will be bringing a fleet of yachts and scores of attendees to the French Riviera for the 42nd edition of the boat show. 

For five days, the seaside city will be a hive of on-the-water activity as exhibitors, show-goers and industry professionals come together in Cannes to explore what's on display.

The event marks an important event for making connections, touring yachts and discovering more about the products and services being exhibited.

In order to get the most from your show experience, check out our 2019 guide to the Cannes Yachting Festival.

What’s new for 2019:

The Cannes Yachting Festival will be displaying a wide range of boats for 2019, with around 700 vessels on the lineup.

This year's fleet ranges from superyachts, pleasure cruisers, day boats and tenders, and offers a wide variety of vessels to peruse all in one place.

2019 will also feature a new zone dedicated to sailing yachts, which will be located in Port Pierre Canto.

Around 100 sailing vessels will be presented here; a jump of almost 30% from last year's sailing yacht turnout.  Alongside them, there will be 80 exhibitors across 4,000 square metres of space.

The new move aims to improve the visibility of sailing vessels and ensure the Cannes Yachting Festival provides its visitors with a rich diversity of products.

What to expect at the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Concours d'elegance at Cannes Yachting Festival
Elegant table at Cannes Yachting Festival, with starfish on table
Well-dressed woman poses on yacht at boat show in Cannes

Concours d’Elegance:

A point of attraction at the show will be the Concours d’Élégance, a parade which shows off a fleet of vintage boats in Vieux Port. This year's Concours d’Élégance will take place on September 14 at 4pm local time.

Luxury gallery:

Located inside the Palais des Festivals, the luxury gallery will be exhibiting a range of upmarket products from a number of sectors. These include watches, jewellery, fashion accessories, furniture and art and design.

Plan ahead for the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Woman stands with yacht broker at Cannes Yachting Festival
People tour a yacht at Cannes Yachting Festival
Group of show-goers stand with yacht broker at Cannes Yachting Festival

Consider getting a yacht broker to join you at the Cannes Yachting Festival. With a broker by your side, you can usually book more viewings, avoid having to wait for appointments and generally enjoy a much smoother show experience. 

The brokers act as a buffer between you and the yachts’ representatives, so if you’re serious about seeing a yacht at the show, a broker is a must.

How to get around at the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Woman walks down the boardwalk alongside yachts at Cannes Yachting Festival
French flag flies on the back of tender shuttle service at Cannes Yachting FestivalPeople walk past luxury yachts at Cannes Yachting Festival

The Cannes Yachting Festival is split between Vieux Port (Old Port) and Port Pierre Canto. Regular RIB shuttles will be on hand to transport show-goers between each harbour. 

Vieux Port will be divided into several zones, with each one dedicated to a different size category.

  • Quai Max Laubeuf will be exhibiting boats between 10-20 metres. 
  • Quai Saint-Pierre will be exhibiting boats up to 25 metres. 
  • La Pantiero will be exhibiting yachts up to 34 metres. 
  • La Jetee will be exhibiting superyachts up to 45 metres.

Opening times:

The Cannes Yachting Festival 2019  will be open every day between 10am to 7pm, except Sunday where the event closes at 6pm.

What to see at the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Yachts lined up in the harbour at Cannes Yachting Festival

This year’s lineup includes 700 vessels, of which 134 are making their global debuts.

Don’t miss the chance to step on board Cantiere delle Marche’s 33m/110ft charter yacht ‘Mimi la Sardine’. The yacht’s interiors, which are the work of Nauta Design, scooped up first prize at the Design and Innovation Awards 2019.

Superyacht Mimi la Sardine
Jacuzzi pool on sundeck of luxury yacht Mimi la Sardine
En suite on charter yacht Mimi la Sardine

The charter yacht exudes beachouse chic, with plenty of blondewood, soft textures and delicate gold accents working together to create a calming ambience and a refreshingly pared-back on-board energy.

Bilgin Yachts’ 47m/156ft motor yacht LILIUM will also be attracting attention at the boat show. Delivered earlier this year, she will be making her global debut in Cannes.

Superyacht Lilium at anchor in the Mediterranean
Master cabin on superyacht LILIUM
Central staircase with caviar lighting on mimi la sardine

She features elegant, light-infused interiors with side-opening balconies in the master suite and a central staircase with caviar lighting. 

Other stand-out yachts at the show include the 50m/164ft motor yacht CECILIA from Wider Yachts, and Baglietto’s brand new 47m/156ft charter yacht ANDIAMO.

Where to eat at the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Table at l'oasis restaurant in cannes

Cannes has no shortage of upscale restaurants at your disposal during the Yachting Festival. Cannes’ Boulevard la Croisette is where you’ll find the majority of restaurants and eateries, and New-York New-York is invariably popular thanks to its convenient location just outside Vieux Port. 

After the show, consider heading just outside of Cannes to dine at L’Oasis. Located in the small commune of Mandelieu-La Napoule, the Michelin-starred restaurant wins points for its classic Provencal cuisine and elegant outdoor dining terrace.

Another stellar dining option is Medusa, which is located in the centre of Cannes near Port Pierre Canto. Combining dazzling cabaret performances with world-class cuisine, the venue takes dinner and a show to a new level. The experience is immersive, the shows are extravagant and the interiors of the restaurant have a decadent Gatsby-esque theme. 

Further afield in Antibes, Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit is another popular fine dining option. The venue takes its name from the fig tree that takes pride of place in the centre of the dining area, creating a refined and romantic setting for an evening meal. 

Where to stay during the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Intercontinental Cannes

Popular among A-list celebrities and Hollywood heavyweights during the Cannes Film Festival, the InterContinetal Carlton in Cannes is undisputedly the most popular hotel choice among discerning visitors.

Centrally located and within walking distance of the boat show, the hotel promises a luxurious stay in an unbeatable waterfront location.

Where to party at the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Skybar at Baoli Cannes

For post-show festivities, look no further than Baoli. Located just outside Port Pierre Canto, the venue offers a restaurant, sky bar and nightclub experience in one.

The restaurant’s menu focuses on Japanese and Asian flavours, with popular dishes including flaky black cod and lobster tail teppanyaki. After eating, head up to rooftop bar Cloud Nine, where you can expect enviable views over the yacht-filled harbour and a great backdrop for cocktails and conversation.

After the show, don’t leave Cannes without taking a boat out to the Lerins Islands. Here, you’ll find one of the Riviera’s best-kept secrets; La Guerite. This beach club and restaurant recently played host to Kylie Jenner and her friends as part of Kylie’s 22nd birthday yacht charter itinerary, and its exclusive location promises cool crowds and good vibes.

Where to relax after the Cannes Yachting Festival:

Hotel du cap eden roc, guests standing on driveway infront of building

As the boat show draws to a close, take some time to relax on the Riviera. Over in Antibes, you’ll find Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc will meet all your needs, with its premium spa facilities and waterfront chill-out zone. As an added bonus, it also offers a tender service into the Cannes Yachting Festival, making it convenient to access when the boat show comes to an end.

If you’re extending your South of France stay after the boat show, consider heading down to St Tropez for a true taste of relaxation. Stop by trendy new hotel Le Cheval Blanc, and enjoy an indulgent massage or full-body pampering treatment.

Then, head over to Pampelonne. St Tropez has a brand new beach club scene for 2019, with plenty of venues primed for enjoying some down time. Head to Club 55 for a meal followed by beachside bronzing, or head out to brand new establishment Verde, where the laid-back atmosphere is balanced by no-holds-barred party vibes. 

Luxury yachts lined up along the marina in cannes

To learn more about the boat show, you can view all yachts at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019.

You can also take a look all South of France luxury charter yachts if you’re interested in booking your own superyacht charter vacation.


Yachts in your shortlist