French Riviera Yacht Charter Guide

If the crème de la crème of yacht charters is on your to-do list, then the French Riviera is the destination for you.

Extremely popular and considered the best-loved cruising grounds in the world, the chic coastline of the Côte d’Azur has been luring visitors for centuries. If you’re considering a French Riviera yacht charter between July and August, you’ll need to book early, as this is the region’s busiest time of year when the yachting crowd flocks to the Med’s most celebrated spots. Work your way between St. Tropez and Monaco, finding sweeping bays with pine-fringed beaches backed with Belle Époque villas. It’s not all glitz and glamour, however. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle, a mix of small fishing villages harbor some of the most glamorous nightclubs in the world. Make this perennial favorite among superyacht charter guests and owners alike one of your cherished destinations during your summer yacht charter in the French Riviera.


If you’re planning to cruise here, it is worth noting that French Riviera attracts some eighty percent of the superyacht charter fleet during the summer months. You can visit the legendary beach clubs of Pampelonne and discover the renowned haute cuisine of St. Tropez, Cannes and Monaco in this sun-soaked corner of southeast France — the epicenter of yachting in Europe.

If you’re looking for a spot in history, St. Tropez shot to fame in the 1950s when director Roger Vadim made the film Et Dieu…Créa La Femme (And God Created Woman) starring the stunning Brigitte Bardot. The film itself sealed the fate of St. Tropez, which has shimmered in the spotlight with its star appeal ever since. Once you’ve had your fill of the shiny things, the sun-drenched Îles d’Hyères lies just west of St. Tropez and offers unpretentious charms. During your yacht charter in the South of France, Cannes and Antibes are illuminated with a glow beyond ethereal sunlight. You can discover their culture, restaurants and elegant boutiques when you head. Further along, the pretty villages of Villefranche, Cap Ferrat and Beaulieu are the idyllic backdrops to a peaceful anchorage as you enjoy sunset meals or morning coffee aboard your charter yacht.

Charter Highlights French Riviera

  • Indulge at the Spa Metropole by Givenchy, Hôtel Metropole in Monte Carlo
  • Hang out at the hip Anjuna Beach in Eze-sur-Mer
  • Take the tender ashore to the exclusive Paloma Beach in St. Jean Cap Ferrat
  • Culture spy at the Musée Picasso in Antibes
  • Experience gastronomic delights at Le Louis XV, Hôtel de Paris in Monaco
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Charter Yachts French Riviera

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South of France Yacht Charter FAQ

Why charter a yacht in the South of France?

There are so many reasons why you should charter a yacht in the South of France; the beautiful coastline, the fantastic weather and crystal clear waters, the chic towns and villages, the sumptuous cuisine, and the world-class events are just a few. Whatever holiday experience you seek, the French Riviera delivers it with spectacular French flair. Indeed, the French Riviera is considered one of the world’s best superyacht destinations. 

If you want to experience the very best of a French Riviera yacht charter, then Northrop & Johnson can help. We boast a spectacular fleet of some of the finest motor boats, sailing yachts, and superyachts for charter in the South of France. Contact us today and discover how we excel at crafting extraordinary experiences at sea.

French or Italian Riviera Yacht Charter?

Charterers often debate whether to opt for a French or Italian yacht charter. Both destinations offer unmatched experiences and refined offerings guaranteed to delight and deliver the holiday of a lifetime. Just some of the highlights that the French Riviera includes: 

  • Michelin-starred restaurants and superb local eateries serving up French and international cuisine made with the very best local ingredients
  • Picturesque coastlines and pretty bays and coves accessible only by boat
  • Exclusive beach clubs frequented by VIPs and celebrities
  • Award-winning wineries offering fantastic private tours
  • Pretty towns and villages steeped in history and culture
  • World-class museums and galleries to explore
  • Spectacular underwater marine life and dive sites

Whatever type of luxury holiday you want, whether it’s one filled with action or you want to escape the crowds and spend your days soaking up the sun on exclusive beaches, Northrop & Johnson’s charter specialist can craft an itinerary that meets your precise needs. Contact our team today. 

What are some highlights of a yacht charter on the French Riviera?

There are many highlights to enjoy on a yacht charter in the French Riviera. Refined ports of call with superyachts include: 

  • Monaco
  • Nice
  • Saint Tropez
  • Cannes
  • Eze
  • Villefranche
  • Antibes
  • The Porquerolles Islands

Of course, beyond these elegant ports of call, the French Riviera offers multiple under-the-radar destinations and hidden coves and beaches to explore. If you want to charter a boat on the French Riviera, then contact the team at Northrop & Johnson. We can tailor an incredible charter itinerary tailored to your precise needs. 

What to do on a yacht charter on the French Riviera?

There are so many wonderful things to do and see on a Cote d’Azur yacht charter. Highlights include: 

  • Soaking up the sun on white-sandy beaches
  • Enjoying some of the world’s best and most exclusive beach clubs, such as Club 55 on Pampelonne Beach in St Tropez
  • Gourmet dining at Michelin-starred restaurants and refined local eateries
  • Private wine-tasting and vineyard tours
  • Superb selection of designer and local boutiques
  • World-class galleries and museums
  • Renowned events, including the F1 Grand Prix, the Monaco Yacht Show, the Monte-Carlo Masters, and the Cannes Film Festival
  • Crystal clear waters, ideal for using your  yacht’s water-toys
  • Fantastic hiking and cycling trails
  • Amazing nightspots, with celebrity DJs and a VIP crowd

When is the best time for a France yacht charter?

The best time to enjoy a yacht charter along the French Riviera is from May to September when the weather is hottest, and the Mediterranean Sea is welcoming – ideal for making the most of your yacht’s water toys. The peak season runs from June to the end of August and is the busiest. May and September are considered the shoulder season and are great months to escape the crowds but enjoy wonderful weather.

Motor or sailing yacht charter in Southern France?

Whether you opt for a motor boat or sailing yacht charter in Southern France depends on your preferences. A motor boat typically offers larger volume, more onboard amenities, and enhanced comfort levels than a comparatively sized sailing yacht. On the other hand, sailing yachts are desired for the romance they offer and the enhanced connection charterers enjoy with the ocean. Of course, sailing yachts are more sustainable than motor yachts, using less fuel as they instead harness the power of the wind. Northrop and Johnson have a superb fleet of sailing yachts and motor boats for charter in Southern France, from 30 meters (98-foot) to more than 100 meters (382-foot). Contact our charter experts for the best selection of charter yachts on the French Riviera. 

What must I know about the wind and sailing in the French Riviera?

The French Riviera is one of the most popular sailing destinations in the Mediterranean, thanks to its superb sailing conditions, refined ports-of-call, picturesque coastline, and world-class marinas and service providers. The South of France boasts a minimal tidal range and calm winds from May to September, making it an excellent sailing destination. Northrop & Johnson has access to a spectacular selection of sailing boats for charter in the French Riviera, including the world’s finest vessels. Contact our team today. 

Which places do I want to be seen in on the French Riviera?

The French Riviera has long been the favored destination for celebrities, VIPs, royalty, and tech titans. The most exclusive destinations to see and be seen during a superyacht charter include: 

  • Les Caves du Roy (St. Tropez)
  • Club 55 (St. Tropez)
  • La Guérite (Ile Sainte Marguerite, off of the coats of Cannes)
  • Club Dauphin (Cap Ferrat)
  • Jimmy’z Monte Carlo (Monaco)
  • Monte Carlo Beach (Monaco)

What are the best events to attend on a South of France yacht charter?

Some of the best events to attend during a South of France yacht rental include:

The best yachts are in high demand during these sought-after events, with many hosting extravagant parties. Contact Northrop & Johnson’s team to reserve your vessel if you want to attend any of these events. 

What do I have to consider when chartering a yacht in the South of France?

As one of the most sought-after cruising destinations in the Mediterranean, the best charter yachts are typically booked months in advance. Marina berths are also often booked months in advance, especially around key events such as the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, the Cannes Film Festival, and the Monaco Yacht Show. To be sure that you take advantage of the best selection of yachts and marina berths, especially those in the most exclusive such as Port Hercules and St Tropez, be sure to reserve your yacht rental in advance. Contact the team at Northrop & Johnson and let us curate a holiday of a lifetime along the Cote d’Azur.

How much in advance should I book a South of France yacht rental?

It’s best to book your South of France boat rental as far in advance as possible to ensure the best selection of charter vessels and marina berths. Typically crewed luxury yachts are booked around six months in advance. However, some charter yachts do have last-minute availability, although itineraries might be more limited in their scope. If you want to rent a luxury yacht in the South of France, contact the charter experts at Northrop & Johnson. 

How do I get a mooring in St Tropez?

Berths in the St. Tropez Port are booked months in advance. The best way to secure a berth in the St. Tropez Port is to book on the 1st of January when the booking system opens for the coming season. It’s essential to book quickly as the harbor is small. If you cannot secure a berth, you must anchor outside the harbor and tender into town.

How do I get a mooring in Monaco?

The best way to secure mooring in Monaco is through a reputable yacht brokerage, such as Northrop & Johnson. Mooring in Monaco is always in high demand, especially during key events such as the F1 Grand Prix. Monaco has two ports; Port Hercules in the district of La Condamine and Port Fontvieille in the district of Fontvieille. A third port, Cala del Forte, is located in Ventimiglia, Italy and is operated by Monaco Ports. Those berthing at the port can enjoy direct boat transfers to and from the principality.

How do I get reservations for the most exclusive clubs and restaurants on the French Riviera?

Contact luxury yacht brokerage Northrop & Johnson. Our team of charter specialists boasts excellent connections along the French Riviera, ensuring we can secure your reservations at the most exclusive clubs and restaurants. 

Where can I embark on a yacht charter on the Cote d’Azur?

You can embark your charter yacht at almost any destination along the Cote d’Azur. However, popular embarkation spots include Monaco, Nice, St Tropez, and Cannes. All of these destinations are easily accessible and are close to private jet terminals and heliports.

Which airports are on the French Riviera?

The following airports and heliports are located along the French Riviera: 

  • L’ Aéroport de Nice Côte d’Azur (International Airport)
  • Marseille Provence Airport (International Airport)
  • Aéroport du Golfe de Saint-Tropez (Private aviation only)
  • Cannes Mandelieu Airport (Private aviation only)
  • Toulon–Hyères Airport
  • Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport (International Airport)
  • Monaco Heliport

How much does it cost to charter a yacht on the French Riviera?

The cost of a  yacht rental in the French Riviera will depend on the size of the boat, the shipbuilder, the yacht’s onboard amenities, your itinerary, and whether your yacht charter is during the peak season. Expect to pay a minimum of US$50,000 per week for smaller boats and up to 1 million plus for the world’s finest superyachts. Northrop & Johnson’s charter specialists can work within your budget to secure the best yacht that meets your needs. Contact us today. 

What is the VAT for a yacht charter in France?

The VAT – Value Added Tax – for a yacht charter in France is 20%. The VAT will be automatically added to your charter fee by your charter broker, so all you need to do is relax and enjoy a vacation of a lifetime.

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