ESTELA visit to Cannes Yachting Festival 2021

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The 2021 edition of the Yachting Festival was an undisputed success. With many shows cancelled since last year, people’s appetite to get back to business appeared strong.

Crowd numbers were on par with recent editions of the Cannes show, though the number of exhibitors was understandably down on previous years. As they had in Palma in June this year, many exhibitors held their powder dry, with some marketing budgets paused until 2022.

As usual, the show consisted of three distinct areas. Vieux Port, one of the oldest harbours on the French Riviera, was the showcase of prestigious new boats, presented by many of Europe’s major shipyards. Port Canto, a short hop across the water via a courtesy tender service, was devoted to large used yachts and water toys, while across the pontoon bridge lay the sailing area, featuring sailing boats, monohulls and multihulls. 

The various COVID-related health measurements barely impinged on the enjoyment to be had from viewing many world yacht premieres and the wide array of watertoys always on show here. Indeed, several attendees we spoke to suggested that Cannes benefited from a more expensive and restrictive forthcoming Monaco Yacht Show.

An innovation we could have done without was forcing all visitors to divert via the indoor ‘luxury gallery’ on their way into the show, which was pointless and irritating. However, a welcome feature was the introduction of food trucks at Port Canto, serving a range of popular takeaway options, to be consumed in the nearby outdoor dining area. 

The Cannes Yachting Festival is a relaxed affair, so we had the pleasure of stepping on board a number of boats in-show, including a demo of Iguana’s amphibious tender, with its tracks driving passengers right onto the beach! Video of this amazing machine and other clips from the show can be found here.

We are already looking forward to next year!