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When you visit the Mediterranean, it is not hard to be swept up by the conspicuous wealth.


Nothing stands out more in that regard than the turquoise-watered marinas berthing a plethora of luxury yachts.


After all, the Côte d’Azur is where the super-rich come to play and relax in style on their own floating hotels in the world’s most glamorous ports.



In Monaco harbour — I so wanted to know who owns this megayacht!/Yachting on the Riviera


In Monaco, a principality of only 2 square kilometres, the marinas are jammed with sailboats and yachts of all sizes./Yachting on the Riviera



On my travels from Monaco to St. Tropez, I was impressed with the number of megayachts, which by definition are those longer than 78 metres/255 feet.


We are talking up to 600 feet,  the equivalent of half an aircraft carrier, or the height of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.


In addition to multiple cabins, deluxe bathrooms, living rooms, lounges, dining areas, libraries, superyachts can include other special features such as saunas, steam rooms, massage rooms, hair and nail parlours, gyms, swimming pools, jacuzzis, wet bars, underwater observation rooms, helicopter landing pads, cinemas and new-technology glass portals and some can accommodate as many as 30 or 40 guests and 60 crew members.


A modest yacht in Cannes/Yachting on the Riviera

Luxury Yacht Owners – Who Are They?


The owners tend to be primarily ultra-rich Americans, Arabs and Russians. In fact, France recently seized two yachts owned by Russian business people close to the Kremlin as part of sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. (I wonder where they took them?)


You also wonder how often the owners actually use their “boats” because, for instance, down at marina level in Cannes, most were resting in the harbour with no one about and no name on the side.

Like abandoned ghostly mansions.


It seems such a waste especially when I looked up what it costs just to dock one’s megayacht for the day.


Anywhere from  3700 euros (about $4000 USD) or more, and in Monaco, for the privilege of being there during the Grand Prix, rates for a large berth jump to 18,000 or $20,000 euros a day.


The view from another vantage point in Monaco


Docked in one of the marinas in Cannes



Then there is the actual purchase price.


I was naive about this — thinking they might be in the range of a luxury Hollywood celebrity home as in let’s say $20 million give or take.


The Ulysses/Yachting on the Riviera


Duh! — Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame bought the 170 metre/550 feet Ulysses in Monaco for $150 million with, among the usual stuff, a private helicopter, a separate 24-meter tender boat, an extra 4×4 car and a motorcycle.  (However, he is probably too busy to relax even for a second on it. He probably heads right to a super-deluxe computer room.)


Rent this 96-metre/315-foot long yacht for only 300,000 euros a day! Holds 12 passengers, has 31 crew, and 7 cabins/Yachting on the Riviera


Renting or Chartering A Luxury Yacht


Strolling with my closest friend (a yacht enthusiast) in one of the prime marinas in Cannes, we did notice a large crew preparing an approximately 24-metre/80-foot yacht for an event.


Flowers arrived, crew members arranged deck furniture, brought out bottles of wine, and then a very elegant lady stepped out of a limo laden with shopping bags with designer labels. One of the crew took her arm to help her onboard.


Was she the owner, a guest, or chartering it for the day? —  even renting a small yacht on the Riviera for a day can run between 3000 and 10,000 euros.


Yachts worth from $50M to $100M USD can be chartered too but the cost will be anywhere between 45,000 to 300,000 euros a day.

I wouldn’t mind being able to take a peek inside one of these babies but I guess I will have to be satisfied with examining them from the dry dock.
What is your experience with yachts?  Or boating? Or very rich people who own megayachts?
Love your stories. Please comment at the end of this blog further down.
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  1. Catherine Willis-O'Connor on June 26, 2022 at 8:45 am

    I personally like 12’ row boats.
    More personal.

  2. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on June 26, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    My yachting experience started and ended at Britannia Yacht Club in Ottawa! Mostly 2-person boats! Nice to sail around Britannia Bay – but not when the wind came up!
    I once saw the mega-yachts in Monaco Harbour – strictly for the uber-rich!

  3. Trudy Van Buskirk on June 26, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    OHHHH!!! Yachts!!! I am (or was) a sailor mainly in Lake Ontario around Toronto. My ex and I rented a 39′ sailboat in 1984 in the British Virgin Islands for 2 weeks, AND when I lived in SF in the late 90s I co-owned a 37’sailboat and sailed in SF Bay often!!! Funnily, I’m currently writing a vignette to be used in my memoir about sailing in SF Bay in the fog. Wow – sailing brings you close to nature – the wind, water and sunshine – the best!!!

    • Diana Bishop on July 5, 2022 at 11:54 am

      Hey so glad to hear that you are writing a memoir Trudy! I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for the comment. As always I appreciate your support! Diana

  4. gailtschilling on June 26, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    What a fun read — and sharp contrast to my Windjammer tour off Maine last summer! My knitting cruise on the J & E Riggin (120 ft.) out of Rockland emphasized good food on deck and camaraderie instead of luxury. We guests actually hauled the anchor and furled the sails! My berth was the essence of compact: I could open the door, turn the tap and brush teeth while sitting in bed. Ultra cozy!

    • Diana Bishop on July 5, 2022 at 11:56 am

      Wow.. that does sound ultra-cozy. I hope you are doing well Gail. Love to know what you are working on now? Diana

  5. Diana Winkler on June 26, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    It’s funny that my Dad was a Navy veteran and we were raised on sailboats, but none of us kids like to sail or go boating lol! I enjoyed the pictures!

  6. Juliette Wood on June 27, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    I have heard of various websites and apps that allow you to search for boat registration such as!
    Maybe you could find the owner of the super yacht!!

    • Diana Bishop on July 5, 2022 at 11:57 am

      Oh yes, and ask them for a tour??? I would love to see the inside of one of these monster yachts. Great to hear from you, Juliette. I hope you are enjoying the summer! Thanks for the comment Diana

  7. Shardie Stevenson on June 28, 2022 at 7:23 am

    As you know , I was absolutely mesmerized by the mega yachts in Cannes and along the Cote dAzur! I spent many hours on my own strolling the marinas in Cannes gawking at them , when we were there recently. As a boating enthusiast years ago and then , insuring some smaller luxury yachts for clients in the Bahamas and Vancouver , I have long been fascinated by these and wonder who owns them! I would have loved to have been in Cannes for the Film Festival when they are all in port to party . Lifestyles of the rich and famous! 😎

    • Diana Bishop on July 5, 2022 at 11:58 am

      Shardie, you were definitely the inspiration for this blog. I was not that interested in yachting until you suggested we visit the marina in Cannes. Wow. What an eye-opening experience for me!

  8. Margaret Ann Gendreau on June 28, 2022 at 11:54 pm

    Happy sailing Diana! Don’t we wish? When entering the harbour at Villefranche-sur-Mer a couple of years ago the Christina O was anchored. It took us back to another era seeing it there. It was owned by an Irish couple at the time, Ivor and Susan Fitzpatrick.

    • Diana Bishop on July 5, 2022 at 12:02 pm

      I am in love with Ville-Franche-sur-Mer. Was looking at fractional ownership there! The first time I saw this delightful harbour village was on a cruise. I woke up in the morning after we sailed from Barcelona overnight to the view and my heart stopped. I can see that yachts like the Christina O would anchor there!
      Great to hear from you as always! Happy Summer, Diana

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