Preview: The Best Of The 2023 Cannes Yachting Festival

With less than two weeks until the start of the European yacht festival season, some of the world’s best yachts are setting sail for the southern France for the inaugural event, the Cannes Yachting Festival (12-17 September).

As the largest in-water boat show in Europe, the annual festival is an excellent showcase of the latest launches and innovations from the nautical world. This year, guests can discover around 130 yachts, including many world premieres. New for 2023 is a new small boat marina plus activations themed around the concept of ‘green’ yachting.

As the festival starts to take shape in Vieux Port, Sylvie Ernoult, Director of the Cannes Yachting Festival, reveals the highlights that guests should discover, and what she’s most excited about.

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s show?

As is the case each year, the official opening day on the Tuesday morning at 10am, is the day my teams and I have been waiting impatiently for, and of course with an element of stress! Designing and building a festival of this size is no mean feat but we always do it enthusiastically, and aim to satisfy our clients, to serve the nautical industry, and to give our visitors the best event possible… We want to give each boat, each brand, the best showcase. I hope that our visitors will find the boat or equipment of their dreams and will see all new the creations from the industry. This year our priority is to accompany our clients and therefore the industry, to develop, present and communicate on their progress in clean evolution.

Are there any new novelties you’re showcasing this year?

This year we will be inaugurating a small boat marina in the Vieux Port to develop the 8-12m boat segment. There will be around fifty of them. This small new boat area is in the centre of the Vieux Port next to the RIB area. There is significant demand from our visitors for small boats, especially on the French market, and our exhibitors want to exhibit smaller boats in-water so they can give their customers the opportunity to jump onboard, and even to go for a sea trial occasionally.

Please talk us through some of the most exciting premieres and exhibitors.

Visitors will be able to see more than 130 boats presented as for the first time in the world. They will also take part in a show showing an eclectic offer. Most major players in the yachting industry gather in Cannes in September to open the nautical season and exhibit their new products and world premieres. The Cannes Yachting Festival is a real showcase for the jewels of the seas. The show presents a very wide range of boats from 5 to 50m long, motor and sailing boats, monohulls and multihulls, new and brokerage yachts, highlighting the unique know-how and craftsmanship in shipbuilding.

For 2023, we are expecting 130 world premieres, more than 700 boats and around 610 exhibitors. Among the premieres, our visitors will have the chance to see the Lomac Granturismo 14.0, the Solaris Power 52 New, The Prestige M8, the Centouno Vespro, the Fountaine Pajot New 80, the Azimut Magellano 60 or the Baglietto T52.

Also, this year many exhibitors are showing green novelties. Shipyards have been making great efforts for several years to develop a new range of more eco-friendly boats that adapt to the times thanks to new, greener energies with electric, hybrid or hydrogen propulsion. And there are more premieres to discover on our website.

What continues to set the Cannes Yachting Festival apart from the other shows on the annual schedule?

This is the inaugural event of the nautical season and the largest in-water boat show in Europe. From the Vieux Port to Port Canto, from one end of the famous Croisette to the other, the best of the international offer in motor and sailing, monohull and multihull boats will be present. The Yachting Festival has been a key event in the yachting world for the past 45 years. Last year, it attracted more than 55,000 visitors from all over the world and 600 exhibitors. Showing an eclectic offer, all the major players in the yachting industry gather in Cannes to open the nautical season and exhibit their new products and world premieres.

Another things that make this show unique are the magical city of Cannes in the heart of the French Riviera, with its famous Old Town, five-star hotels, the Croisette and luxury boutiques… For visitors coming to the Cannes Festival, it’s more than a great visit to the biggest European in water-show. It is also a real pleasure to walk outdoors on the pontoons and enjoy the magical environment and great weather of the Bay of Cannes. The Vieux Port and Port Canto provides an extraordinary setting for welcoming our visitors so they can discover more than 700 boats.

How have you collaborated with the city to expand the festival beyond the marina?

We work hand-in-hand with the city and all local authorities. A partnership like this is essential for producing a show like the Cannes Yachting Festival. Many local players are involved in our work like the security commission, the port and maritime authorities, the area managers (Palais des Festivals, the Marina Vieux Port de Cannes and Port Canto) and a lot of technical experts. The show team met all of them every five or six weeks throughout the year to present and discuss the layouts for 2023 and the coming show and its different projects.

The challenge is to develop the show and meet our clients’ needs and the industry’s evolution while fully respecting security issues and technical constraints. This requires long and highly collaborative work with experts all year long. We all love the sea and share the same passion in taking up the challenge of organizing such an amazing show.

How is the festival working to change opinions or impressions of the yachting industry?

The show supports exhibitors in giving visibility to their green innovations and sets up actions does to make itself greener.

We have two lines of development and communication. The first line relates to our exhibitors and the fact that they are setting a course towards ecology with increasingly environmentally-friendly boats, products and services. To do so, we created the “Green Route”: a guided tour that includes everything that is noteworthy, based solely on exhibitors’ eco-friendly innovations in this field – 60 exhibitors out of 610 are part of it. We also showcase small electric and hybrid boats in a dedicated area.

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