Each September, hundreds of boats and tens of thousands of yachting enthusiasts and industry professionals set sail for the French Riviera for the first major event of the season, the Cannes Yachting Festival. This year, more than 650 yachts arrived in Cannes for the anticipated exhibit, which has been running for over 45 years and remains the largest in-water show in Europe.
The festival took place over six days from 12-17 September and IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes, one of the oldest harbours on the Riviera, was once again at the heart of the show.
“The Cannes Yachting Festival has proven to be another success for IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes this year. The port has not only welcomed an impressive fleet of luxury yachts but has also played a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless execution of this prestigious event,” says Debbie Parsons-Randle, IGY Marketing Director - Europe. “From providing top-notch amenities and services to attendees and exhibitors to offering a stunning backdrop for showcasing these impressive vessels, our partnership with the festival has flourished.”
In 2023, more than 650 boats ranging from 5-50 metres in length were showcased in IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes. This year there were over 130 world premieres, the largest of which was the T52 from Italian shipyard Baglietto, exhibited in the superyacht area.
Fresh for 2023, and following demand from exhibitors, a new area within IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes was created for boats ranging from 8-12 metres. The space proved to be a success with around 50 small boats showcased during the event.
Visitors also had the opportunity to discover the latest innovations and launches in nautical equipment, toys and technology in the expansive exhibition centre within IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes, which also provided welcome respite from the strong Riviera sun.
“The feedback from yacht owners, industry professionals, and festival goers has been overwhelmingly positive, emphasising the convenience and world-class facilities provided by IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes,” Parsons-Randle adds. “This year, the port has truly elevated the Cannes Yachting Festival experience, further solidifying its status as a premier destination for events, yachting enthusiasts, and the industry as a whole.”
Other highlight debuts included 44.3-metre UV II by Isa Yachts (the largest new-build yacht at the show), the Riva 82’ Diva flybridge, the Azimut Magellano 60, the Lomac Granturismo 14.0, the Solaris Power 52 New and the Centounonavi – Vespro. A surprise premiere, which sailed into IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes on Wednesday straight from the Ferretti Yachts shipyard, was the new 27-metre spaceship-like INFYNITO 90.
The multihull sector saw numerous global debuts throughout the show, including the 80 Sunreef Power Eco, which was celebrated at a press conference hosted by British explorer Mike Horn; the all-pink 25-metre catamaran from VisionF; and the Prestige M80. Across the bay in Port Canto, over 100 sailing yachts were showcased, including several from Nautor Swan, which also launched a new motorboat, Swan Shadow, over the water in IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes. Tenders transported guests of the show easily between the two participating marinas.
The 2023 Cannes Yachting Festival was also a fitting opportunity for IGY to showcase its new sponsorship and events platform, IGY Media, launched earlier this year. Romina Bompani, Global Sponsorship & Event Sales Director at IGY, used the opportunity of the festival to spread the news of the launch among European brands and begin forming partnerships that align with the company.
“We have a powerful network of 23 premium locations in all well-known superyacht destinations, and with IGY Media, we are looking at strategic partnerships with selected brands who have synergies with IGY,” she says.
“For our partners, we offer awareness through our network and audiences. We include advertising in our digital communications, through web media, newsletters, captains’ destination guides, and all the different touch points that could assist our partners. In parallel, not only here in IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes but in other properties, we have spaces for the brands to come and develop their events. There are many possibilities, from private gatherings to private boat shows. We are also exploring opportunities to place signage in the marinas.”
Networking in style
As the show started to wind down on Friday evening, IGY hosted a special event and cocktail party at the IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes office for a select group of guests.
“We had the opportunity to host around 30 captains and leading people within the field, such as the director of the port, for a presentation about IGY as well as the port and nearby facilities followed by sundowner drinks. It was well received and well attended by a range of stakeholders, including captains, brokers, and people we wanted to touch base with here,” says Parsons-Randle.
“Overall, the event – and show – was a great success, and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership with the Cannes Yachting Festival in the years to come.”