Many couples who plan to get married on the French Riviera think about a yacht as a possible venue for their wedding reception or even wedding ceremony. It’s true that yachts are a magnificent way to fully appreciate the beautiful Mediterranean coastline; however the vast majority of yachts on the market for hire are not particularly well adapted for events such as wedding receptions.
Yachts are most commonly booked through yacht brokers; companies specialised in the hire of yachts to the public. Vessels come full service with a captain, crew and chef. The on board crew and the chef are usually perfectly adept to managing and preparing small dinners and intimate cocktail and canapé receptions. However for larger events, they will most likely not have the facilities on board to cater for large groups. In this instance, a caterer specialised in on-board catering on yachts can be called in. Most of the caterers in the wedding caterer section of this website will have the expertise in order to provide on-board catering.
There are two types of yacht, those that are classed as commercial vessels and those that are for private use only. Private yachts have a very small legal maximum capacity when at sea due to maritime security regulations (around 10 to 15); the capacity does however increase for events held at port and depends on the size of the yacht. For me however, holding an event at harbour really defeats the object of using a yacht for an event in the first place. Boats classed as commercial vessels on the other hand have a much greater ‘at sea’ capacity, as much as 100-150 for large yachts of approximately 70 to 80 meters in length. The appropriate way to hold an event on a commercial yacht would be for guests to board at the quay (jetty), when all guests are aboard the yacht would then leave the port for a cruise and would return to the quay to allow for guests to disembark at the end of the evening. A fabulous commercial vessel available for wedding receptions on the French Riviera is the SS Delphine. In terms of budget, you should allow for a cost of between 40 000 and 80 000 Euros per day depending on the season and availability. Another much more reasonably priced commercial vessel is the beautiful Italian sail yacht Signora Del Vento. The last time I enquired about the rental of Signora Del Vento for an event, it was at least half the price of the SS Delphine.
You should be aware that yachts are extremely costly. Aside from the cost of the hire of the yacht, other charges need to be allowed for such as fuel and a berth at quay (quite literally a parking space for the yacht). For the majority of large yachts, the maritime authorities impose the presence of a monitor on board to ensure the vessel manoeuvres safely into and out of the port which is a supplementary yet minimal cost. Lastly port taxes should be paid which gives the yacht the right to enter into the port.
If your budget does not stretch to a commercial vessel and you are very keen for a yacht to feature somewhere in your wedding celebrations, why not rent a yacht with water sports equipment for a day out with your nearest and dearest the day before or after your wedding. Alternatively, you could rent a yacht for a 1 or 2 week cruise for your honeymoon.
Chartering a yacht for the first time can be quite daunting. You may not be familiar with the many terms used and feel a little lost. I advise that you have a read of the yacht charter guide that has been put together by Luxury Yacht Group, a fantastic yacht broker based in Antibes, the main port town on the French Riviera; http://www.luxyachts.com/Charter/how-to-charter.aspx.
Below you will find a few good local yacht brokers that I have selected for you should you wish to charter a yacht for your wedding:
- Luxury Yachts: great for medium to large yachts for events and holiday cruises around the med. Don’t hesitate to contact Marc Davidson on my behalf. www.luxyachts.com
- Easy Yachting: good for smaller boats for sightseeing day trips. www.easy-yachting.com
- AAKA: a fun catamaran hired out with a skipper for day trips along the coast. www.aaka.fr