How to shop, play and party at this year's Monaco Yacht Show
Tempus’s essential guide to the biggest event on the international superyachting calendar
September is superyacht show season, and while there are much-anticipated events happening everywhere from Cannes to Southampton, the Monaco Yacht Show, which runs for four champagne-fuelled days from 27 - 30 September, is undisputedly where it’s at – along with all the biggest yachts of the bunch. This year’s show is expected to bring more than 125 of the world’s latest and greatest mega yachts to Port Hercules, and some of the wealthiest customers on the planet will be flying in on their private jets to have a good look around. Air kisses and showy reunions of the rich and even richer abound, but for first-timers, it can be hard to know where to start. Here’s our starter for ten…
How to party
The Monaco Yacht Show has a party scene that will break the weak and reward the strong. Go armed with as much self-control as you can muster and you might just survive. The patter along the docks usually consists of those lamenting the hangovers from the night before and those planning their next one. Often both at once. The only thing standing in the way of four days of consecutive decadence is an invite. Most events at Monaco are invite-only and you’ll struggle to break through the red rope without one. Nicholas Frankl who runs My Yacht Group is the man to know. He makes a living out of throwing parties for the super rich on board superyachts everywhere from St Bart’s to Art Basel Miami, and this year is no different. Bag an invite to his charity bash during the show and you could be rubbing shoulders with celebrities and A-listers on board Legend, a 77.4m explorer yacht. Didn’t make the cut? All is not lost – sooner or later, even the VIPS want to break down the barriers and party with the hoi polloi. Jimmy’z is a favourite among the champagne-spraying crowds, along with Quai des Artistes and Buddha Bar.
How to shop
Once you’ve got a few glasses of champagne down your neck, you might be feeling ready to splash some cash. Serious cash. The collection of boats on sale at Monaco Yacht Show is second to none – but soon enough, even the initially awestruck become desensitised to such outrageous levels of ostentation. One of the biggest hitters this year is Okto, a 66m beast of a boat with a swimming pool, helipad and – the best bit – a balcony, which opens out from the owner’s cabin at the touch of a button. There’s even a special ‘air curtain’ to keep bugs at bay. If €54.5m (£50m) is out of your budget, there are plenty more to choose from. Rainbow, at €10.5m (£9.6m) is positively cheap by Monaco Yacht Show standards, and she’s a gorgeous looking thing. Built as a replica of the original Rainbow, a J Class sailing yacht that won the America’s Cup back in 1934, this updated version is the perfect combination of classic looks and up-to-the-minute technology. For any sailing fanatics who were over in Bermuda for this year’s adrenalin-fuelled America’s Cup, this one could tug at the heart (and purse) strings. Sealyon, meanwhile, with interiors by the formidable duo that is Candy & Candy is also bound to cause a stir. At 62m, she’s one of the biggest on sale this year, and she’s won multiple awards for her sleek looks and extraordinary design. The lucky buyer will be able to lounge on a split-level sundeck, where a rotating sunbed ensures you won’t have to move a muscle all day to top up that tan. A Jacuzzi fit for twelve, plus a fully kitted-out media room, glass elevator and an outdoor cinema, should prove the icing on the cake, and then some.
How to play
Once you’ve walked the signature blue carpets, padded barefoot around all of your favourite boats and drunk enough champagne to fill Okto’s six-metre swimming pool, it’s time to indulge in some of the other fun the show has on offer. For the second year running, a prestige car exhibition will run alongside the main event, and there are test drives galore from the likes of McLaren, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Bentley. Next door, at the Tenders and Toy Show, more fun lies in store. For the uninitiated, every superyacht worth its salt must have a well-stocked ‘toy garage’ in order to keep up with the Joneses. FunAir is a good brand to start with – specialising in inflatables to use on a yacht. Think towering water slides that fling you into the sea from the top deck, climbing walls and even floating golf holes for those who can’t bear to part with their clubs at sea. More adventurous yacht owners take things to another level, literally, and splash out on a submarine. Triton is one of the big name brands, selling subs fit for up to three people at a time. So, once you’ve explored your favourite destination to your heart’s content, take the plunge down to 1,000 metres and see it from below. Those who want to show off their underwater adventures might want to take a look at iBubble, a drone that follows you around underwater, hands-free. Who said toys were just for kids?