This year’s Cannes Yachting Festival was arguably one of the most successful of its 39-year run. The event is Europe’s largest in-water show, and the unofficial start to yacht show season. During its six-day run—which saw a record launch of 191 new models—more than 51,000 people from 40 countries (also a record) perused the rows of 630 gleaming superyachts, express cruisers, and sailing yachts in both ports of the Cannes Croisette.
The mood was certainly festive among showgoers, but even the exhibitors were more excited than usual this year. “We were flabbergasted,” notes Petra Jetten of the Dutch builder, Jetten Shipyard, which debuted its new Beach 45. “We had so many sea trials. We’re very happy.” That sense of exhileration seemed to permeate across the docks, with the sailboat and multihull displays both proving highly popular venues. Altogether, the masts of 120 sailboats—or about 20 percent of vessels on display—rose high above the water, lines slapping against the masts.
New this year was La Terrasse, an area devoted to luxury homes that sat adjacent to Festival beach. The site, built on a pier and offering exceptional views of the boat show, Bay of Cannes, and nearby islands, hosted some of the world’s finest custom furniture and home décor brands. Showgoers were also treated to the second-annual Concours d’Elegance, a parade of vintage and modern boats in Cannes Vieux Port. The flotilla of beautiful boats, reflecting some of yachting’s finest historic designs, was celebrated by hundreds of onlookers from Festival beach.
But don’t worry if you couldn’t make it to France for the show. Here we present the 11 boats that most captivated our attention at the 2016 Cannes Yachting Festival. (cannesyachtingfestival.com)