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Yachting: Article

Monaco Yacht Show 2005 - A Look Back To Last Year's Event

A Regal Affair - News and Views From The Monaco Yacht Show 2004, What Was News Last Year?

International Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine - Monaco Yacht Show Live Coverage 

Here Is What We Reported From Last Year's 14th Annual Monaco Yacht Show
Now in its 14th year, the Monaco Yacht Show, under the High Patronage of Their Serene Highnesses Prince Rainier and Prince Albert of Monaco, is synonymous with superyachts - and boy are they big!

 The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) is the only nautical trade show in the world with a focus on boats of 20m and over. A fixed point on the calendar for the luxury super- and megayacht industry, it was held September 22-25 in prestigious Port Hercules.

Organizer Luc Pettavino believes that the decision to target a very specific niche - the top end of the luxury market - has been the key to success. And when you set your eyes on the impressive array of gigantic and sumptuous yachts with their tall masts reaching up toward the French Alps you cannot help but be impressed. This year the sun shone brilliantly - as it always does, I was told by happy exhibitors - and despite a freak hailstorm on Friday night the weather more than cooperated with temperatures at a high of 27C.

It's quite a feat for the tiny world of Monaco to play host to the world's superyachts, as the Principality is only a few miles in diameter and the modern and belle époque buildings cling to the sheer cliffs that surround the world-renowned Mediterranean paradise. Monaco's spectacular and well-positioned port accommodates visitors from all over the world, and a number of its international residents and Monegasques live full-time on their yachts.

This year's show was the biggest and most successful yet, with 93 yachts in the water, 500 exhibitors from 27 countries, and 21,000 visitors according to the satisfied organizers.

 A clear advantage of this show is its prestigious location, which attracts the world's wealth to this income tax-free zone, and its proximity to Italy, a few kilometers to the east and home to the biggest boat builders. Its accessibility also facilitates many yachts to travel here so visitors can view them in the water, a clear advantage. Potential buyers were able to avail themselves of trial runs from this picturesque port on the Riviera, allowing them a speedy shop-around in one location for their dream yacht.

Big Is Beautiful
If it's big you want, then Monaco caters to this need. This year seven superyachts over 60m were presented and on show at the new breakwater. Many owners selling boats were also there to upgrade and take a peek at the latest, biggest yachts on the market today. They had a wide choice with many yachts premiering at the show. Two megayachts from the Greek shipyard, Sete Yachts, were the largest on display: Alexander at 400'2" (121.97m) and Turama at 381'11" (116.41m). The next nearest in length was O'Mega presented by Nigel Burgess at 270'8" (82.5m). And four beauties all over 60m (197ft) were introduced: Utopia, White Rose of Drachs, Phoenix, and Alfa Four.

Minority Report on Charters
Although Monaco is primarily a seller's show, charter business is also active. A spokesperson for one charter company located in the Principality said, "Although I get less people interested in charters I have more of an opportunity to spend quality time with those who do stop by the stand, especially first-timers." She said some people are intimidated by the superyachts but there is an entry level for everyone in chartering. Several of her clients last year chartered for the first time as a result of dropping in on Monaco. A lot of tourists come to the show expecting just to browse and wonder in awe at the yachts, but you can step on board and even get taken out for a trial. The lavish, sleek, and spacious interiors are worth seeing, from teak decks, marble bathrooms, and Jacuzzis to wide-screen TVs and panoramic glass windows that show off the views.

 The Mediterranean is the perfect location for chartering because within a short time and short distance you can cover a lot of water destinations; from Monaco you can set sail to take in the ports of Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez. A four-hour sail to Corsica takes you to a near untouched coastline.

Daniela Parnoffo of Fraser Yachts said that this year was a great success for them. "We have had lots of inquiries, but it's only afterwards that you get the real feedback. At the show people digest all the information and ponder the vast selection so they contact us afterwards." Fraser had seven yachts for sale, ranging from under $5 million to over $25 million, and one for charter, Noa VII, a 158ft, five-cabin cruiser. Princess Tanya was Fraser's largest yacht on offer at 188'11" (57.6m).

Who Visited?
Quite a number of Americans attended; the timing of this show gives American tourists and other nationalities a reason to linger on after their vacation and enjoy the Riviera rather than return to the hurricane-blown east coast. This year they got more for their money (entrance ticket is 40 Euros) with extra air-conditioned tents on the new breakwater, displaying everything you could possibly need for your yacht. The Darse Sud quai was also used for the first time with the creation of 700sqm of tent space.

 Anyone for a Race?
Details were announced at the MYS for a race from New Zealand to Cairns, Australia in 2006; yachts over 30m are invited to participate. Contests, shore-side events, and parties will of course be planned along the way! Interested yachts, captains, and owners can view further information at

Taking Her Back Home
Dockwise Yacht Transport announced their new dedicated high-speed yacht transport vessel, the first of its kind with a unique float-on/float-off capability. Measuring 205m (674ft), the vessel is planned to undertake regularly scheduled voyages from the U.S. to the Mediterranean, set to start in 2006. With an average speed of 18 knots, a swift eight-day crossing is guaranteed.

Sail Away to Somewhere New
Representatives from new marinas, such as Tarragone in Spain and the new upgraded port on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean were present to promote their destinations. But the crème de la crème destination, which stunned visitors with its originality and the sheer magnitude and opulence, was a new real estate project in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Called "The World," the wealthiest citizens on earth can buy private, man-made islands, representing and shaped like countries, and configured in the shape of the world. Each island will have its own private marina, and access of course is strictly limited to the sea, ensuring privacy. Within "The World," luxury facilities will be provided so you won't have to venture out into the "real world;" your every need will be catered to within its private boundaries. Everyone I met at the show agreed that Dubai is the new high-caliber destination for the elite rich. Several high-profile buyers from Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East have already expressed interest in owning and developing islands at this offshore site, due for completion in 2008. There was even talk of an underwater city being built off the coast of Dubai. Construction on an underwater hotel has already begun. Watch this space for more details.

A Bird's-eye View
A super way to see superyachts is from above. A helicopter trip with Heli Air Monaco or Azur Helicoptere afforded many visitors a better view of what yachts were on offer, not to mention the breathtaking view of Port Hercules in its privileged position between neighboring France and Italy.

Prince in Shining Armor
HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, known for his patronage of many charities, came to the aid of an admirable cause, Muscular Dystrophy, in an effort to raise funds for the organization's ongoing research. For the first time at the MYS some 20 luxurious and totally unique items were up for sale, the proceeds of which were donated to MD. HSH Prince Albert had personally gone to Switzerland to design an exclusive Chronographe Blancpain Flyback watch. It is the only Blancpain watch with a red face and the numbers in white (the two colors of both Monaco and Switzerland and of the logo of the MD Association).

 Party Time at the Port
Each evening once the sun set on the hot Riviera and dusk fell, the spotlight turned to the fairy-tale castle of the Prince's family on top of the cliff called "the Rock." The mood changed from the hectic rush to see all the yachts before they sail away to a convivial atmosphere with champagne corks popping to toast a new yacht acquisition or just simply to enjoy the unique experience. The Captains' Party took place on Friday evening at Monaco's prestigious yacht club. Cocktail parties and dinners were held in the exquisite dining establishments, and the Hôtel de Paris, opposite the casino was a favorite. On the port, the "in" après-dinner haunt was Jimmy'z, a favorite of the younger Prince, where the crème de la crème of Monegasque society lingered to the tunes of live music.

Mini Superyacht Me
For those of you who didn't buy a superyacht or can't afford the expense or time to maintain one, you may be tempted to indulge in a model version. Worldrenowned model makers Berti & Lewis Replicas produce the finest handcrafted scale models for collectors and corporations. The quality craftsmanship offers you the pleasure of enjoying a unique model of the real thing - perfect for those days at your desk when you'd rather be on deck!

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When the Monaco Yacht Show 2004 came to a close, everyone was looking forward to 2005. The show will go on, same time, same place, but upgraded even more.

Monaco Yacht Club Turns 50
Classic yacht enthusiasts know all about the Monaco Yacht Club as it initiated and coordinates the famous Prada Challenge, which brings together some of the most beautiful boats in the world for six weeks in September and October. Some of these yachts date back to the 19th century. The Club itself is getting on in years - it celebrated its 50th anniversary last year in the presence of its founder Prince Rainier III, who delighted privileged special guests and 500 of its members by cutting a giant three-tiered cake for the occasion.

His Serene Highness, who followed in the footsteps of his famous "Prince of the Sea" grandfather Prince Albert I, handed over the presidency of the club to his son and heir Prince Albert in 1984. The younger Rainer has breathed new life into the club by introducing a host of yachting events for motor and sail boats, including a laser competition that attracts 150?200 participants every year and The Primo Cup for Monohulls. It also hosts the Monte Carlo Game Fish Tournament.

The club has achieved some sporting awards, including coming in second in the 1997/98 Whitbread round-the-world race with its own boat, Merit Cup, skippered by Grant Dalton.

Younger Monegasques are encouraged to join the sailing school and learn the ropes. The Club remains a key element of the new harbor development at Port Hercules.

More Stories By Paula Farquharson

Paula Farquharson is an editor of The Riviera Times newspaper. Originally
from Ireland, she worked in New York and is now based in Nice, France,
where she learned to sail.

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