Discover the 10 most outstanding yachts
Where are the most amazing yachts in the world?
The Côte d'Azur has been attracting the world's most beautiful yachts for over a hundred years. As early as 1893, Namouna James Gordon Bennett's 100-metre yacht stopped at Beaulieu-sur-Mer. There was also Gustave Eiffel's boat, the 48-metre Aïda, which the local fishermen may tell you about, as well as the boat of the Agnelli family - owners of the Villa Leopolda. Each yacht rivaled its neighbour in terms of size and the luxury offered to passengers.
Today, as in the past, we find the most beautiful boats in Saint Hospice's harbour. Due to the crowds, they now have to anchor more than 300 metres from the shore, opposite Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. These yachts are either owners' boats or charters, which can be rented for a week with the crew, starting at €100,000 for the most modest!
Some of these yachts sail and call in the Mediterranean regularly, especially along the French Riviera. On the occasion of a private tour accompanied by a seaZen guide from Beaulieu-sur-Mer or Juan-les-Pins, we will not fail to give you a friendly approach and a briefing on one of these fantastic yachts.
If you are also curious about the mythical villas of the French Riviera, we have prepared a file on the subject: the most beautiful villas of the Riviera to see during a private guided trip.
What are the 10 most outstanding yachts?
Yacht designers, driven by their clients, are exceptionally creative. We have photographed the most emblematic vessels. Some of them are very surprising.
#1 Sailing Yacht A: the most outstanding by far
Designed by Philippe Stark, the 143 m Sailing Yacht A is without a doubt the most outstanding of all. It is not a first for Philippe Stark who also designed Steve Jobs' yacht. The owner of Sailing Yacht A is a Russian billionaire very active in coal and chemicals. With its 3 masts, this "sailboat" is therefore supposed to sail. Every sailor on the French Riviera hopes to have the pleasure of seeing him hoist his sails one day.
#2 Eclipse: the superlative giga-yacht
With its 150 meters, this remarkable giga-yacht "eclipses" most other yachts. It is also one of the 10 largest yachts in the world, owned by Mr. Abramovitch, who restored the Château de la Croë.
#3 Galaxy of Happiness: at the forefront of eco-navigation
The Galaxy of Happiness, a hybrid trimaran that can run on electric power, stays almost all summer not far from the Villa de David Niven. If there is a luxury yacht that deserves the prize for eco-navigation, it is the Galaxy of Happiness. It is said that her amazing hydro-dynamic profile can also save 40% of fossil fuel energy, and of course she can run on 100% electricity.
#4 Blade: the convertible yacht
The Blade favours a tailor-made charter experience. This yacht offers a la carte service with a huge forward hold allowing to store "Water Toys" such as jet skis and jet skis. In addition, the stern makes it possible to go down on the water from a very outstanding articulated platform.
#5) Garçon: the waiter yacht at the service of yachts
How could you not notice the remarkable 'Garçon 4 Ace' yacht? A boat at the service of the ACE yacht to bring to her passengers helicopters, submarines, tenders or other toys for cruising on the French Riviera. The Garçon even has a hyperbaric chamber very useful for divers. The Garçon and Ace yachts are said to be owned by an Armenian or Ukrainian billionaire, this information is obviously difficult to check.
#6 Delphine: the steam yacht that wrote history
What happens to the old yachts? Some are fully restored. For example, the SS Delphine still runs on steam but also has a counter-current swimming pool, a gym and wi-fi without each room. Charged with a remarkable history, this yacht would have served as a preparation for the Yalta agreements between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill. After its last restoration, it was christened by the Princess of Monaco.
#7 Venus: the power of design at the service of Steeve Jobs
Philippe Starks designed the Venus yacht in 2007 at the request of Apple's founder. Those who have read Steve Jobs' biography will recognize the spirit of its founder in this outstanding design, refined to the maximum. The story goes that the deal between the two design geniuses with the oversized ego did not end well. Our meeting with the Venus dates back to June 2019. We had just learned from the press that Barack Obama and his family had just passed through Bono's house in Èze. Chance of the calendar? The Venus was at anchor a few meters from the singer's house. For the crew of the seaZen, this moment was a great opportunity to go around it at sunset.
#8 Sherpa: the explorer of modern times
Designed in Holland, the Sherpa is a ship of exploration. It stands out from other yachts by its offshore look. This ship is obviously designed for ocean crossings and hostile seas. On the French Riviera, we see none of this. In fact, this yacht achieved a particularly noteworthy feat in May 2020: It was the first and only luxury yacht to anchor in front of Paloma Beach. We were just coming out of the post-Covid19 deconfinement period. It was surreal to see only this Yacht when at this season, in the middle of the Monaco Grand Prix, there are hundreds of yachts anchored here. What an adventure!
#9 Gene Machine: the floating laboratory
Owned by Jonathan Rothberg, the inventor of rapid DNA sequencing, the Gene Machine is aptly named after him. At 55 meters long, it seems a little commonplace on the French Riviera. But if you are sailing at night, its lights are spectacular to see. There's even a giant screen that you can see at the top of the bow. Finally this boat is even more remarkable when you know that it carries a laboratory for identifying phage genomes. This is the smallest self-replicating organism on Earth - the bacteriophage - which is densely concentrated in seawater.
#10 Maltese Falcon: the return to sailing
The Maltese Falcon has long been considered the largest sailing yacht in the world with 2400m2 of sail area. Every time our visitors have approached her on our solar boat trips, we have found that the design is unanimously acclaimed. Its DynaRig rig offers very interesting prospects for development. This concept was invented more than 60 years ago. Today the use of light materials such as carbon considerably increases the sail area and tuning is so simple that a smaller crew can be recruited. Not only is this type of elegant rigging very remarkable on super-yachts, but also many shipyards have considered applications for the merchant navy. Let's hope that the Maltese Falcon prefigures the future of the sailing ships!
How to observe these yachts up close?
They should be observed in their natural environment, at anchor at sea. It is then a question of being able to get as close as possible to the yachts without disturbing its occupants, who like everyone else are looking for a certain tranquillity.
Respectful of the environment - in every sense of the word - our solar-powered boat is a boat that moves between the yachts with the least possible impact on the "current harmony of the place". In the respect of the guests who like to swim on the back deck of these boats, seaZen always privileges a passage by the front (the bow). If the road passes at the stern, a courteous distance should always be maintained from the occupants of the yacht.
The tour can last an hour and is accompanied by a guide. The presence of all these yachts is seasonal, subject to the weather and the sailing programs of its owners.