Cannes Yachting Festival announces major changes for 2024
The organisers of the Cannes Yachting Festival have confirmed changes to the show layout for September 2024, due to ongoing modernisation works at the old port.
There are major renovation and modernisation plans for the Vieux Port in the city of Cannes, meaning certain land-based and in-water areas of the show — currently located in the Vieux Port — will have to be modified, resulting in new areas being created in Port Canto.
The 46th edition of Cannes, Europe’s biggest in-water boat show, is currently underway in both the Vieux Port, where around 540 motorboats are on display, and Port Canto, which welcomes 115 sailing boats from 10 to 30 metres.
The city of Cannes awarded the concession for the Vieux Port in Cannes to the Marina Vieux Port de Cannes (MVPC) consortium (uniting IGY Marinas and Fayat) in 2022 for a period of 30 years. Within this scope, MVPC has launched a major renovation and modernisation project for the Vieux Port, which will start at the beginning of 2024 and finish at the end of 2026.
The Vieux Port modernisation project will impact the southern part of the Jetée Albert Edouard on the north/west side of the port entrance, the careening area, and the Max Laubeuf car park, located opposite, to the south/west of the port entrance. As a result, the 2024 show will be extended even more to Port Canto.
Since the start of 2023, RX France’s management, show director Sylvie Ernoult and the show’s technical teams have been working with the City of Cannes and MVPC to design a new, optimum layout that is suitable for the show while the work is being carried out.
“Not only is the magnificent Bay of Cannes the ideal place to hold the Cannes Yachting Festival, which takes place in both ports – the Vieux Port and Port Canto – but the city and its advantages are as well,” says Filippo Rean, managing director of RX France. “It is clear that the work to modernise the Vieux Port means that we will have to modify some of our installations and how we accommodate our exhibitors and visitors during the Cannes Yachting Festival.”
Cannes Yachting Festival changes for 2024
To replace areas that cannot be used in the Vieux Port during the works period, two new large areas will be created in Port Canto: the Mega Yachts Area, for large boats up to 55m, and the Small Boats Area, for small boats from 8m.
These two new areas and the addition of a new crossing, will mean all of Port Canto will form a loop, and visitors can easily pass from one dock to the other. Four major sectors will now be brought together in Port Canto: the Sailing Area and the Yacht Brokerage & Toys area, which have already been in place for several years, and the brand-new Mega Yachts Area and Small Boats Area.
The new Mega Yachts Area will accommodate boats displayed by the show’s large yacht builders. Located at the end of the Jetée du Phare (on the west side of the port entrance), it will provide an area of 1,500m2 on land in line with that present up to now in the Vieux Port, with an in-water space created to accommodate around 15 boats from 30m-55m.
The new Small Boats Area, will consist of 1,700m² of space to be fitted out on land and more than 380 linear metres of quay that can accommodate more than 90 small boats from 8m to 12m long.
This will be the first time that such a large number of small boats will be brought together at the same quay in the show, thereby providing even better visibility for visitors’ enjoyment. This shift is in line with the creation of the new marina dedicated to small boats located in the heart of the Vieux Port in 2023, and will also see all the small boats hosted at Quai Max Laubeuf (many of which are exhibited on land).
Cannes Yachting Festival organisers say installations at the Vieux Port will evolve over the three years that the works will take, depending on the space available.
In 2024, Quai Max Laubeuf will continue to accommodate a wide selection of 10m-20m motor boats and around 20 power catamarans. The Jetée will accommodate large yachts from 22m long without any space on land, and the Superyachts Extension will remain with its large boats.
The other areas in the Vieux Port will remain available and usable (or operable) in conditions similar to previous years.
Vieux Port – Port Canto Sea Connections
The sea shuttle service between the two ports, which all exhibitors and visitors can use, will be maintained, with several departure and arrival points on each side of the Croisette to make going from one port to the other very smooth and visiting the show easier.
“We would like to express our sincere thanks to our exhibitors for their constructive reception and understanding with regards the changes this period of work imposes on us,” says Rean.
“Our discussions with them over the past few days have been very useful. We are aware that these changes to the layout may impact how the presence of some of them at the Cannes Yachting Festival is organised, but we are confident in our ability to reinvent the show together and support boat builders in accommodating them.
“The successful transfer of the Sailing Area to Port Canto in 2019 proves that it is possible to move entire sectors between the two ports without affecting the show’s quality.”
Rean adds: “Working constructively with the city and MVPC teams, our teams are already able to anticipate the main impacts on the different areas we occupy and find alternatives in the best possible conditions for the 2024 edition and those that follow. To do so, we are thinking ‘360-degree’, for both the Vieux Port and Port Canto.”
Sylvie Ernoult, director of the Cannes Yachting Festival, says: “We have been working hard for several months now to arrange the best installation possible for 2024, taking into account the various technical and safety constraints.
“The 2024 show configuration will therefore see the Vieux Port’s reception areas that can’t be used anymore transferred to Port Canto and will enable all exhibitors and boats present this year to be accommodated.
“We are confident about the layout we have just presented to all our exhibitors. We understand that some may have questions, and we are here to work with them and reassure them. We will take their comments into account and continue to refine the exhibition installation for next year.”