Future-Proofing Cannes: IGY Marinas’ Plans for Vieux Port
IGY’s global network of marinas has set recognised standards for service and quality in yachting tourism, with its unparalleled international network of marinas in the US, Caribbean, Europe (Italy, Spain, France, UK) and Latin America serving more than 8,000 annual clients at 23 marinas in 13 countries.
Vieux Port de Cannes is the 23rd marina in IGY’s worldwide portfolio. Recently a 30-year concession was signed between the City of Cannes and Marina du Vieux Port de Cannes SAS — whose shareholders are Island Global Yachting (IGY) and the French construction group Fayat. As part of the agreement, this prime destination on the French Riviera featuring 727 berths, will be enhanced and rejuvenated while maintaining the historical integrity of the land.
“We are honored that the City of Cannes has entrusted IGY and Fayat with the management and development of this world-renowned site,” says Tom Mukamal, CEO of IGY. “Our team looks forward to providing our clients with hospitality solutions for all classes of vessels by bringing IGY’s expertise and professional standards to the French Riviera.”
Modernising Vieux Port de Cannes
Location means everything, and since yachts and their crews spend a lot of time on the quays, world-class marinas that cater to their needs leave lasting impressions. IGY Marinas and Fayat appreciate the delicate balance between developing the infrastructure of IGY Vieux Port de Cannes, notably for large vessels, and ensuring Cannois heritage and boaters are respected.
Fuelled by heritage and Cannes’ historical identity as a fishing village, the investment program will enhance the authenticity of local culture with the creation of a fishermen’s village that will host classic sailboats, traditional ‘pointus’ boats and old riggings.
Modernising this historic and quintessential port means fully understanding the needs of the community alongside rejuvenating a marina with destination appeal. Enhancements include berths adapted for people with reduced mobility, the construction of a semi-covered parking lot with 500-plus spaces (including 35 bus and coach spaces), the extension of the Albert Edouard Pier, the relocation and improvement of the careening area, a new power supply service for large ships, as well as a new Harbour Master’s office and service center.
“Fayat is excited to be part of this team that will work together to revitalise Vieux Port de Cannes,” adds Philippe Serain, Director of Concessions and PPP at Fayat.”As a French and family-owned group present in 170 countries, this project is as important to us as it is for the City of Cannes, and we are delighted to have been chosen with IGY to lead the project forward.”
Social & Environmental Initiatives
Smart municipalities and marina developers also understand the impact of green credentials and socially conscious projects. IGY and Fayat have committed to an action plan that takes stewardship of the local waters and land seriously, including active monitoring of water quality and the provision of underwater drones for pollution inspection operations.
Initiatives that lighten their environmental footprint or support social sustainability will be encouraged, including a carbon offsetting program, the use of sustainable energy sources and zero-emission fuels, and an electric shuttle that will link Vieux Port de Cannes and Port Canto as well as the two areas within Vieux Port de Cannes.
Championing Tourism with a Destination Marina
The maritime industry is an important part of local tourism, and the future developments at Vieux Port will closely integrate the marina into the local ecosystem. “IGY and Fayat appreciate the opportunity to partner with the City of Cannes to enhance the service offering of the IGY Vieux Port de Cannes and to introduce this iconic destination to the global maritime community,” says new Port Director, Emmanuel Messiaen.
The evolution of a destination marina means far more than the practicality of simply offering a berth in Cannes. The aim is to stimulate job opportunities, strengthen tourism activity and encourage dialogue with port stakeholders such as boating and fishing associations, maritime training, tourism, event organisers and brokers.
Cannes is a destination in its own right, with excellent transport links offering easy access to both the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Cannes-Mandelieu Airport. With plenty of restaurants, attractions and leisure activities on the doorstep, a calendar of events at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès also drives business tourism year-round. Throughout 2022, there are over 51 professional events already scheduled, providing a huge boost to the hospitality and accommodation sectors.
History, culture and nature also abound; the Îles de Lérins facing Cannes have the Natura 2000 label, their biodiversity and emblematic Mediterranean landscapes made of coastal forests, rocky creeks and beaches. In November, the Minister of Culture announced the monastic island, Île Saint-Honorat, has been included on France's national tentative list to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the neighbouring island, Île Sainte-Marguerite, British artist Jason deCaires Taylor’s sculptures are immersed underwater creating a mini eco-museum for keen snorkelers and divers.
A picturesque medieval neighborhood, the Suquet is crisscrossed with steep cobblestone streets. It is home to the food stalls of the Forville market and includes many brightly colored houses with a breathtaking view of the Vieux Port.
Sports and fitness enthusiasts don’t need to go far for dynamic activities year round. Try kiteboarding at Palm Beach, stroll the walking trails at Croix des Gardes, and roam the hiking and mountain biking trails in the Ésterels. IGY Vieux Port de Cannes is also a mere two hour drive from several ski resorts for the winter months.
As the global superyacht fleet continues to expand and vessels get larger and more sophisticated, Vieux Port de Cannes will continue to evolve as a hub of excellence for vessels seeking high level service and amenities.
Photo credits: Cannes Film Festival, Semec Fabre, Christophe Bouillon, Shutterstock, Identite Visuelle Casquettes, Semec Ajuria