The French Riviera offers families a myriad of options for holidays or special occasions, however nothing matches the privacy, flexibility and fun you will get with a family yacht charter.
A family yacht charter can combine shared family time, five-star service on a crewed charter yacht, watersports, state-of-the-art onboard entertainment systems, island hopping, shore excursions and a chance for relaxation for adults.
Not all charter yachts are designed for families or are ‘child-friendly’ and more often than not customising the design is not an option, therefore it is advisable to speak to professional charter experts such as the charter brokers at Bespoke Yacht Charter who can ensure our knowledge matches your family to a yacht that fits your needs and budget.
If you’re considering choosing a luxury yacht charter for your next family getaway here are 5 Tips to help you plan a memorable trip:
Preparation is key
Involve your children in the process by talking about the yacht charter – where you will go, things you may see, how things are different than being on land. If you have time (and are willing) show them navigational charts and/or create a travel diary so they can record their holiday.
Talk with them in advance so they know what to expect about safety on board, sharing cabins, moving around the yacht, berthing, being at sea and out-of-bounds areas.
Chat to them about technology for entertainment systems and navigation and how they must ask for permission first before pushing buttons.
It’s ideal if your kids can swim as most of the activities will be based around water. Don’t forget essentials such as non-slip aqua shoes, UV-protective swim clothing, water bottles, hats and sun cream!
Safety is paramount
Taking children on board a moving vessel may seem impossible to many parents, however it is achievable and it’s natural to feel trepidation about safety when this is the biggest consideration, regardless of the size of your charter yacht.
Many charter yachts are not custom designed for families so don’t hesitate to ask about safety features such as locks, gates, netting or surveillance equipment that can easily be installed or options to move furniture to create safe play spaces.
Consult with your yacht charter broker about kid-friendly itineraries
Perhaps your family likes swimming, snorkelling and visiting beaches? Do you want to include some sightseeing on land or a night ashore for dinner?
The south of France is a great family yacht charter destination – some of our suggestions for family activities with close proximity to French Riviera ports are:
Antibes: Marineland including Aquasplash, Kid’s Island and Adventure Golf
Cannes: Rock pooling at the Îles de Lérins, beach volleyball at Boulevard du Midi, mini funfair rides and carousel on the Croisette
Nice: Two excellent family-friendly public parks are located near to Nice Port – Parc de la Colline du Château (Castle Hill), and Parc Castel des Deux Rois both with green lawn space, playgrounds and snack kiosks for ice-cream and cold drinks
Monaco: Monaco Oceanarium, the Museum of Antique Automobiles (Prince Rainier III’s collection of vintage cars) and Stars ‘n’ Bars games arcade are all located near to Monaco’s ports and are good options for entertaining kids of all ages.
Crew can make the difference
Speak with your yacht charter broker about choosing a charter yacht with crew that are motivated about engaging with children. Bear in mind though that crew are not permanent babysitters so consider bringing along a nanny if you have babies or toddlers.
Many stewardesses have experience as nannies or nurses and have brilliant suggestions for child-friendly games such as treasure hunts or shell collecting, and deckhands may involve kids with putting out water toys, teaching them basic nautical knots or fishing.
You may find your charter yacht has previously held themed parties that may appeal to young mariners such as Pirate Nights, Superheroes or Carnival. All of these things can contribute to a memorable yacht charter for your family and can only serve to enhance your experience.
On board toys and entertainment
A luxury yacht charter gives children the opportunity to use state-of-the-art entertainment systems and consoles (with supervision). Make sure your kids are aware they must treat all electrical and/or technical equipment with respect.
They can also enjoy a smorgasbord of toys such as inflatables, wakeboards, water skis, paddleboards, jet skis, and water slides. Not to mention the fun they’ll have jumping off the swim deck or side of the boat!
Check if the charter yacht supplies child-size equipment to avoid disappointment from your little ones who may be keen to try a sport but realise they are too small for the equipment, and verify there are child-size lifejackets available.
This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke, who with over 10 years travel industry experience loves to share ‘must-do’ destination tips and hidden spots to discover in France and beyond.
To discuss family yacht charter options on the French Riviera or throughout the Mediterranean, please contact: