Europe’s largest in-water show celebrated its 45th anniversary in style, as 54,000 visitors made the trip to Vieux Port and Porto Canto.

Julia Mastetiurina

When the gates opened on the first ever Cannes Yachting Festival, Boney M was top of the French charts with its disco classic Ma Baker. That was September 1977, and apart from an unexpected break due to the pandemic, the festival has taken place at the same time every year, ever since. Moreover, the organisers have put a lot of effort into evolving the event annually and with the 2022 festival, they’ve really perfected the boat show formula.

Motoring forward: For 2022, the Vieux Port hosted 535 prestigious new motor yachts and boats ranging from 5 to 48 metres, presented by the world’s leading shipyards.


For its 45th year, the Cannes Yachting Festival celebrated with some impressive numbers. Spread over Vieux Port (motor) and Porto Canto (sail), 600 exhibitors showcased everything from nautical equipment and services, to the latest boat, yacht and superyacht launches.


Out of the 650 craft on display, both in-water and on the hard standing, 135 were world previews. These ranged in length from 5 to 48 metres and covered every aspect of the industry from water toys and tenders through to sail, motor, monohull, multihull, rigid and semi-rigid hulls.

The organisers have put a lot of effort into evolving the event annually and with the 2022 festival, they’ve really perfected the boat show formula.


One of the oldest harbours on the French Riviera, Vieux Port is arguably the heart and soul of both the festival and Cannes itself. During the boat show, the areas surrounding the marina are transformed into bustling village. Access roads, such as Jetee Albert Edouard, become carpeted walkways and the home to the crème-de-la-crème of the yachting industry.

For 2022, the Vieux Port hosted 535 motorboats, yachts and superyachts. These were spread over different areas situated around the marina with the main points of interest being The Jetée (large motor yachts), Quai Max Laubeuf (boats and yachts of all sizes) and the Superyachts extension.


As usual, Gulf Craft flew the flag for the UAE, hosting the European Debut of the Majesty 120 while celebrating the shipyard’s success in Europe. Mohammed AlShaali, chairman of Gulf Craft, commented: “Europe has and always will be an incredibly important market for us. As each year passes, we are seeing a significant shift in the perception of composite-built superyachts – in previous years this market has been strongly focussed on traditional steel hulls, but we are beginning to see an interesting upward trend in fibreglass hulls. For us, this is a very positive sign, we have been trailblazing the use of composite materials in our yachts over the past 40 years and we truly believe in the benefits of using composites. A prime example is the Majesty 175, the jewel in our crown and the world’s largest composite-built production superyacht that further cemented our position as an innovator in the use of composites.

“I am incredibly proud to see how our dealer network in Europe quickly evolved to become a thriving yachting community – our partners share invaluable insights with us, which in turn, allows us to cater to the specific needs of our discerning customers on the Continent. Our differentiating value proposition is our fully integrated manufacturing facility and our in-house design capabilities. This approach allows every aspect of the build of our vessels, from design concept, engineering, and beyond to happen under one roof. These enable us to be agile and deliver highly personalised boats that meet the demands of emerging trends and aspirations of global yachting enthusiasts.”


From Vieux Port, Porto Canto and its sailing and brokerage area is a quick five-minute drive along Canne’s famous Croisette. For 2022, the marina was home to 116 sailing boats and catamarans ranging from 10 to 33 metres, of which 19 were global launches. A relaxed vibe reflected the sailing culture and a noticeable increase in sailing catamarans hinted at the growing popularity of these spacious and eco-friendly multihulls.


The festival will return next September 12 -17.