A French Riviera log on board RoMEA

The fabled charter grounds of the famous Cote d’Azur

There are some superyachts that simply catch the light with their audacious lines or their opulence on board, and there are superyachts like RoMEA. One of the most exclusive yacht for charter available at 82m length, RoMEA is a successful vessel with a proven records of destinations cruised between Mediterranean, Caribbean or Middle East. A superyacht like no other, boasting 5-start luxury amenities like a on-board Spa with dedicated therapist, a fantastic Beach Club with Finnish sauna or a 5.1 wide Cinema, and offering fantastic accommodation for 12 guests with her luxurious 6 cabins including an impressive Owner’s suite. But RoMEA is much more than this: it’s an invitation to an unrivaled experience, the pure expression of the Luxury Yachting 360-degree lifestyle created by Imperial. It is all about living the moment.

To indulge yourself an exclusive charter experience, RoMEA has reunited some of the most experienced crew with high skills. Her Captain and his long time at sea, cruising some of the most remote destinations as the ultimate buzzing areas, has a perfect knowledge to lead your charter journey and advise you on the ideal locations to visit. While his Caribbean knowledge is absolutely incredible, we asked him about the French Riviera: as the nervous central point of the worldwide yachting industry, home of some major natural jewels and islands in Mediterranean, pairing the right Captain with the right superyacht is undoubtedly the perfect mix to create an unforgettable journey. Together with RoMEA, your level of expectation is finally reached!

Before starting your next Summer trip on board, read the Captain’s review here below: fresh ideas, hidden places and special tips, you will no longer see the French Riviera with the same eyes after having read it.

THE INTERVIEW

Imperial: How would you characterise a charter on board RoMEA?
We pride ourselves on our standards of service. We aim to give the very best service that anyone can have so we’re in competition with six and seven-star hotels. We want to emulate that level of service on board but in a more relaxed and personal atmosphere than the big-scale hotel industry can achieve. So we very much tailor our services to the client. It obviously depends on where they’re from and what their requirements are but the aim of the game is to make it as luxurious and as relaxing as possible. We have repeat clients who come back to us specifically because of our ethos and the way we do things on board so we feel our service is at a very high level.

IY: Does the French Riviera collaborate with you in that approach?
It does indeed. In the Riviera, you have the impeccable quality of the Monaco and St Tropez lifestyle and you have the relative solitude of places like Cap Camarat and the Porquerolles Islands a little bit further west. So there’s something for everyone here and that’s what makes it so good. You can be immersed among the stylish crowds of Monte Carlo or anchored among the islands off Cannes and have a walk ashore on a day when there are very few people around. It offers a good mix in that regard and it’s all within a very short distance. You can day trip between most of these places from St Tropez or Monaco and that allows us to tailor the itinerary to whatever desires our guests might have.

IY: So the Cote d’Azur is about serenity as well as glamour?
Absolutely. Obviously, you don’t get the same degree of solitude as you might experience in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles, the Maldives or the Pacific. But we’ve spent a lot of time around the Cannes area on RoMEA and there are certainly places with far fewer boats – especially if you leave the stretch from Monaco to St Tropez and head toward the Porquerolles or further west. Places down south of Cap Camarat, like Cavalaire can be busy with French tourists but they’re not such a hotspot for the international crowd. Even further west toward Toulon and the Bandol wine region, there are also lots of beautiful bays, enabling you to enjoy the opposite end of the entertainment spectrum from the cocktails, the nightclubs and the boutiques of Monaco or St Tropez. In fact, the French President has a house in the area of La Lavandou (at an old military fort called Fort de Brégançon) so if he likes it, it must be good.

IY: Is RoMEA particularly well suited to a Cote d’Azur charter?
We’ve been based here since the yacht launched in 2015 and we operate mainly around this area during the summer months, so we have a good liaison with shore support, with Imperial and with local suppliers. In terms of what we can do for our guests, the word ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary. We always want to be able to achieve whatever is required and, with the strong shore connections we have developed here over many years, we have a very big advantage.

IY: What are the region’s most memorable destinations?
The Porquerolles Islands, just west of St Tropez are beautiful. It’s a little bit more difficult for a boat of this size to get there now because of restrictions in relation to the National Park, but certainly on smaller vessels, it’s a great area. I also love the area around Villefranche and Beaulieu-sur-Mer. It does get quite busy in summer, but the scenery below Éze and within the little bay of Villefranche is just stunning. I, personally, have been going there for many years and it’s a really wonderful spot to be anchored.

IY: Are there any other places you like to show your guests?
Another anchorage our guests tend to enjoy is to be found among the Îles de Lérins – the islands just off Cannes. With the sun setting over Cannes and the island’s old castle and fort as a backdrop, that’s a gorgeous spot for an alfresco dinner in the evening. But what people don’t seem to realise is that there’s also an extraordinary amount of wildlife here. For example, there are a phenomenal amount of sperm whales that congregate in this area, from St Tropez up to Sanremo because of the canyons. So if you head just slightly off the coast, you can quite easily go whale watching around this area – and that illustrates how much more textured and interesting this place is than most people realise.

IY: Where’s the best place for some high-end cocktails?
You obviously have the Nikki Beach style indulgence of Pampelonne Beach in St Tropez, but one of my favourite places to take our guests is Anjuna Beach, which is in Eze-sur-Mer. It has high-profile celebrities visiting all the time, the atmosphere is fantastic, the food is great and it’s a little bit more exclusive than the Pampelonne Strip. With the Éze mountaintop behind it and the fact that it’s the only bar on the beach, that would be a high spot for anyone looking for a memorably atmospheric cocktail next to the water with a beautiful backdrop – perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the French Riviera not only for its boutiques and its scenery but also for its style and atmosphere.

IY: Are there any major gastronomic highlights?
There are multiple spots up and down the coast with regards to high-end food – too many to name. Monaco certainly has its fair share but for atmospheric high-end cuisine, I would head to the St Tropez area. For fresh fish, you’ve got some great restaurants there and the town’s side streets offer some beautiful places to dine. But having said that, I would say that RoMEA herself is a match for anything ashore and we do pride ourselves on that. We have two very talented Head Chefs on board and our galley team is superb. We can present any style or technique of cuisine the guests require. There’s obviously a difference in terms of the atmosphere, having a meal on board rather than in a shoreside restaurant, but people often say the food is better than anywhere they’ve ever been, which is a great compliment not only to the galley team but to our service staff as well.

IY: What kinds of toys are best suited to the region?
BM: We have the full range of toys on board, from sailing dinghies and windsurfers to paddleboards, kayaks and jetskis. We have a whole inflatable set up for children too, so they can enjoy water park style activities at the back of the boat while their parents embrace a bit of child-free time. But while the most used toys on RoMEA in this part of the world are the jetskis and the paddleboards, there are also places on the French coast itself that are good for activities – like the Gorges du Verdon, where you can go for a hiking adventure. We have often taken people on excursions up into the mountains and we organise day activities for the children too, like pirate events and treasure hunts. Of course, our charter guests always tend come with expectations about what they want to do, but we always try to tailor it and to make it better; to provide what they want but also to give them a much more enlightened experience than they were ever expecting.

IY: What would you say to someone considering a charter in this region?
The possibilities are virtually endless. You can have the beach holiday; you can have the boutique shopping holiday; you can have the restaurant extravaganza. You can head for the mainland or the islands; for Italy or France; for the high-end sophistication of this coastline’s classic hub or the quieter, more rustic pleasures further west. So there are always options. There’s always the ability to change from request to request and from one client to the next. You can mix it up and have everything you want within a very short stretch of coast and within a very short space of time – and that makes the Cote d’Azur unique in the world of charter.

Explore the Mediterranean with a taste of exclusivity: read more about her amenities here.

Read the latest interview of RoMEA's Spa therapist here, for a moment out of this world.

From Monaco to St Tropez through Porquerolles, there is always something to celebrate in the area. Read more here.

INFORMATION REQUEST

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Imperial Charter Department
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