French Riviera boat rentals: avoiding hidden costs and scams

Dreaming of a luxurious family day out on the French Riviera?

Renting a yacht is a fantastic way to explore the stunning coastline and create unforgettable memories. But before you book, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the advertised price and the final cost of your luxury boat rental.

Charterminute, a yacht charter agency based in Antibes with expertise in crewed yacht rentals since 2010, is here to help. In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between the cost and price of a day charter.

Case study: family day trip on a Van Dutch 40 to Saint-Tropez Club 55

Imagine a family day trip on a stylish Van Dutch 40, cruising from Villefranche-sur-Mer to the glamorous Club 55, with a refreshing swim at the Lérins Islands and an afternoon of fun at Pampelonne Beach.

Van Dutch 40 specifications

The Van Dutch 40 is a stylish day boat offering her guests a comfortable journey on the water. Features include a reclining sunbed, shaded cockpit with fridge and sound system, and fuel-efficient cruising.

  • Length: 12.48 meters (40.94 feet)
  • Year Built: 2013 (newly upholstered)
  • Cruising Speed: approximately 22 knots
  • Fuel Consumption: 115 liters per hour (at cruising speed)
  • Day Rate: €2,700 (includes professional skipper, 20% VAT, soft drinks, towels, and boarding assistance in Cannes)
  • Location: based near Cannes

luxury boat rental.

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Decoding the price vs. cost

Price (charter fee)

The initial rental fee for the yacht and skipper, typically including VAT, soft drinks, towels, and basic water toys.
By the way, does the Van Dutch you booked come with complimentary soft drinks and towels?


The actual amount you pay, which includes the price plus fuel, potential delivery/redelivery fees, and any additional luxuries like a gourmet lunch, premium beverages, or exciting water sports equipment.

Comparison table

For comparison’s sake, let’s assume the following:

  • There are no delivery/redelivery fees.
  • Villefranche sur Mer Pampelonne is a 3 hour return trip.

Keep in mind that this comparison is for a 40ft day boat: if you rent a fast 100ft sport yacht, the cost increases exponentially.

Day rateFuel consumptionTotal Cost
Company A€2,700*110 liters/Hour€3,360**
Company B€2,650*180 liters/Hour€3,730**

*: High season rate: July and August, including VAT and skipper.
**: Estimated total cost based on €2/liter of fuel.

Key takeway

Some boat rental companies may offer competitive initial pricing but offset it with overcharging on fuel or hidden fees.

Pro tips for securing the best French Riviera boat rental

  • Don’t be swayed by the lowest price alone.
  • Get a transparent breakdown of all potential costs.
  • Compare fuel consumption estimates for the same boat from different rental companies.
  • Ask for a fuel quote specific to your desired itinerary.
  • Check their online reputation on Google Reviews and TripAdvisor.
  • To ensure a reliable day charter experience, avoid booking from websites based hundreds of kilometers from your charter destination and lacking local knowledge.
  • Be cautious of companies with only a mobile phone contact, no broker name and no physical address.
  • Be mindful of overpriced extras, such as a bottle of champagne that might be charged at €100 when you can find the same one for €35 at a nearby supermarket.

By following these tips, you can ensure a memorable and budget-friendly family day trip on a luxury yacht in the French Riviera.

Customer testimonial

Remi did an amazing job for us. His communication was clear, and the process was seamless. He also met us at the dock to ensure a smooth hand off. Would definitely recommend.
– R.R. -USA – May 2024

Read further reviews on Tripadvisor or Google Review.

Popular destinations

Explore our most popular destinations and suggested itineraries:

From Cannes to Saint Jean

Bay of la Scaletta near St-Jean Cap Ferrat

Embark on an unforgettable boat trip from Cannes to Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Uncover these essential destinations:

  • The Lérins Islands: Explore Sainte Marguerite, and Saint Honorat, idyllic islands perfect for swimming and discovering the active Cistercian monk community.
  • Cap d’Antibes: Cruise along the glamorous Billionaires’ Bay and the serene Bay of La Garoupe for a lunch at Plage Keller.
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer: Immerse yourself in the charm of this deep bay, home to Belle Époque villas and lush gardens. Don’t miss the nearby Bay of La Scaletta and Mala beach near Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
  • Monaco: Just a short 15-minute cruise from Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, experience the glitz and glamour of this iconic destination.

From Cannes to Saint-Tropez

Explore unspoiled nature at la Bastide Blanche

Discover these must-visit locations:

  • Esterel Coast: Cruise along this dramatic coastline, exploring its secluded coves and rocky inlets.
  • Ile d’Or: This enchanting island, crowned by a tower, offers a tranquil escape for a glorious swim while cruising towards Saint-Tropez.
  • Bay of Agay: Nestled in a sheltered bay, discover crystal-clear waters and the pristine Les Baumettes beach.
  • Pampelonne Beach: Experience the legendary glamour of the south of France at this iconic 4.5 km stretch of sand, home to renowned beach clubs such as Club 55.
  • La Bastide Blanche: Unwind in the unspoiled beauty of this coastal paradise, boasting crystal-clear waters and fine sandy beaches.

Booking process

Here’s our standard booking process :



  • How long does a day charter last?
    A typical day charter lasts approximately 7 hours.
  • Do I need a boating license or prior experience to charter a boat?
    No, you don’t need any previous charter experience or a license.
  • What happens if the weather is bad?
    We understand that weather can be unpredictable, so we’ve designed our policy to prioritize your peace of mind and safety.
    Cancellation and Refund policy:
    Severe Weather: In the event of heavy rain or winds of 4 Beaufort or above on your charter day, the rental will be canceled and you’ll receive a full refund, minus any non-refundable expenses incurred on your behalf (such as food, drinks, restaurant bookings, or water toys).
    Mild Weather: If the weather is cloudy, lightly windy, or there is occasional rain, the charter will proceed as planned.
  • How much is fuel for yachts on the French Riviera in 2024?
    The average price of diesel for yachts is €2/2.2 per liter including VAT, TICPE, and port taxes.
  • Can I bring my own food and drinks on board?
    You’re welcome to bring your own food and drinks, and we’ll gladly store them in one of the two refrigerators on board at no extra charge.
  • What should I pack for my day charter?
    Bring sunglasses, a swimsuit, cash (for possible transfers in Saint-Tropez and tips for the crew), a copy of your passport, a hat and sunscreen. We recommend leaving valuables at home in a safe place.
  • Are your skippers certified professionals?
    Yes, all of our skippers hold a minimum of a Captain 200 license.
  • How much does it cost to hire a professional skipper on a day boat?
    The average rate for a qualified skipper in 2024 is €350. If you’re quoted €500 or more, it’s worth asking for the reason for the higher price.
  • What is the minimum qualification required for a skipper in France?
    The minimum qualification for a professional skipper in France is a Captain 200 license.

Post updated on June 1st, 2024


The information provided on our website, including yacht details and pricing, is presented in good faith and is believed to be accurate at the time of display. However, this information is not contractual and is subject to change without notice.

Charterminute does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information or images presented, and disclaims any liability for errors or omissions.

To confirm yacht specifications, availability, and final pricing for your desired dates, please contact your preferred charter broker. Starting prices listed are typically for a one-day charter in the specified currency, unless otherwise noted.

Additional resources

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About the author: Remi van der Deure - French Riviera Charter broker.


I am the senior Yacht Charter Broker at Charterminute, a well-known yacht charter boutique in Antibes.

I have served in the yacht charter industry for over 15 years and have gained a strong reputation among my clients, as evidenced by consistent 5-star ratings on Google Reviews and TripAdvisor.

My specialty is organizing corporate yacht charters for startups and large companies during popular events like the Cannes Lions Festival, MIPIM, TFWA, and MIPCOM.

I am also proud to be a member of esteemed yacht broker associations, e-MYBA and ECPY, demonstrating my unwavering commitment to providing exceptional yacht charter services and memorable experiences in the French Riviera.

You can contact me directly at +33 (0)662.465.991 or