I got into a Monaco Yacht Show gala for VIP superyacht buyers and industry elite. Here's what it was like at the exclusive party, which overlooked $4.3 billion worth of superyachts in the port below.
- The 2019 Monaco Yacht Show kicked off on September 25, bringing an estimated 30,000 attendees to Monaco, a tiny yet lavishly wealthy city-state on the French Riviera.
- More than $4.3 billion worth of yachts were on display at the yacht show.
- I got into the inaugural gala held the evening before the yacht show kick-off, where about 350 guests made up of yacht brokerages, superyacht builder CEOs, yacht owners and prospective buyers, and other VIP guests of the show gathered at the Monaco Yacht Club overlooking Port Hercules.
- The night began with a superyacht awards ceremony, followed by a lavish party with free-flowing Champagne, decadent food - from on-demand ravioli and risotto to sashimi and cheese platters - and live music.
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The Monaco Yacht Show kicked off on September 25, drawing an estimated 30,000 people from around the world to the tiny city-state on the French Riviera.These attendees are yachting industry insiders - including superyacht builders, designers, and brokers - as well as wealthy private clients looking to tour, charter, or purchase yachts. Advertisement
The night before the show kicked off, a select group of about 350 VIP guests was invited to an inaugural gala held at the Monaco Yacht Club overlooking the more than $4.3 billion worth of yachts docked in Port Hercules.
There were about 350 people in attendance, including superyacht builder CEOs, yacht brokerage companies, yacht owners and prospective buyers and charter customers, and other VIP guests, according to Johan Pizzardini, the communications and media manager for the Monaco Yacht Show.I got an invite to the exclusive event - here's what it was like.
The Monaco Yacht Show kicked off on Wednesday, displaying its largest fleet of yachts ever in the glamorous port of Monaco, a tiny yet lavishly wealthy city-state on the French Riviera.
The evening before the show starts, an inaugural gala is held at the Monaco Yacht Club that overlooks Port Hercules.Advertisement
In Monaco for the yacht show, I got an invite to the ultra-exclusive gala.
I made it to the port area and walked along the quai, where I saw dozens of white tents set up for the Monaco Yacht Show that would kick off the next day.Advertisement
The event started at 8:00 p.m., and when I arrived at about 8:20, people were milling about outside on the deck of the yacht club, chatting with glasses of Champagne in hand.
Guests could grab a glass of Champagne from the bar or from servers who weaved through the crowd carrying trays of bubbly.Advertisement
I enjoyed my glass and looked out over the port, where more than 125 yachts were assembled ahead of the show.
More than $4.3 billion worth of yachts were gathered in Monaco's port for the 2019 yacht show, with an average asking price of $41.3 million.Advertisement
A little after 8:30, people started to filter inside, where rows of chairs were set up in front of a stage in preparation for the awards ceremony.
Four awards would be handed out this evening: one for best interior design, one for exterior design, one for "the finest new superyacht," and one for the most eco-friendly yacht.Advertisement
Then, everyone was instructed to head upstairs to the fifth floor of the yacht club, where food, drinks, and music were awaiting us.
When I stepped out onto the fifth floor, the dramatic club-like lighting made it clear that this was going to be a real party.Advertisement
A DJ was already playing a mix of upbeat pop and lounge music.
A Monaco Yacht Show photographer was taking photos of groups of friends in front of an official backdrop listing the show's sponsors.Advertisement
At an open bar, bartenders were serving Champagne, wine, and beer.
Many people were already eating, some seated around a large rectangular table with a flaming compass in the middle that I initially thought was some sort of DIY grill, but instead just seemed to be ... for fun?Advertisement
A huge buffet table stretched across one side of the room. Chefs were making risotto and ravioli dishes in real time, serving them upon request in small individual bowls.
I was overwhelmed by the array of food. There were cheese platters, dumplings, multiple types of salad, sushi and sashimi, grilled vegetables, and so much more.Advertisement
I filled myself a plate of ravioli, cheese, grilled vegetables, quinoa salad, and salmon. The food was so good that I probably could've eaten three more plates.
There were no free tables on the main floor, so I ate standing up at a table on the upstairs deck overlooking the party.Advertisement
While most people remained downstairs, small groups had come up to relax on the upper deck of the yacht club, enjoying the relative quiet, the fresh air, and the views of the glittering port.
A photo booth was set up so guests could pose in front of Port Hercules' billions of dollars worth of yachts.Advertisement
At about 10:30, it was time for me to catch my train back to Nice. The party was scheduled to end at 11:00, and it already seemed close to winding down. Everyone there had a big day ahead of them at the yacht show the next day.
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