At Port Vauban Antibes, located in Antibes on the French Riviera, one of the most exclusive harbors for billionaires to dock their superyachts, vessels are missing and crew members stranded, as the virus pandemic fallout disrupts the yachting industry.
As known as "Quai des billionaires" (billionaires wharf), the port has 19 berths for yachts up to 90m in length, including several larger ones for 150m and 165m vessels. France 3 is reporting the virus pandemic has resulted in a plunge of activity in superyachts at the port:
"At the port of Antibes, this luxury enclave did not escape the consequences of the Covid-19. Boats are missing and some are stranded at the dock, leaving hundreds of crew members stranded. Normally, this platform is 95% full, currently it is 65%."
France 3 said the plunge in superyacht activity means the budget at the port will have to be slashed next fiscal year, calling the downturn "very severe."
"On the Côte d'Azur, yachting is undergoing the full-blown crisis," said AFP.
Laurent Monsaingeon of the European Committee for Professional Yachting, notes:
"With the pandemic, many boats overwintering in the Caribbean or Florida which should have crossed or been unloaded, did not come to make their season here on the Côte d'Azur. In addition, there is the question of the arrival of customers who do not have the air resources or health permits to come. We have just learned that we should not count on American, Russian, Asian customers, nor on Brazilians. "
Guy Grognet, president of the Antibes International Yachting Academy association, calls the virus-related disruption to the yachting industry "more than black season:"
"It's a more than black season, it stopped 100%. It is picking up these days (...) But it was badly timed since the month of March is the strongest time of recruitment. About 6 to 7,000 people come to Antibes to embark because they already have established contracts, seasonal contracts or for a simple crossing."
The world's most exclusive harbor for billionaires is experiencing depressionary yacht activity, a reflection of the global economic slump and suggests there will be no V-shaped recovery this year.