Posted Nov. 12, 2016, 1:48 p.m.


The Proposal   (This complete editorial can be found at: Edition 30)


By Norma Trease


The long-anticipated plans for the future of marinas in the South of France have been published – who will win this complicated and lucrative bid to help these ageing facilities re-gain their glory days and dominance of years past?


The harbours of Antibes/Juan-Les-Pins are steeped in history and yachting lore. From the days when Phoenicians, Greeks and Roman sailors stalked these scenic shores, to the creation of the world’s first Superyacht marinas by the visionary WWII Resistance hero Camille Rayon, these ports are the shining stars of this yachting legend of the South of France.


With ambitious dreams and a vision towards the 3rd Millenium, the city of Antibes/Juan-Les-Pins is offering an open tender for re-development of both Port Gallice, scenically located on the Cap d’Antibes that overlooks the Bay of Cannes; together with Port Vauban, including the iconic International Yacht Club Antibes (IYCA), or “Billionaires Quay” as it is known locally.


This has created a tsunami wave of interest from numerous international groups that specialise in marina development and several French consortiums are scrambling to answer the various conditions attached to the tender. Simply the research and effort to develop a proper response (“RFP” or Request For Proposal) requires serious time and investment – while the scope of the projects and works required will take years and cost more millions than most of us will have years in our lives.


There are three main tenants that the city is requiring to be included at the core of any RFP proposal:



Integrating the regional focus on technology, proposals must include ‘smart port’ concepts and work together with the nearby technology poles of Sophia-Antipolis and Grasse to deliver innovative use of new generation information and communication technologies.



Sustainable development is of paramount importance, following the recent port designations of “Pavillion Blue” and “Clean Harbour.” Specifics such as free Black & Grey water evacuation and the use of electric vehicles on site are mentioned specifically, yet are only the beginning of clean environmental possibilities. Given the local political sensitivities, delivery of advanced environmental sustainability will possibly be the key to the winning bid.



Despite their glamorous histories and reputations, both Antibes and Juan-les-Pins are in desperate need of an economic boost and these projects are intended to provide much-needed regional economic development. Through related investment and development, the goal is to benefit local business activities and increase economic growth.


Both port proposals also stress the importance of implementing and expanding customer service at the highest level.


When Port Vauban and Port Gallice were originally developed in the 1960s and 70s they sparked a worldwide trend towards luxury marina development. For many years these were the only places to bring your yacht, and helped grow the culture of large-yacht ownership and define the value of home-port stability.

In the last decade, many locations in the Mediterranean have developed super-yacht worthy facilities in order to entice the lucrative yachting trade to their shores, including Montenegro, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus and many in nearby Italy, with varying degrees of success.

However, with their focus clearly set on marina and port development, the government of Antibes/Juan-les-Pins are fighting to regain their dominance as the destination of choice for the Mediterranean. There are only a small handful of companies experienced in such specialized maritime infrastructure projects with the complexity involved. Even so, the competition for this huge contract will surely be fierce, for the stakes are very high for all the players.


If Antibes chooses the right partners to share their vision of forward-thinking development these projects are sure to achieve their lofty goals of putting the South of France back on its yacht dominant pedestal that will no doubt benefit the entire region.


The bids are due for submission by September 2016 and the winners will be chosen in early 2017.



·      Port Vauban / IYCA – the largest pleasure port for yachts over 23m in the Med, totaling close to 1700 berths, with 19 berths >70m. Parking for 1000 cars

·      Port Gallice – 486 mooring spots, 15 berths >30m. Parking for 500 cars

·      Official site tours are planned and can be booked in advance from April-July



·      Town of ANTIBES, Direction de la Commande Publique, Mr. Guillaume Blais

Email : [email protected]

Tél. : +33 (0)4 92 90 52 76

·      Download full proposal at: