The future looks bright – and beautiful – for the historic Vieux Port in Cannes following an announcement by the city that more than €56 million euros will be invested in the city-centre marina over the next four years.
After years spent focusing on the modernisations and renovations over at Port Canto in the east of the city, now it is the turn of the Vieux Port.
It is the more famous of the two, owing to a prime location in the heart of the city and backing up to the Palais des Festivals on one side and the picturesque Le Suquet neighbourhood on the other.
Three areas within the Vieux Port have been selected for renovations: the Laubeuf wharf, the soon-to-be-built Village des Pêcheurs, and the Jetée Albert Edouard.
In total, €56.2 million euros will be invested in the project by Marina du Vieux-Port de Cannes (MVPC), which was granted a 30-year contract for the port’s management in March last year. MVPC combines the Fayat construction empire and IGY Marinas, the latter of which owns and manages numerous luxury marinas around the world.
Key elements include the partial demolition and rebuilding of the Jetée Albert Edouard, the superyacht quay, to allow berths for an additional nine yachts as well as the reinforcement of the sea wall to better protect the harbour in the years to come.
Given the other port projects in the region, such as in Antibes and Nice, Cannes is at pains to make itself an equally attractive sailing destination, and the building of a dedicated “crewhouse” and meeting space for mariners on the renovated Jetée Albert Edouard is one such ploy. These premises will also house the capitanerie and port authorities.
A much-needed three-storey carpark for more than 400 vehicles will also be built, partially underground, on the western side of the port. It will replace the ugly and inadequate parking facility currently on the Laubeuf wharf. Above the new carpark will be 4,500 square metres of “hanging gardens” with unbroken views out to the Lérins Islands and the Estérel mountain range.
The history of the port, which was built in 1838, gets a nod too with the creation of the Village des Pêcheurs or Fishermen’s Village. This was integral to getting the plans over the line and heralds back to a time when fishermen lined the marina. New facilities for the landing and sale of seafood will be installed in the zone by this summer.
Sustainability was another request of the city, and the port will enjoy the addition of nearly 130 trees and thousands of square metres of public gardens once the project is complete. A range of anti-pollution and water quality tools will also find a home in the port, alongside improved electrical power supply for docked vessels and the installation of solar panels for renewably-sourced energy.
Work is expected to be complete in early 2027.
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Photos courtesy of the Ville de Cannes