Building on the success that its crew programme had during the 2017-18 winter and spring season, the operators of the port of Antibes and Port Vauban have decided to extend the initiative year-round.

In a statement the port authority said: “The dedicated Crew Programme team has crafted a varied roster of events that cover wellness, sports and social activities, as well as professional development, giving crew of yachts docked in Port Vauban an opportunity to make the most of their time in Antibes.”

Commenting on this move, Marianne Fourticq, Director Port Vauban’s Crew Programme, said: “The port is very large and caters to many different yachting segments, from smaller, locally-owned pleasure craft to the largest superyachts in the world.”

She added: “The thinking behind the Crew Programme is to build a strong sense of community and help provide an opportunity to connect all the crews that use Port Vauban, as well as offer some fun activities. We are here to create a positive environment for the crew and, although we have only been running the initiative for a few months, so far the feedback has been very positive.”

The Programme offers yacht crew a diverse selection of activities with highlights of the winter season having included complementary yoga classes, basketball tournaments, golf days, accompanied bike rides around the Côte d’Azur, and trips to local ski resorts and to see the Antibes Sharks basketball team.

In March, Port Vauban hosted a 'Job Dating' career fair in the Bastion St Jaume to provide a networking platform for crew seeking work, with over 150 on-board roles open to candidates, and seasonal positions for land-based professionals looking to work at Port Vauban and its sister ports in Antibes-Juan Les Pins, Cannes, Nice and Golfe Juan.

As well as continuing the Crew Programme over the summer months with new sporting activities and social events, Port Vauban are planning Café Ponton, a complimentary weekly breakfast truck that will provide crews with a place to enjoy a sociable alfresco meeting point in the mornings.

“Although the summer season is a lot busier for many crew, who have less personal time over the coming months, we see the Crew Programme as a great way to offer some fun activities off the boat, such as early morning or evening sporting activities, paddle boarding, dockside barbecues and the weekly food truck. We are excited to continue the momentum of the Program,” Fourticq added.

In terms of the future plans for the port, the largest by volume for yachts in Europe, the Crew Programme has provided a valuable opportunity for the Port Vauban team, to engage one-to-one with the crews in Antibes, both those already working on yachts as well as those looking to find work via crew houses and recruitment agencies. This improved engagement is already proving fruitful in creating a better understanding of what captains and crew are looking for from the port, as it continues its development of services and facilities.

As part of developing regular feed-back, a weekly Captains Apéro has been organised by Port Vauban at the IYCA Beach Club as a way to engage with the superyacht captains both in Port Vauban and on the Quai des Milliardaires. In particular, this has assisted in helping captains to understand the ongoing developments of the new Vauban 21 project since the acquisition by Riviera Ports, providing an opportunity to discuss the project with Port Vauban’s directors.

“It is an exciting time for Port Vauban with our anticipated new developments and offerings through the Vauban 21 project. The Crew Programme continues to be an important part of this new direction for the services offered by Port Vauban and Rivera Ports. We are enthusiastic to continue building our strong relationship with the crew who use the port and make it what it is,” concluded Fourticq.