Embark on a cruise along the French Riviera with Olivier, a Capt'n Boat Skipper

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Professional Skipper, a vocation

Ever since I was young, the sea has been a passion for me. I started out with windsurfing at the age of 14, later making it my profession. I was a sailing instructor and then in charge of a watersports center. I wanted to sail, so I did a lot of racing. After that, I decided to switch from sailing keelboats as "sport", to boating as a profession, and set about obtaining all the necessary qualification, having recently got the Capitaine 200 Voile (a French sailing diploma).

Being a professional skipper is a very enriching and fulfilling job: you communicate your passion to your clients, there is a service and management dimension on a human scale. The job allows you to broaden your horizons: it’s a nomadic job, one full of new discoveries and meeting plenty of new people.

In the context of my job, I’ve discovered many countries: Corsica, Greece... and I’ve recently spent a couple of years living in New Caledonia. There’s extraordinary marine flora and fauna to be found in the lagoon. When we go out cruising, our clients get to discover the beauty of the lagoon south of the island. Sailing there is very special – we spend a week almost totally alone because the anchorages we use are only little islets and off coral reefs. The area for sailing in New Caledonia is so vast that you can very quickly find you’ve got the place all to yourself out on the lagoon It’s a truly unique feeling.

Following on from my time in the Pacific, I decided to head back to my roots in the Mediterranean and continue working there, in particular on the French Riviera as it’s an ideal and comfortable place to cruise.


The French Riviera, a very diversified and beautiful region with everything boaters could wish for

The French Riviera is a region that caters for everything. The welcome and the facilities available in the ports are excellent. I find that the quality of the water is improving a lot: the local authorities are very mindful about the cleanliness of the sea. What is very pleasant is that the local shops and the port staff are friendly and attentive. I’ve got great contacts with the Vieux Port in Cannes and the Port of St Tropez.

7-day catamaran itinerary on the French Riviera

Customers usually fly into Toulon, and then come by bus or train to the Giens peninsula.

Day 1: Departure from Giens - Destination Porquerolles Island:
On Porquerolles, there’s a multitude of activities available: Jet skiing, mountain biking, walking, visiting the Villa Carmignac, diving... At the Rocher des Mèdes and at the Pointe des Deux Frères, there are drop-offs of more than 25 meters! It is splendid, breathtaking!

Day 2: Porquerolles - Port-Cros:
Port-Cros is the most pristine of the Iles d’Or islands. A protected nature reserve, this island is ideal for hiking. The small fishing port of Port-Cros is very pretty, there are very good restaurants: The Hostellerie Provençale is top of my list! Tasty tapas and a very warm welcome.

Day 3: Port-Cros - Brégançon:
The coast around Bormes-les-Mimosas offers superb beaches that remain quite unspoiled. There’s a great day anchorage in Bormes-les-Mimosas if visiting the medieval village and stopping for lunch. For overnighting, the beaches off Cabasson or La Vignasse are ideal. From Cabasson, you’ve got a great view of Fort Brégançon, the official retreat of the French President. You can visit it during certain periods by booking beforehand. The beach at La Vignasse is also very nice, in a small sandy cove there is a neat little port.


Day 4: Brégançon - Cap Lardier:
The entire bay of Cavalaire is superb! Creeks, isolated beaches, islets, the headlands of Cap Camarat or Lardier... The Pointe Andati is a wonderful anchorage for spending the night and is particularly protected when the wind blows from the east: clear water, a small sandy beach, and not very crowded. If there’s a “Mistral” blowing, Briande Bay near Croix Valmer makes for a good stop.

Day 5: Cap Lardier – Saint-Tropez:
Set a course for the village of Saint-Tropez, a place that makes everyone dream. Stop at the famous beach of Pampelonne where you’ll find restaurants right on the beach. Pampelonne is a bit like Ibiza: music, plenty of activities such as flyboarding... and I know a great restaurant there - they come to pick up my customers by boat and take them to the restaurant: it is called the 1051. If there is no space for the night in St Tropez, Port Grimaud is exceptional: it’s a mini-Venice in the Mediterranean!

Day 6: The Iles de Lérins and Cannes:
These islands are a very pleasant stop where you’ll find a forest of eucalyptus trees, and the abbey of Lérins which dates from the 5th century which features local specialties produced by the monks. Just opposite, Cannes and its covered market full of spices and fresh products: in my opinion, it’s got to be the most beautiful market along the coast. In the evening, discover Old Cannes.

Day 7: Cannes - Nice:

Heading past Cap d'Antibes and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, the coastline up to Nice is wonderful. You can stop to visit the Cap d'Antibes peninsula as well as Villa Ephrussi in St Jean Cap Ferrat. We end the day at the port of Vieux Nice, where our guests disembark, and head off to the international airport.

What I like to do during cruises is to develop a relationship with local businesses: shops, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and so on. I also adapt the sailing program according to the clients' wishes and the weather. In general, I propose 2 or 3 programs each day and the clients choose over breakfast. In the morning we sail for 2 to 3 hours then we stop at an anchorage or in port for lunch, visits ashore, etc. Then in the afternoon again, 2-3 hours of sailing and stop for the night.
Personally, I anticipate the anchorages we’ll use the day before: they’ll generally be strategic places ideal for finding activities to suit the clients' wishes. For example, I make sure that during the day there’s always the option to head ashore for going to a restaurant or do a bit of shopping. This means that I study the sailing area a lot (about a month in advance), so that I can provide the best service.


Sailing with a professional skipper offers very reassuring for clients

Going cruising with a professional Skipper means maximizing your sailing options! A professional skipper who knows the area well can help you discover the region, they can add anecdotes and historical facts to the cruise... Above all, it brings security and serenity to the clients: the skipper takes care of everything, the clients can fully enjoy their vacation without having to worry about handling the boat, etc.

The professional captain will know how to anticipate and manage changes in the weather, how to reassure and calm clients, how to create a good group dynamic... It’s all part of the skipper's job to manage human relations on board, to try to find a common project, to transmit their knowledge...


The Capt'n Boat platform. The ideal tool for safely finding qualified skippers

When I came back from New Caledonia, I was quickly looking for work on the French Riviera, and I found the Capt'n Boat platform on the internet.
The funny thing is that a friend and I, we had the idea of setting up a project similar to Capt'n Boat because we felt that at the time, there was a lack of an efficient service to put sailors and boatowners, whether private individuals or professionals, in touch with each other.
Since my return, I’ve been collaborating with the Capt'n Boat platform to find jobs: during the 2022 season, I got to do 11 trips.
I think it's a great tool for both sailors and clients: there are no timewasters, payments are secure and made in advance, avoiding unpaid invoices and reassuring the client. The quotes are immediate, the sailors are professional, the services are supervised, all really comforting for the skippers and the customers. If I had to summarize Capt'n Boat, I would say Security, Efficiency and Serenity!

Do you fancy going on a cruise with Olivier to discover the landscapes of the French Riviera and Corsica...? Create an ad on Capt'n Boat and contact Olivier via the internal messaging system of the platform.


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