During your time in the stylish and sun-soaked strip of the Mediterranean known as the French Riviera embark on a boat cruise to explore the gorgeous coastline and its luxurious towns and harbours. Take your pick of exciting Nice boat tours that sail by fabulous sandy beaches, exclusive villas and the white floating playgrounds of the wealthy. You can also pick boat tours that drop anchor in some of the riviera's most glamorous and famous destinations, the upscale enclaves of Monaco, Saint Tropez and Cannes.
Go on short or full-day trips or treat yourself to a romantic evening cruise as the sun is setting over this captivating Mediterranean destination.
What are the best places to visit with a Nice boat tour?
One of the most exclusive spots on the French Riviera is an easy-going Mediterranean fishing town of pastel-coloured buildings, steep narrow streets and beautiful beaches, with Nice on one side and Monaco on the other. Wander through its markets, relax on a stretch of golden sand and gaze at the multimillion-dollar yachts in its harbour.
It may be smaller than New York's Central Park, but the tiny principality of Monaco has a big reputation for glitz and glamour. With superyachts filling its natural harbour, expensive cars navigating ancient streets and roulette wheels turning in elegant casinos, it is the ultimate playground of the rich and famous.
A beautiful Mediterranean resort that draws in the super-rich boasts exceptional beaches of fine sands and shallow waters, a port filled with luxury yachts and boutiques bursting with designer clothes. Other highlights include the old town and the Musée de l'Annonciade, an art museum inside a 16th-century chapel.
A beautiful and glamorous forested peninsula that for decades has attracted the rich and famous including David Niven and Charlie Chaplin who both had homes here. Follow coastal paths for breathtaking sea views, explore the port, squares and narrow winding lanes and tour the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild mansion and its gardens.
This classy French seaside resort doesn't get as much attention as Monaco and Saint Tropez, but it still has a lot to offer. There are beaches of exceptional beauty, reasonably priced restaurants serving mouthwatering dishes and a charming seafront studded with bars and brasseries. Among its other charms are water sports, the old town centre and Aqualand Sainte-Maxime. This seasonal water park excites with its slides, swimming pool and sunbathing areas.
What kind of boat tours are available in Nice?
Nice boat tours come in many forms. Among the popular tours are day-long eight-hour trips that combine cruises of the French Riviera with land excursions to Saint Tropez or Monaco. Customisable trips are also available and can include stops like Cannes and the medieval town of Eze.
Alternatively, you can book shorter duration boat tours such as a one-hour cruise of the French Riviera that takes in a clutch of iconic sights such as expansive villas, beautiful beaches and the superyachts of the rich and famous.
Cruise transfers are also available from Nice airport to Monaco cruise port. This is a handy service if you are travelling to the tiny principality because you'll beat the taxi queues and won't have to worry about train schedules. And along the way, you'll be able to soak up some fantastic views.
If you are a romantic soul, you can enjoy one-hour and two-hour evening cruises aboard a yacht as the sun is setting. There is also a one-hour evening tour on a 100% solar-powered boat, a silent, odourless, eco-friendly vessel that comes with your own skipper.
For the ultimate in luxury sailing book a sunset cruise aboard a Superhawk 34 yacht and sip champagne as your skipper sails the vessel past such sights as Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and the port of Monaco.
Whether you just want to spend one hour or several on the water to explore more of this picturesque part of the world, there are plenty of Nice boat trips to choose from.
How much does a boat tour cost?
Nice boat tours attract a range of prices. They start at around €20 per person for a one-hour sightseeing cruise of the French Riviera and up to €934 for a private full day trip. This excursion includes a drive through mountains, forests and vineyards to Saint Maxime and from there to Saint Tropez. Once there you'll be able to go on shore to stroll around the picturesque harbour.
There are also some Nice boat tours costing around €120 per person. These include a two-hour private yacht cruise from Beaulieu to Nice and a full-day boat trip from Nice to Saint Tropez, with lots of time to explore one of the riviera's most luxurious destinations.
How long does a boat tour take?
Nice boat tours can last one hour for a short sightseeing trip or evening tour on a solar-powered boat to a full-day excursion, depending on the itinerary and stopovers. For instance, some trips include shore excursions to Villefranche or Saint Tropez. Other boat tour durations are also available including 2.5-hour and 9-hour trips.
Where do boat tours leave from?
Many boats depart from the port of Nice, one of the principal ports of the entire French Riviera and the starting point for many vessels that sail across the Mediterranean Sea. It enjoys a central location in the city and is easily accessible by road and train. Some boats also depart from Beaulieu and Villefranche.
When is the best time to go for a boat tour in Nice?
May to June and again in September are excellent times for a Nice boat tour. The weather is warm and pleasant. July and August are good months as well, even if warmer (pack sunscreen) and there are more boats around.
Also in November to early March it can be good as the temperatures hover around 13-15 °C (50-60 Fahrenheits), although the breezes coming off the sea can be chilly.
- Although the wind will be whistling through your hair and you may feel cool, you'll be exposed to the sun. So bring water with you to stay hydrated.
- Make sure you pack sunscreen and sunglasses too.
- Wear a light coat such as a raincoat to keep the chill off in case you feel cold.
- If you suffer from motion sickness, it may be a good idea to take a seasickness pill before your excursion.
- Wear shoes with rubber soles to avoid slipping when walking on deck. If you are on a solar-powered boat, you may be asked to take your shoes off because the floors are fragile.