The symbol of the Riviera
A holiday to France with MSC Cruises is the perfect chance to visit Cannes.
With its immaculate seafront hotels and exclusive beach concessions, glamorous yachts and designer boutiques, Cannes is in many ways the definitive Riviera resort, a place where appearances count, especially during the film festival in May. The not particularly attractive seafront Palais des Festivals is the heart of the film festival but also hosts conferences, tournaments and trade shows.
Despite its glittery image, Cannes works surprisingly well as a big seaside resort, with plenty of free, sandy public beaches. Promenade de la Croisette is certainly the sight to see during your excursions, with its palace hotels – the Martinez and Carlton – on one side and their private beaches on the other. It’s possible to find your way down to the beach without paying, but not easy (you can of course walk along it below the rows of sun beds).
The old town, known as Le Suquet after the hill on which it stands, provides a great panorama of the curve of Cannes’ bay. On its summit stand the remains of the fortified priory lived in by Cannes’ eleventh-century monks, and the beautiful twelfth-century Chapelle Ste-Anne. The Musée de la Castre, in the remains of Cannes’ eleventh-century priory, holds an extraordinary collection of musical instruments from all over the world, along with pictures and prints of old Cannes and an ethnology and archaeology section.
MSC Mediterranean cruises also offer excursions to Nice. Since reaching its zenith in the belle époque of the late nineteenth century, it has retained its historical styles almost intact: the medieval rabbit warren of Vieux Nice, the Italianate facades of modern Nice and the rich exuberance of fin-de-siècle residences dating from when the city was Europe’s most fashionable winter retreat.