Lerins Abbey offers an exclusive evening to attend the International Fireworks Festival at sea off Cannes aboard its boat the Saint Siffrein. The tour includes a discovery of Lerins Islands and the historical heritage of monks on the Ile Saint Honorat. After the meal at sunset between the two islands, you can enjoy the fireworks in an original and magical way with stunning views over the bay of Cannes.
The boarding is at Quai Laubeuf Quai des Iles. At the start, at 19 H 30, the Saint Siffrein allows to admire the magnificent bay of Cannes, with the old town of Le Suquet, the Palais des Festivals, La Croisette and its beaches and palaces, and finally, the Palm Beach. Away from the Croisette, we also discover the neighborhood of «La Californie» and its magnificent billionaires’ villas. In the far west are looming the Esterel mountains.
After a short crossing, the Ile Sainte Marguerite greets passengers, topped by the Fort Royal, a fortification which was occupied by the Spanish in the 17th century. Later, the Fort Royal acquired its reputation by hosting the mysterious prisoner “The Iron Mask”. Alexandre Dumas popularized a version telling that the prisoner was the hidden brother of Louis XIV. The Saint Siffrein passes the Ile Sainte Marguerite whose rocky shores and parasol pine woodlands are a wild beauty and then enters the Frioul channel separating the two islands. Many boats are anchored there to enjoy the quiet and scenery.
At the end of the Frioul channel one can see on the left the islet of Tradelière and on the right, the islet of Saint Ferréol. The legend has it that violinist Paganini – who the clergy refused burial in consecrated ground because of his “diabolical” virtuosity – was momentarily buried on it. Passing the Ile Saint Honorat, we discover the magnificent ruins of the fortified monastery overlooking the sea. The fortress was built in 1070 by Adalbert, abbot of Lerins, to protect monks from the Saracens pirates and Genoeses. In 1791, actress Blanche Sainval turned the fortified monastery into reception rooms! The, once can admire the Lerins Abbey and its chapels.
Since the fifth century, Saint Honorat Island has always had a monastic vocation. One finds there the main monastery of the 19th century and a vineyard renowned for its wines. Twenty monks live at the Lerins Abbey according to the Rule of Saint Benedict, applying the Benedictine motto “Ora et labora,” pray and work. From the Middle Ages, the vines are grown in Saint Honorat, enjoying sunshine throughout the year, a nice humidity and five different soils. The vineyard located in the central part of the island consists of eight acres – four dedicated to red wine and four to white wine. The grapes are pampered, every steps, from trimming to harvest, are made by hand with a minimum use of chemicals.
The Saint Siffrein then returns to the Frioul channel for passengers to savor their meal in this oasis of calm while enjoying the beauty of the islands as the sun sets. The meal, consisting of Provencal dishes, meat or fish, is the opportunity to taste the famous wines from the Abbey. After lunch, at night, the boat again passes in front of the Ile Sainte Marguerite to offer passengers the sublime view of the Fort Royal illuminated.
Finally, the Saint Siffrein gets back to the bay of Cannes and is positioned to provide an unobstructed view over the Fireworks Festival.
Upcoming excursions will take place on August 7 with fireworks by China, 15 (Portugal) and 24 (France).
Reservations: Tel 33 (0)4 92 99 54 18
The Saint Cyprien, designed to accommodate tourist operations with great comfort also makes trips to the Corniche d’Or, a cruise along the Esterel mountains and its coastline of red volcanic rocks shaped by the waves and diving in the turquoise blue waters of the Mediterranean. It also take people to the discovery of Antibes, Golfe-Juan – where Napoleon first landed in 1815 – and the beautiful Cap d’Antibes.
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