Monaco Yacht Show 2021: What to Expect

16 September 2021 By Lauren Beck, By Aileen Mack
Port Hercule, Monaco

Lauren Beck is the former editor of Dockwalk and was with the publication from 2006 to 2023. At 13, she left South Africa aboard a 34-foot sailing boat with her family and ended up in St. Maarten for six years. Before college, she worked as crew for a year, and then cut her journalistic teeth at Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal online. She loves traveling, reading, tennis, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

Written by

Aileen Mack

Associate Editor Aileen Mack joined Dockwalk in July 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. If she’s not at a concert or coffee shop, she is lost in a book, movie or a YouTube rabbit hole. Email Aileen at

Missing from our show calendars last year, the Monaco Yacht Show returns September 22­–25, 2021, with new additions and a revised format. The show will feature 300 exhibitors participating and about 60 superyachts with 37 new deliveries from 2021 being unveiled.

After almost 18 months of missed events and travel, most people are happy to get back to something approaching normal. Capt. Todd Leech of SilverYachts 85-meter M/Y Bold is one of them. “[I’m] very excited to be back at MYS,” he says, as he’s looking forward to seeing “lots of old friends who I haven’t seen face to face (mask to mask) in ages now. [I’m] also keen to see M/Y Artefact.” It’s not his first boat show since COVID-19 swept the world, and he’s taking those lessons to MYS. “Things can run smoothly wi[th] enough risk reduction and planning,” Capt. Leech says. “[My crew] are all 100 percent vaccinated, will wear masks, and make sure everyone cleans hands at the gangway. No large groups or events, sadly.”

Capt. Aaron Clarke of 80-meter Nobiskrug M/Y Artefact is also looking forward to things returning to normal. “We are fully behind it and support the show so as to get back to some form of normality,” he says. It will be his first show since the pandemic began. “It is an industry built on long-term relationships and [it] will be great to see people and discuss industry topics,” he says.

Aileen Mack

MYS Sanitary Protocols

From the first day of preparations to dismantling the last stand, the show will follow a COVID-safe sanitary protocol through adhering to measures placed by the principality’s government along with the AllSecure health security program that is mandatory for all Informa Group events.

“We are following the evolution of the pandemic very closely, as well as the sanitary constraints applied in each of our visitors’ home countries,” says Gaëlle Tallarida, general manager of MYS. “As organizers of the exhibition, our responsibility is to ensure safe and healthy conditions for each visitor, exhibitor, service provider, and member of staff.”

Masks are mandated for everyone over the age of five in the principality at all times. The show requires surgical masks, FFP2, or Bettimask™ fabric masks, and states that all other fabric masks are not allowed. They also recommend changing masks every four hours.

To access the show, you need a valid health pass in digital or paper format. This could be the Monaco Safe Pass, COVID EU digital certificate, or one of these options below:

  1. A negative PCR or antigen test, with results less than 72 hours old
  2. A complete vaccination: For Janssen vaccine, must be 28 days after one dose; for other vaccines, seven days after dose 2 or a single dose for those who have had COVID-19.
  3. Proof of COVID-19 recovery certificate: positive PCR test older than 11 days and less than six months.
Aileen Mack

Attendees will receive a “heath pass” bracelet, which must be worn at all times. The show requires everyone to present their health pass daily, plus an identity document. There will also be a COVID-19 testing center at the show on Quai Antoine 1er, with no appointments necessary.

“[I have] no concerns at all,” says Capt. Nathan McFadyen of the 57-meter Amels M/Y Volpini 2, who is attending his second MYS. “We were in Monaco earlier this season and Monaco has got to be one of the strictest [with] COVID — maybe not as strict as New Zealand and Australia — but they have got it very, very under control.”

Capt. Clarke says they plan to approach the show the way they have been handling COVID all along, with a few additions for the show. “More onboard sanitizing during the show, masks, checking temperatures, and recording all visitors to the vessel, no big parties and any entertainment on board is strictly controlled,” he says.

As Capt. McFadyen notes, he hasn’t had a single case of COVID on his yacht. “Maybe I’ve been a little bit heavy handed, but you know the techniques worked [and] we’re all fully vaccinated now,” he says. As he explains, they plan to arrive in Monaco five days before the show as the show is built around the yachts. Once there, even with all their vaccination certificates, all the crew have to undergo rapid tests on arrival. “I think it’s probably one of the safest places in the world at the moment,” he says.

New MYS 2021 Additions

Two new exhibitions are launching at the show this year, with one dedicated to sailing boats and the other to yacht design and innovation. On Quai l’Hirondelle, the sailing vessel exhibition will be moored opposite the stands representing their respective shipyards, designers, and specialist equipment manufacturers. The Yacht Design & Innovation Hub will provide a new space for the presentation of design projects, allowing visitors to also interact with designers and naval architects.


The Captains & Crew Lounge

And don’t forget about the Captains & Crew (C&C) Lounge. Specifically for captains and crew, it provides a quiet spot if crew need a moment on break or a place to hang out ashore. The Lounge offers free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, snacks, and refreshments. Register online and exhibiting captains and crew can enjoy complimentary breakfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 to 3 p.m. each day at the ground floor restaurant. Throughout the show, the Lounge will host a full program of activities and entertainment, including Afterwork happy hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Make sure to stop by and chat to Dockwalk!

What to Expect Ashore

When arriving into the principality, all people over the age of 18 must present all documents required depending on your zone of origin. For those in the green zone, the requirements to enter the principality are the same as entering the show, outlined above.

Masks are required when going ashore for anyone over the age of 5, except around swimming pools or on the beach. Masks are strongly recommended in private areas, as well.

As of August 23, if you wish to consume food or beverages inside a restaurant, you need to present a Health Pass or equivalent. And they’re strict on enforcement. “A couple of our crew went out for takeaway coffees [last time in Monaco] and they weren’t allowed to even go in and get takeaway coffees because their vaccine certificate still had two days before they got to 14 days,” Capt. McFadyen says. “So Monaco is very strict and the show’s exactly the same.”

Of course, some things will be forced to change, and entertainment is one of those things. As Capt. McFadyen notes, those Monaco late-night parties may give way to quieter dinners instead. “For me, it’s just catching up with all those people you haven’t seen over the last couple of years, people that [we’ve] been avoiding like the plague,” he says.

“We are now living with COVID, [and] all crew and owners are vaccinated,” Capt. Clarke says. “This is the new world we live in and we need to just persevere and move forward. On board a yacht is one of the best places to be over the past 1 1/2 years due to the ability to isolate and still enjoy the world for the wonderful things it has to offer.”


More from Dockwalk