Very possibly Europe’s largest marina taking in all four basins, Port de La Rochelle certainly goes the extra mile to promote the town’s many attractions and encourage visitors to make the most of their stay. Popular communications manager Philippe Rouger’s effort to nurture La Rochelle’s image at the Düsseldorf boat show has been rewarded by a recent 9-page dossier in Yacht Magazin further to the port’s having hosted judging for the “European Yacht of the Year”.


Port de Plaisance des Minimes, La Rochelle

Over recent years, the Port de La Rochelle has had the honour of hosting the jury of European Yacht of the Year on no less than three occasions. The event coincides with the Grand Pavois boat show where numerous boat construction companies assemble each year, allowing the judges to carry out tests on each of the nominated boats. The port assists with logistic support, grouping nominated boats together and providing a meeting room (and daily snacks!) for the judges to carry out debriefs at the end of each day.

Amel 50 – European Yacht of the Year a category winner

Internationally renowned, this prestigious prize is awarded within different categories on gala night at Boot, the Düsseldorf boat show. La Rochelle is thus regularly referred to in front of an audience of personalities and professionals from all over the globe. It is clear then that hosting the trials allows the town’s image to be firmly established within the international nautical sphere.

The judges’ work is led by Mr. Jochen Rieker, chief editor of the German’s most widely read specialist publications: Yacht Magazin.  Europe’s top yachting journalists apply their professional expertise to testing the selected yachts.


A 9-page report in the May 2018 edition of Yacht Magazin shone a light on La Rochelle, but served to also illuminate the surrounding town and the quality of the magnificent local sailing area; describing charming neighbouring ports, with detailed advice for safe navigation and managing tides. The tourist angle is very much in evidence, drawing on the quality of life and notably, the area’s unique historic heritage.

La Rochelle's stand at the Düsseldorf boat showThis correlates with one of the cornerstones of a commercial strategy to attract northern European boaters to La Rochelle, serving as a benefit not only to the port but also the local tourist and professional marine industry.

The magazine dossier, together with the presence stand for the last three years at the Düsseldorf show, bolsters a long-term effort to showcase La Rochelle as an alternative destination to the Mediterranean (“not as hot; not as overcrowded”); a great idea for spending holidays with family and friends where visitors to the port are greeted with welcome gifts and “Vivez La Rochelle” vouchers to use in local attractions.

To learn more about the Port de La Rochelle, visit their website: