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Villefranche-Darse, between tradition and modernity
After being operated by the Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry for fifty years, the Port of Villefranche-Darse will once again be managed directly by the Council of the 06 Département from 1 January 2018.
While the Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry is already like a future partner, this change of management also represents an opportunity to underline the major developments to the Port in recent years.
THE PORT TODAY
The Port of Villefranche, which is a port complex or "Darse", is a natural port nestled within the magnificent bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, and is registered on the list of historical monuments. It has been used as a port since ancient times, and most of its original facilities have been conserved and renovated, always with a view to optimizing it. Thus, it was a dockyard in the past, and today hosts researchers from the Villefranche Oceanography Observatory.
This is a particular feature of the Port that can also be seen from the presence of ship repair professionals there. It has a surface area of 6.5 hectares, 3 of which are on the waterfront, and offers 800 linear metres of jetties and 540 linear metres of pontoons. It is run by an eight-person team in the winter, and by a thirteen-person team during the summer, and has two major activities: pleasure boats and ship repair. It currently has 520 places and floating customers and hosts 2,070 visiting vessels, for a total of over 20,000 overnight stays.
PAST INVESTMENTS: THE CULTURAL HERITAGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT HAVE BEEN THE PRIORITIES
The La Darse Port has taken steps to renew and beautify its infrastructure while ensuring at all times that the work is in harmony with the site's architectural heritage. The Old Forge was renovated in 2014 and is now the home of INB Côte d'Azur, a professional training centre for the yachting trades.
The most recent investments include repair works to the refuelling station, modifications to four pontoons in 2016 and 2017, renovations to the port lighting system to install LEDs, delivery of a new service vessel and the modernization and reinforcement of the video surveillance system.
The environmental DNA has also being one of the manager's unceasing priorities, with numerous awareness campaigns, Port Propre certification and the showcasing of the cultural heritage (with postcards and photos of the careening area on special fabric, for example).
CAREENING, THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF VILLEFRANCHE DOCK
With the refurbishment of the dry dock in 2004 and the reception area in the ship repair artisans building, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has created a port complex that is especially suitable for ship repairs, while also respecting the port's historical tradition. With an area of 4,317 square metres and a dry dock that can take vessels of up to 40 metres in length and 6/8 metres wide (depending on the shape of the keel), and its specialization in old riggings, the Port of Villefranche Darse has developed its activities around careening, lifting, construction, naval mechanics and shipwrights.
Look for the "50 years of the Concession of the Villefranche-Darse Port" video on our YouTube Riviera Ports network.
Mme Florence Lacroix