We talk to Captain Maria Grazia Franco about her year on board the charter yacht Mariu, a 49.9-metre Codecasa

Designed and built for her launch owner Giorgio Armani, Mariu is proving a popular charter choice. We meet her captain, Maria Grazia Franco, to find out about a year on charter aboard Mariu.

A year on charter aboard Mariu

Photo: Jeff Brown

What have you been up to?
“In the winter we crossed to the Caribbean – 18 days from Greece to Antigua, including stopovers at Cagliari, Gibraltar and Las Palmas. We had our dose of excitement with a two-day storm on the way to Las Palmas, but made it nicely across in time to participate in the MYBA Antigua Show, a fantastic opportunity to let the brokers taste a little of our hospitality. We then cruised between St Barths and St Maarten with owners and family. In the spring, it was back across for a busy charter season covering all of the Mediterranean, from Turkey to France, Italy, Greece, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia.”

A year on charter aboard Mariu

Highlight of the year?
“That came in a late-October charter, right after a storm. The following night we organised the most amazing engagement proposal dinner one will ever wish for – better than a movie! Anchored off the Faraglioni at Marina Piccola in Capri, we were the only yacht in the bay. The sundeck was dressed all in white, with silk curtains, candles and flowers, and the best local guitarist and singer Mario Bindi was on board. Two-star Michelin chef Tonino Mellino from Quattro Passi cooked dinner. The couple were overwhelmed by our arrangements.”
Plans for this year?
“Another busy summer season of charters in the Med, which started with the Monaco Grand Prix.”

MG Franco

Captain Maria Grazia Franco

Mariu, which launched in 2003, sleeps 12 guests looked after by 12 crew. The yacht is now an RYA training establishment for PWCs or Jetskis. She charters through Edmiston from €185,000pw (low season) to €225,000pw (high season).

• A version of this story appears in SuperYacht World 49