Their Mediterranean cruise makes a stop drawing hundreds outside a club

By Peter Mikelbank
Updated August 04, 2007 03:50 PM

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘s unexpected midnight visit to flashbulb capital Saint-Tropez kicked off what one veteran paparazzo dubbed “a genuine photo-riot.”

The couple drew crowds Friday night in a scene that VIP Room clubowner Jean Roch calls “crazy, crazy, crazy. It was an amazing surprise. There were maybe 500 to 600 people gathered outside when they tried leaving. It was like word of mouth had spread all along the Cote d’Azur.”

Inside the club, Cruise and Holmes “danced the entire night together,” says Roch. “When they weren’t dancing they were holding hands.”

Holmes, wearing a light-weight black dress embroidered with ruby-colored stones, and a jeans-clad Cruise appeared relaxed and friendly with the surprised photographers outside. Holmes even told one of them, “It’s great [to be in Saint-Tropez].”

The couple, who were cruising the Mediterranean with billionaire friends James and Erica Packer onboard the Australian honeymooners’ yacht the Arctic P., sailed into the waters during the late afternoon, according to observers. At midnight, the quartet came ashore at a small beach near the Papagayo restaurant, got into cars and headed to the VIP Room.

Just a day earlier, the couple made a stir in Corsica, where they headed out for pizza with a group of friends.

Still, it was the couple’s exit that left an impression on clubowner Roch, who also hosted Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s bachelor party and Diddy’s annual fete. “Last night was one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever seen. But we hope to do even better tonight. George Clooney‘s coming.” [IMAGE “1” “” “std” ]