The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, part of Marriott International, has announced its entry into luxury yachting and cruises – bringing the luxury hotel brand’s service to sea. Created by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator. The first of three cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019. “The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world. This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalised service,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Itineraries are being developed with an intent to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury resorts and the freedom of a yachting vacation. Voyages will range from seven to 10 days. The first ship will cruise a variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Due to the intimate size of the vessel, the yacht will call at locations typically not accessible to large cruise ships, from Capri and Portofino to St Barths and the old town of Cartagena.
The specially designed small capacity vessel will measure 190 metres, accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also feature two 138 square-metre duplex penthouse suites, with modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden.
“The Ritz-Carlton is known for its legendary service and high standards,” said Douglas Prothero, managing director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We are delighted to collaborate with The Ritz-Carlton as our hospitality operator in offering the most exclusive yachting experience to be found at sea in a venture that will give new meaning to curated luxury travel,” added Lars Clasen, managing director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.
The Ritz-Carlton yachts will feature a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg; a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa; and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar. Additionally, the yacht will offer curated destination journeys through collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists, allowing guests to experience the locations in experiential ways, both onboard and ashore.