Ritz-Carlton announce ambitious yachting and cruising venture for UHNWIs

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, part of Marriott International, has announced ‘The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’; a rare luxury yachting and cruise innovation with finance partner Oacktree Capital.

The venture could mark a significant change in the yachting industry, as the luxury hotel operator uses its expertise to offer a unique combination of yachting and cruising that offers ‘the finest cruise-yacht experience imaginable’ for ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said that the new project will “usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalised service.”

Three 190m vessels, built at Barreras Shipayrd in Vigo, are scheduled to launch late 2019, with a capacity of 298 passengers. Each yacht will have 149 suites, equipped with a private balcony, with several duplex suites also on board.

Two duplex penthouse suites will also be available, with interior finishes designed by The Ritz-Carlton and cruise ship design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. All suites will be available for complete buyouts or private charter, with prices currently unknown.

According to Douglas Prothero, managing director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the suites are an deal setup for groups and meetings, due to an “innovative wall system in place so that room layouts can be modified to suit the purpose of each voyage,” adding, “we also believe this will be an exciting new option for those who are between yachts or who have left private ownership.”

Targeted at the top one percent of global travellers, the vessels feature beach-club platforms with direct access to the water, and will emulate the Ritz-Carlton brand in every area. The first ship will feature some top culinary amenities, including an a la carte restaurant from Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, a three-Michelin-starred Ritz-Carlton Restaurant ‘Wolfsburg’, and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar offering a range of exclusive entertainment.

Itineraries will be between seven and 10 days, and are currently being worked on by a team of cruise professionals, instructed to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton’s resorts with the casual freedom of a yachting vacation.

Exact routes have not yet been released, but the first yacht is anticipated to cruise the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the New England area. The second vessel will follow a similar route, with added voyages to the St Lawrence and Great Lakes area in the summer. Finally, the third will cruise destinations in Asia Pacific.

Prothero commented, “We saw a very real opportunity within the luxury cruise market, which is expected to continue to grow, especially among a rapidly increasing population of high net worth individuals.

“We anticipate the number of global cruise passengers to grow by four per cent annually through to 2020.”

For more information, visit Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

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