JUNE 22, 2017 — The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is getting into the high end boutique yacht cruise business.
Called the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the venture has been created by the hotel company and cruise industry veterans Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.
The first of what are described as “three lavish cruising yachts” is scheduled to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The vessel will measure 190-meters, accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also have two 138 square-meter lavish 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.
No word yet on whether a shipbuilder has been selected.
“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,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “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 personalized service.”
Itineraries are being developed with an intent to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury resorts and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation. Calling at intimate and signature destinations alike, voyages will range from seven to ten days. The first ship will cruise a wide 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 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,” said 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 star restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg; a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa; and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar, offering a wide variety of on-board entertainment.