Although Virgin Voyages made a splash in the larger ships cruise market, most of the action at SeaTrade focused on companies introducing more small ships. SeaTrade is the annual conference of the global cruise industry which was held a week ago in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.
Douglas Prothero, the managing director of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection revealed the design of the first of several small ships (298 passengers) which will offer an ultra-luxury experience….which he describes as its “laser-sharp” mission.”
While there are a few other luxury yachts operating in the cruise sector, notably the SeaDream ships and the Crystal Esprit, this company is banking on drawing its early customers from those who know and appreciate the Ritz-Carlton experience and are willing to pay for it. Many of these will also be patrons of the Marriott Luxury Collection.
The company is co-managed with Marriott and that company’s 600 salespeople, 800 focusing on luxury, are a terrific resource for such a new venture.
The first vessel is due in late 2019 and will include the Great Lakes and Atlantic Canada in its itineraries.
Prothero promises that inside and out the design will evoke being on a luxury yacht.
Accommodations feature 149 suites, each with its own terrace, including two luxurious penthouse suites. As with Ritz-Carlton on land, cruises feature:
- Destination-based activities with local chefs, artists and musicians
- Luxury amenities including The Ritz-Carlton Spa
- Elevated dining including a restaurant from Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, and Panorama Lounge
Most voyages range from 7 to 12 nights and include intimate and signature destinations alike with many overnight calls. The shore excursion line-up was also released last week.
The first of three yachts will sail in November 2019.
Reservations for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will open to the public in June 2018, following priority access booking in May 2018 for Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Rewards loyalty members. They are also available for private charter. If interested in getting in line to book at Ritz-Carlton cruise, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.