The first of three Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruise ships touched the water for the first time at its float out ceremony at the Hijos De J. Barreras Shipyard in Vigo, Spain.
The float out ceremony signifies that workers have nearly completed the exterior construction of the new ship. Working on the interior will be the next steps and eventually, sea trials will take place to test the ship’s seaworthiness. It is expected to be delivered next year and to make its maiden voyage in February 2020.
The 298-passenger yacht will be bestowed with a name in a christening ceremony in December 2018.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will feature luxury yacht-like cruise ships with all-balcony cabins, multiple dining venues and water toys accessible via an onboard marina. Fares will be all-inclusive, covering alcoholic drinks, crew gratuities and Wi-Fi.
The first yacht will spend its maiden season in the Caribbean, followed by stints in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Canada/New England, before returning to the Caribbean for the winter.
In attendance are Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection; Timothy Grisius, global real estate officer for Marriott International; Jose Garcia Costas, chairman of the shipyard; and Fredrik Johansson, owner and executive project director of Tillberg Design of Sweden.
Ritz-Carlton luxury at sea
When the luxury hotel brand announced that it will venture in the world of cruising, the reaction has been off the charts. Unlike massive cruise lines that on board thousands of passengers, Ritz-Carlton went for a more intimate approach.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruise line will have a passenger capacity of fewer than 300 as travellers seek more authentic, bespoke experiences. One of the advantages of smaller cruise ships is being able to enter remote ports that can’t be reached by larger ships.
“Legendary Ritz-Carlton service to luxury yachting”
“Our goal is to introduce the legendary Ritz-Carlton service to luxury yachting, while also redefining curated travel at sea,” Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton, said. “An increased demand in the luxury cruise space inspired us to capitalise on the niche market of small ship cruising, which we are excited to bring to our guests.”
Something to look forward to is the Ritz-Carlton renowned luxury and unparalleled level of individualized service to guests at sea. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have the highest staff to guest service ratio in the cruise industry.
Filling the void of a personalised cruise, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will cater to travel aficionados that want excursions that feel similar to that of a private yacht.