Ritz Carlton is known for its luxury resorts, but the lifestyle brand is about to venture into a brand-new industry. The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection
is expected to revolutionize the luxury cruise industry when it sets sail in 2020.
Image via Ritz-Carlton
Penthouse suite onboard a Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection ship
With only 298 passengers on each ship, which are more like a superyacht than an actual cruise ship, the Ritz Carlton level of service will be ensured. The cruise line will launch with three ships. Each ship has 149 suites, known as staterooms, all with private balconies. Two 1,485 sq. ft. penthouse "owners" suites, each with a private whirlpool, are found beside each other and can be rented together.
The christening will take place in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 1, 2020, just two nights before Super Bowl LIV is played in Miami. Late last year the new cruise line leased an office in Miami’s Coconut Grove for just over $6 million. Miami will be the first ship, which has yet to be named, homeport but Ritz Carlton has been clear that most ports of call will be much more intimate.
Image via Ritz-Carlton
Outdoor grill and bar area onboard one of the Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection ships
In its inaugural season, the first ship will see spring with the Miami based sailings through the Caribbean. Over the summer it will be repositioned to Europe will it split the first half of the summer with Mediterranean cruises, followed by Northern European sailings later in the summer. In the fall the ship will again traverse the Atlantic to be positioned in New England just in time for foliage season. It will then head back to Florida for a winter of Caribbean sailings. There are never two repeat cruise itineraries back to back, meaning that guests can book a single 7-10 cruise or double up.
Since the ship is much smaller than a traditional cruise ship, it will be able to have stops
in ports not typical of a cruise, including St. Barth’s, Carriacou, Falmouth, the Balearic Islands, and Mykonos. There will also be a mix of both day and overnight ports of call, which will help create more unique experiences for guests.
Shore excursions, known as The Shore Collection, are broken into five categories. Iconic Sights highlight the culture, history, and architecture of the port-of-call
. Active Explorations including recreational activities such as kayaking and swimming with turtles. Stirring the Senses focus on mental and physical wellbeing with activities like sunset yoga in the Grenadines or a visit with a spiritual shaman. Cultural Connections include philanthropic activities. And finally, Epicurean Experiences focus on culinary tours, such a visiting a winery or learning how to harvest baby oysters. A concierge specifically focused onshore experiences will help guests secure other unique experiences as they desire at each port-of-call.
“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection itineraries and programs on land were created with the yachting lifestyle in mind and will offer a relaxed pace and intimate, highly personalized experiences on shore,” said Douglas Prothero, Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We are thrilled to share the curated voyages and look forward to introducing guests to the local cultures of each destination through our Shore Collection while offering the best luxury accommodations at sea.”
Amenities on board include a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld, head chef of the three Michelin-starred restaurant Aqua, found at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. Unlike traditional cruise lines, there will be no set dining times. Instead, guests can dine whenever they choose. Other amenities include complimentary WiFi, alcohol, and onboard entertainment.
Reservations for the first sailings
open to the public this June with priority access for Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Rewards loyalty members opening next month.