Excerpt from Bloomberg
From superyacht-like boats to small port calls, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection aims to remove the herd-like mentality from the ocean experience.
Visits to secluded islands. Long, leisurely port calls. A crew that intuits whether you’re in the mood for a private tour of a nearby estate or a day of sunning on the deck.
It sounds much more like yachting than cruising—which is precisely the point.
When Ritz-Carlton, Marriott International Inc.'s flagship luxury brand, unveiled its cruise concept last year, it was clear that the hotel brand intended to take a detour from the rest of the industry. Its ships will offer luxuries largely unheard-of on cruise lines: airy, open-flow common areas, intimate restaurants that offer around-the-clock dining, and guest suites with high ceilings and twin bathroom sinks.
It’s not just design that aims to set the brand apart, says Doug Prothero, managing director of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, in an exclusive conversation with Bloomberg. It’s what guests will be able to do when they reach them. “On lots of our itineraries, you’ll only see yachts,” Prothero says. “On a lot of them, you’ll never find a larger cruise ship.”
Cruises will go on sale to the public on June 11. The still-unnamed maiden ship will ply the waters of the Southern Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Latin America, Canada, and New England starting in November 2019. Rarefied spots include Capri, the Greek isle of Kythira, and Canouan, Bequia, and the Tobago Cays in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
These port calls are enabled by the size of the line’s three future ships—190-meters-long (623-feet), with space for 298 passengers in 149 suites. They are about three times bigger than the largest superyachts, but more intimate than typically small cruise ships, which carry around 650 passengers. The Ritz’s vessels are comparable to the smaller luxury ships from Silversea Cruises.
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