By Alexander Britell
The highly-anticipated Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the hotel brand’s first foray into luxury small-ship cruising, has launched reservations.
The collection aims to “transform the luxury cruising industry” with a series of 190-meter-long ships accommodating up to 298 passengers across 149 suites.
The 2020 launch will be the first of three ships across the brand, which will see all-inclusive cruises with a luxury twist, including a signature restaurant designed by Sven Elverfeld, the Michelin-star chef.
The Ritz-Carlton cruise offering will also feature “immersive excursions” through the brand’s Shore Collection, along with free Wi-Fi and watersports.
And then there are what amount to perhaps the brand’s biggest standout: the suites.
Early renderings look stunning, with some even including their own outdoor whirlpools, with six different room categories.
That will include a significant Caribbean component, with cruises including 10-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale to Barbados; seven-night cruises from Barbados to Cartagena, Colombia and seven-night sailings from Barbados to Philipsburg, St Maarten.
Ritz-Carlton will also sail round-trip cruises out of Castries, Saint Lucia; one-way voyages between Fort Lauderdale and San Juan; and regional cruises bookended by San Juan and Philipsburg, St Maarten and even sailings from Cozumel to Fort Lauderdale.
In accordance with the planned boutique feel of the line, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will be visiting many small cruise ports traditionally inaccessible to larger cruise lines.
That includes tiny beach spots like Mayreau in the Grenadines and Catalina Island in the Grenadines, among others.
It all adds up to a luxury small-ship experience that takes direct aim at competitors in the Caribbean region from Windstar to Silversea.
Prices for the Caribbean sailings start at $4,600 per person, according to the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection web site.
“As the first luxury hotel company to bring the legendary service and ambience of its resorts to sea, we are thrilled to offer guests a new way to create memories with The Ritz-Carlton,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “From the yacht’s design, to programming onboard and ashore, every aspect of the voyage has been carefully created to embody the signature service and casual luxury of a Ritz-Carlton resort.”
The collection will begin sailing in February 2020, according to the company.
“The opening of reservations marks an exciting milestone for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which is set to redefine luxury at sea,” said Doug Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “Whether you are looking for culture, adventure, or the chance to go off the beaten path, we are thrilled to be able to invite guests to explore the world with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.”
For more info, visit the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.