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The Ritz-Carlton’s Own Cruise Line Will Be Ready In 2019

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, part of Marriott International’s luxury accommodation holdings, will make its first foray into the luxury cruise industry starting in late 2019, according to a recent announcement from the company. The company is building a small fleet of three 298-passenger yachts, each planned to feature 149 balcony suites along with two deluxe penthouse duplex suites. Dubbed the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, it will be based out of Coconut Grove, Florida though no home ports for the three fledgling yachts have been announced.

While not scheduled to launch until the fourth quarter of 2019, bookings will open in May 2018. Douglas Prothero, former CEO and founder of the Canadian Maritime Group, and Lars Clasen, former president of Aida Cruises, are the creative minds behind the project. The Ritz-Carlton hopes the new service will attract the attention of the growing luxury cruise market in Asia, as well as draw interest from travelers already accustomed to the company’s upscale hotel offerings.

The Ritz-Carlton intends to create a unique experience on both land and sea, with 7 to 10 day itineraries available. The ships themselves will be featuring a restaurant by Chef Sven Elverfeld of Aqua (the restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg with 3 Michelin stars) as well as a Ritz-Carlton Spa, wine-bar, and on-board entertainment. Off-deck plans include food, art, and entertainment tours within port cities. The line will harbor in the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America, with special stops in Capri and Portofino in Italy and St. Barths in the Caribbean, ports not accessible by larger cruise liners.

The luxury cruise industry is admittedly crowded, with the likes of Ponant, Windstar, Regent, Silversea and others firmly dominating the field. That said, The Ritz-Carlton has decades of experience in luxury accommodations, and their plan to transition this experience onboard their yachts has great potential.

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