This month saw the launch of the first of three luxury “cruising yachts” for the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain.
The launch heralds the entry of Ritz-Carlton into the luxury yachting and cruising market.
The first vessel, reportedly called the “Ritz Carlton One” and capable of transporting 298 passengers, is under construction at the Hijos de J. Barreras shipyard in Vigo, Galicia. Completion is expected in October 2019.
The majority Pemex-owned Barreras shipyard has a long history of producing high-end quality vessels. In its construction of the “Ritz Carlton One”, the yard is working closely with a range of high-profile companies such as DNV GL, MAN Diesel, ABB and Interior Proman. It is also understood that the vessel will run on marine diesel only, although LNG was considered.
With the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the hotel chain aims to emulate the luxury, lifestyle and service standard that it is known for on land. With this in mind, the Maltese-flagged “Ritz-Carlton One” is being built to a very high specification. For example, the ratio of crew to guests on board will be a whopping 1:1.5. Contracts associated with the vessel are being collectively valued at approximately 250 million euros. According to the Galicia Press, this figure makes the vessel the most expensive civil craft ever built in Spain.
The “Ritz-Carlton One” is also smaller than a more conventional cruise ship. She will have an overall length of 190 m, 23.8 m beam and a draft of 5.65 m. These dimensions mean that the vessel will be able to call at ports where larger cruise ships cannot, such as Capri and Portofino. A
According to an interview with Skift earlier this year, CEO of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Douglas Prothero, said this increased flexibility means that the experience on offer will be more akin to being on board a private yacht rather than a cruise ship.
The inaugural cruise is set to depart in February 2020 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, bound for the Caribbean and calling at the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Barbados.
A video of the launch is below: