Luxury travellers who’ve long turned their noses up at the idea of cruising might be tempted to reconsider. Ritz-Carlton has announced its plans to enter the cruise market with the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, a small fleet of custom-built boats that aims to give jetsetters a unique yachting-meets-resort experience. The launch marks the first time a luxury hotel chain has parlayed its brand to the sea, according to the company.
Each of the three yachts will have 149 suites with private balconies, accommodating up to 298 people. The boats will also be available for private charters. But don’t start packing your bags just yet — the first vessel won’t set sail until late 2019. Though finalized itineraries are still being ironed out, destinations will include the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America with ports of call that are typically off-limits to larger vessels, like Capri, Portofino, and St. Barths.
According to Herve Humler, President and COO of The Ritz-Carlton Company, it’s a concept that the brand had been toying with for many years. “We will be one of the smallest, ultra-luxury cruise ships in the market… and we’re hoping to attract those who wouldn’t consider a mainstream cruise, but would entertain a highly-curated yacht style experience,” Humler told Town & Country. “Through collaborations with local chefs, musicians, and artists, guests will get to experience the locations in unique and experiential ways, both onboard and ashore.”