This article originally appeared online in March 2018; it was updated on June 14, 2018, to include current information.
When the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection launches in early 2020, the line will exemplify the modern overhaul of the luxury cruise experience. The venture aims to blur the lines between an upscale yacht charter, a small-ship cruise, and a resort-style vacation.
The trio of 298-passenger vessels is the result of Ritz-Carlton’s partnership with cruise ship design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. But it’s not just neutral color palettes and an elevated appearance that will set the collection apart: All three vessels will offer slow-paced itineraries centered around destinations to which the larger cruise ships don’t typically have access, from the Greek isle of Kythira to the Tobago Cays in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The voyages—which will cruise a variety of destinations, including the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean, North America, and Latin America—will range from seven to 10 days. Itineraries will blend the luxury offered at Ritz-Carlton’s resorts with the laid-back freedom of life on a yacht.
“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality, and the vessels are sure to be true standouts in some of the most glamorous ports around the world,” says Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC. “This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant, and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalized service.”
Here’s what you can expect from the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection when the cruise concept debuts its first vessel in February 2020.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection ships will be all-inclusive, with alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks available in-suite and throughout the yacht. Onboard gratuities and Wi-Fi will also be included in the fare, which is in line with the cost of other luxury cruises (a seven-day Mediterranean cruise starts at $5,600 per person).
Yachts will feature five dining venues—a main restaurant, an Asian fusion restaurant, a poolside grill, casual dining, and an à la carte restaurant by renowned chef Sven Elverfeld of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant at Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany. In addition, all three yachts will feature a wine bar with entertainment experiences, including programs focused on local musicians, lecturers, chefs, and artists. (In-suite dining will also be available around the clock.)
Accommodations will feature 145 suites (including two penthouse suites), each with its own terrace. To accommodate different travelers’ needs, Ritz-Carlton designed the onboard suites so they can be made into larger or smaller cabins when required—the ship can go from 145 suites to 106 suites for charter groups.
The luxury small ships will have an outdoor platform for open-air events and parties. Each vessel will feature multiple pools, with an infinity-style pool and whirlpool among them. An indoor-outdoor solarium will act as a sun lounge for passengers by day; by night, the yacht’s top deck will transform into a nightclub-style space.
During wellness treatments at the onboard spa, passengers can choose between indoor and outdoor rooms, each with a private balcony. Each vessel will also host a fitness center with an outdoor yoga and relaxation space, as well as social space—the living room—that serves as a library and café. The routes, programming, and itineraries will be leisure oriented too: Custom-tailored journeys will be geared toward more sensory and in-depth experiences.
The first Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection vessel sets sail in the Caribbean in February 2020. Reservations open May 2018, with booking priority given to members of the Ritz-Carlton Rewards loyalty program.