Ritz-Carlton Expands From Hotels Into Luxury Cruises

Cruises are often likened to floating hotels -- and that statement has been substantiated even more today. Today, luxury hotel brand Ritz-Carlton announced its plans to test the waters -- literally -- with the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, a fleet of three ships that will cruise to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Latin American, the Caribbean, and other destinations. This cross-market venture will be the first time a luxury hotel brand has hit the high seas. 

Rendering courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

You still have time before setting that OOO (the first yacht won’t make its debut until 2019), but make sure you mark your calendars (reservations will open in May 2018). The next two vessels will make their voyages in 2021 and 2022. For now, they’re slated to set sail for seven to 10-days.

And while “intimate” and “small-scale” aren’t words you typically associate with mega cruise lines, the Ritz will be filling that void. Each of the three yachts will have 149 staterooms, accommodating only 298 passengers. A Ritz-Carlton spa, multiple dining venues (including an establishment from the chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Germany), several swimming pools, and suites with private balconies are among the upscale offerings you can expect on the debut yacht. The new vessel will also house duplex suites, as well as a sweeping platform that gives guests direct access to the water. However, the ship will lack a show lounge and formal dining room, Travel + Leisure reports. 

Rendering courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

Interestingly, the Ritz-Carlton hopes to use its smaller size and appealing itineraries to tap the millennial market, a demographic that hasn’t yet dipped its toes into cruising.

Whether it successfully wins over that group or not, one thing is for certain: it has certainly made waves in the news today.

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