Four Seasons Yachts’ Unique Pricing Model

Four Seasons Yachts’ Unique Pricing Model

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Four Seasons Yachts journeys are only bookable by invitation or through select Four Seasons travel advisors. Ford and his team are happy to help with requests, and can be reached at [email protected]. They can answer any questions, and put a journey on hold for you ASAP.

Four Seasons is getting into the cruising industry, with the first Four Seasons Yachts ship expected to set sail by early 2026. As I recently wrote about, Four Seasons Yachts journeys are now bookable, with itineraries in both the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

There’s a lot that makes Four Seasons Yachts unique, from the unparalleled amount of space dedicated to each passenger, to the plan to primarily tender guests into port (rather than using cruise terminals), to the pricing model for cruises.

In this post I wanted to take a look at Four Seasons’ pricing model for these cruises, which is raising some eyebrows. From the time that it was announced, it was pretty clear that the goal with Four Seasons Yachts was to essentially be a cruise line for those who wouldn’t ordinarily take a cruise, and I think the pricing model reflects that.

How Four Seasons prices its cruises

There are two unique things about Four Seasons Yachts’ pricing compared to other luxury cruise lines — pricing isn’t all-inclusive, and pricing also isn’t per guest. This is sure to be controversial among some, so let’s take a closer look.

Four Seasons Yachts doesn’t include meals & alcohol

Virtually every major cruise line includes all meals with a sailing. Furthermore, generally luxury cruise lines include alcohol, so you’ll spend very little money onboard. Four Seasons Yachts will be different:

  • Four Seasons Yachts pricing includes your accommodation, breakfast, non-alcoholic drinks, light snacks, and gratuities
  • Four Seasons Yachts charges extra for lunch, dinner, and alcoholic beverages
Four Seasons Yachts doesn’t include all meals

Four Seasons Yachts charges per suite

Perhaps this is more a technicality than something with major implications, but it’s still worth covering. Cruise line pricing is typically per person, based on double occupancy. Four Seasons Yachts takes a different approach, and you pay per suite, regardless of occupancy.

In other words, it’s very much like booking a hotel room, where the cost typically doesn’t vary, as long as you’re within the occupancy limits. This same policy applies whether you book the entry level Seaview Suite (which can accommodate two adults and one infant), or the the four story Funnel Suite (which can accommodate five adults and one child).

Four Seasons Yachts charges per suite

My take on Four Seasons’ cruise pricing

I’ve seen some people react negatively to Four Seasons’ a la carte pricing model for its cruises. Of course everyone is looking for a different experience, and the market will decide whether or not this model makes sense.

I’ll admit that I was surprised when I first heard that, but that’s mainly because we’re conditioned to think of cruise ships as essentially being big floating restaurants and bars. For many people, that’s the draw of cruising.

So I wanted to talk about this in a bit more detail, as I think there’s some nuance to this policy. To be clear, I don’t have a strong opinion here one way or another. I just think that just because something is different doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.

Some people seem to be framing this as “how cheap not to include meals and drinks,” rather than asking “would you rather the fare be $X amount higher and include meals and drinks?”

Four Seasons Yachts’ pricing isn’t unreasonable

The first thing to keep in mind that Four Seasons Yachts journeys are a lot more reasonably priced than most people were expecting. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still really expensive compared to other cruise lines, but Four Seasons is creating a really special experience here, offering a product that’s basically not otherwise available at sea.

When the concept of Four Seasons Yachts was first announced, I speculated in a blog post that journeys would start at $1,500-2,000 per person per day (I had no inside information, that was just a guess). In the comments section of that post, not a single person agreed with me — everyone thought it would be significantly more expensive than that.

In reality, pricing generally starts a little under $3,000 per suite per night, with some variance based on the voyage. Based on the current itineraries, the cheapest journey starts at ~$1,900 per suite per night (the transatlantic crossing itinerary), while the most expensive journey starts at ~$3,350 per night (some of the Greek itineraries).

Of course that’s not cheap, but Four Seasons Yachts is a unique product, as the ship just has 95 accommodations. Obviously that needs to be priced accordingly in order for it to make economic sense. This isn’t Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, with 2,800+ rooms.

Even on the high end, compare this to the existing Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection ship:

  • Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s current ship is marginally smaller than the Four Seasons Yachts’ ship, but has 57% more rooms (149 keys vs. 95 keys)
  • Four Seasons Yachts’ entry level suites are 58% larger than Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s suites (473 square feet vs. 300 square feet)

When Four Seasons Yachts was first announced, many media reports claimed that pricing would start at $2,500 per person per day. I’m not sure what the initial source was for that, but suffice it to say that the reality ended up being much more palatable.

Four Seasons Yachts offers an amazing amount of space

Is all-inclusive inherently better than a la carte?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a cruising expert. I used to love cruise ships when I was a kid, but I haven’t taken a cruise in around two decades, but am now finally planning my first one again.

But it raises a question for which I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer — would you rather Four Seasons Yachts charges an extra $X amount per night and includes food and drinks, or would you rather have more of an a la carte model?

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer, but here are a few thoughts as to why I think countering the industry trend isn’t necessarily a bad idea:

  • Even luxury cruise ships are never truly all-inclusive; at a minimum, there’s always premium alcohol that you can buy, and Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection (just to keep the comparison going) also has a fine dining restaurant onboard that you have to pay extra for, to the tune of hundred of dollars per person
  • Given the price of some suites on Four Seasons Yachts — in some cases $200K+ per journey — I’m sure there are some people who would regularly be buying premium food and drinks anyway
  • Four Seasons Yachts has a lot of legitimately great itineraries where you’re at a destination during lunch and dinner hours, and you probably want to eat at the destination; this is different than taking a cruise where you’re docking in the port of Nassau or Cozumel on a 6,000-person ship
  • Four Seasons doesn’t have any all-inclusive resorts, and I think Four Seasons Yachts is going after a similar customer base, who are used to this; admittedly if you like the existing cruise industry or all-inclusives, this might appeal to you less

So I guess to summarize:

  • Would I love if Four Seasons Yachts had the current pricing and included all food and drinks? I mean, of course I would… who doesn’t want more for less?
  • Would I rather Four Seasons raise prices by $1,000 per night per stateroom and include meals? For me, definitely not, because I’m not taking a cruise to have 15 drinks per day and eat three huge meals per day
  • Do I understand why people who specifically enjoy cruises for the all-inclusive aspect of it are put off by this? Of course I do, and I think that’s the beauty of any competitive industry, because there are options for everyone

If I took a Four Seasons Yachts journey, I’d of course have the included breakfast. I might have a drink or two at most in the evening, as that’s as much as I’m interested in drinking, and day drinking just makes me sleepy. And then I’d have at most one additional meal onboard a day.

Four Seasons Yachts charges extra for lunch and dinner

Bottom line

Four Seasons is getting into the cruising industry, with the launch of Four Seasons Yachts by early 2026. I don’t think anyone would deny that the renderings of the first ship look amazing, so this should be a pretty special experience.

Four Seasons Yachts has some unique policies that people probably weren’t expecting, including that only breakfast and non-alcoholic drinks are included, while lunch, dinner, and alcoholic drinks, come at an extra cost. It’s not all bad news, though, as Four Seasons Yachts pricing is much more reasonable than most people had predicted (though still at the top of the market, given the product being offered).

Conversations (18)
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  1. Stuart F Guest

    Larry Pimentel, Philip Levine exit joint owner/operator of Four Seasons Yachts

    When launched, what gave Four Seasons Yachts credibility as being a successful cruise line start-up, was not its owner, Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings (or its affiliation with the Four Seasons brand) but its leadership, namely highly respected travel and cruise line veteran Larry Pimentel, whom I've known since he headed up Seabourn Cruises, at its launch as an independent company headquartered in San Francisco (before...

    Larry Pimentel, Philip Levine exit joint owner/operator of Four Seasons Yachts

    When launched, what gave Four Seasons Yachts credibility as being a successful cruise line start-up, was not its owner, Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings (or its affiliation with the Four Seasons brand) but its leadership, namely highly respected travel and cruise line veteran Larry Pimentel, whom I've known since he headed up Seabourn Cruises, at its launch as an independent company headquartered in San Francisco (before its sale to Carnival Corp).

    However in February Four Seasons Yachts Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Larry Pimentel, who is also a Board Member of Virtuoso, along with Board Member, PhilipLevine, abruptly resigned. This leaves Nadim Ashi, the other co-founder of Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings as being in charge. Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings was established by Ashi, whose Fort Partners is a Miami-based, privately held real estate and hospitality development firm that owns the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Surfside, and Levine, former Miami Beach mayor and a cruise industry veteran who founded Onboard Media and Royal Media Partners. Marc and Henry are the names of their sons. He has no cruise line experience, no less a challenging start-up.

    Therefore I would advise extreme caution in booking Four Seasons Yachts in advance of its launch and prudence calls for waiting until they have some experience, assuming the launch date holds.

  2. DG Guest

    Four seasons does have an all inclusive resort. naviva in punta mita. Which is more expensive per night than the standard rooms here, for comparison.

  3. Michael_FFM Diamond

    I like their pricing model, it's transparent and fair.

    With regards to the pricing of the suites, the other cruise operators effectively price very similarly. Pricing is always based on a 2-person occupancy, and if you happen to travel alone, in most cases you still pay the 2-person price. So other cruise operators just obfuscate that they price per room, not per person.
    On the F&B-side on other cruise lines the fancy restaurants...

    I like their pricing model, it's transparent and fair.

    With regards to the pricing of the suites, the other cruise operators effectively price very similarly. Pricing is always based on a 2-person occupancy, and if you happen to travel alone, in most cases you still pay the 2-person price. So other cruise operators just obfuscate that they price per room, not per person.
    On the F&B-side on other cruise lines the fancy restaurants often cost extra, as do premium beverages. If you want peace of mind you need to purchase a drinks package, which is so expensive, that you have to really drink a lot to make it worth a while. Even more so, since all passengers on the booking have to purchase it, regardless if they drink or not.

    So yes, I like the F.S.-model and I will give their cruises my consideration.

  4. Mantis Gold

    I like the idea of not worrying about getting good value if I didn't gain 10+ lbs during a cruise. I usually only eat 2 meals anyway while traveling, so a big breakfast then a meal during a shore excursion, and my f&b bill wouldn't be too outrageous. Once you've unbundled f&b, it makes perfect sense to not charge per person... though it sucks for solo travelers.

  5. DCYUKON Guest

    The real question us why they’re doing the nearly identical boring itineraries (Med/Caribbean) as other cruise ships., rather than unique itineraries. Hard pass regardless of whether it’s all inclusive or à la carte.

  6. LP Guest

    Ben - Why do you think FS plans to take passengers to port via tender? That would make sense if the ports were primarily tiny/unique, but just seems like an unnecessary and slow hurdle for ports like Santorini that sure would have room for this little cruise ship to dock.

  7. SBCMT Guest

    Having chartered yachts for more and catered etc. for holidays in the past and invited people that I actually like to spend that period with.
    This is of no value to me in the sense that I have to spend time with pretentious strangers that I don't know, Four Seasons is a brand that is frankly just ok in most cases compared to having it specifically catered for what matches what is actually "great"...

    Having chartered yachts for more and catered etc. for holidays in the past and invited people that I actually like to spend that period with.
    This is of no value to me in the sense that I have to spend time with pretentious strangers that I don't know, Four Seasons is a brand that is frankly just ok in most cases compared to having it specifically catered for what matches what is actually "great" instead of what seems to be the most famous on Tatlers..
    That said, it works for the western audience who wants to think that they're special...and the TAM there is big enough...
    The thought of having to interact with strangers that aren't there to serve just throws me off....

    1. Lee Guest

      Are you also a germophobe?

    2. JoePro Guest

      I too prefer to avoid the common man at all costs. The mere mention of a ship like "Icon" nauseates me to my core.

      Obviously there are those who think they've risen above it just because the ship says "Four Seasons" or "Ritz"... those who've put their noses up at and avoided traditional "cruises"... but they really are still mostly the riff-raff of the planet.

      Not to mention the god-awful diseases those types tend to spread.

      Cheerio!

  8. boo Guest

    So interesting that transatlantic itinerary is ~$1000 cheaper than Europe.
    I would imagine it is costs less to the operator when the ship is in the port than at sea (fuel costs, navigation, etc) - so is the price difference is what they are expecting average guest to spend since they are locked to ship restaurants and entertainment?

    1. 305 Guest

      It's just general trends/demand. Transatlantic cruises are typically some of the cheapest you'll find on a per-day basis. Most people aren't interested in spending 6+ straight days at sea in the Atlantic

    2. LP Guest

      The operator is sailing the ship across the Atlantic not primarily to sell tickets for the voyage but to sell tickets in the destination. So the fuel and most operating costs (basically) are the same whether they sail the ship empty across the Atlantic or full of passengers. They also aren't paying taxes at ports. For all those reasons, the nightly rate is cheaper.

    3. Luis Guest

      I worked on a cruise ship for a year. Sea crossing cruises are the most boring and least desirable trips so prices are always lower. You're basically stuck on the ship at sea for 4-6 days and the view never changes. Appeal of a cruise is that you wake up in a new destination every morning.

  9. Keyser Soze Guest

    Ben,
    You mention that you haven’t cruised in many years but are now planning one. You should probably take a look at Emma LeTeace’s www.emmacruises.com. I find her background (for cruise travel) strikingly similar to yours (for air travel). Finally, there’s minimal spam/noise on her site and she writes well.

  10. pstm91 Diamond

    People, like Marcus (below), need to stop comparing this to ordinary cruises. Even those on the high end. It's nothing like other cruises.
    The F&B onboard is going to be phenomenal, and guests will want to eat on board (making it more like a "yacht" experience than a cruise ship). It will certainly be better than the majority of ports they anchor in.
    As for the all-inclusive complaint - tons of bookings will...

    People, like Marcus (below), need to stop comparing this to ordinary cruises. Even those on the high end. It's nothing like other cruises.
    The F&B onboard is going to be phenomenal, and guests will want to eat on board (making it more like a "yacht" experience than a cruise ship). It will certainly be better than the majority of ports they anchor in.
    As for the all-inclusive complaint - tons of bookings will be made by agencies who can/will fill out credit card authorizations in advance. Their clients will not need to pay for everything on the spot. At most they may need to sign a bill, like you would at a hotel, but that's it. Yes, the bills will add up but those paying for this experience are likely not to mind that or even think about it.

  11. JetSetFly Guest

    I don’t mind this way of pricing at all. I always find it annoying that prices of alcohol is built into luxury safari camps in Africa. I don’t drink so I prefer alcohol pricing separate since I prefer not paying for something I don’t consume. With that said, I find the itineraries of the Four Seasons Yacht to be a snooze fest. Hopefully they will come up with something more interesting soon.

  12. Marcus Guest

    The idea that in some random port I have never been to I have to hunt for a suitable restaurant within walking distance or take a taxi to some spot for dinner is somewhat ludicrous. Have been on several cruises so far and whilst we have had lunch of ship never dinner that I recall

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Marcus -- Well no one "has" to look for restaurants, everyone can eat on the ship. And I also understand your perspective if you're looking at this through the lens of a typical mega cruise ship where you are at a cruise port, and getting to a restaurant can be a pain. But just look at some of the itineraries of Four Seasons Yachts -- these are largely smaller islands, cruise terminals aren't being...

      @ Marcus -- Well no one "has" to look for restaurants, everyone can eat on the ship. And I also understand your perspective if you're looking at this through the lens of a typical mega cruise ship where you are at a cruise port, and getting to a restaurant can be a pain. But just look at some of the itineraries of Four Seasons Yachts -- these are largely smaller islands, cruise terminals aren't being used, and in my opinion it would be a shame to eat on the ship in places like Greece, Turkey, Croatia, etc., where you have endless amazing restaurants.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Michael_FFM Diamond

I like their pricing model, it's transparent and fair. With regards to the pricing of the suites, the other cruise operators effectively price very similarly. Pricing is always based on a 2-person occupancy, and if you happen to travel alone, in most cases you still pay the 2-person price. So other cruise operators just obfuscate that they price per room, not per person. On the F&B-side on other cruise lines the fancy restaurants often cost extra, as do premium beverages. If you want peace of mind you need to purchase a drinks package, which is so expensive, that you have to really drink a lot to make it worth a while. Even more so, since all passengers on the booking have to purchase it, regardless if they drink or not. So yes, I like the F.S.-model and I will give their cruises my consideration.

1
Mantis Gold

I like the idea of not worrying about getting good value if I didn't gain 10+ lbs during a cruise. I usually only eat 2 meals anyway while traveling, so a big breakfast then a meal during a shore excursion, and my f&b bill wouldn't be too outrageous. Once you've unbundled f&b, it makes perfect sense to not charge per person... though it sucks for solo travelers.

1
Luis Guest

I worked on a cruise ship for a year. Sea crossing cruises are the most boring and least desirable trips so prices are always lower. You're basically stuck on the ship at sea for 4-6 days and the view never changes. Appeal of a cruise is that you wake up in a new destination every morning.

1
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