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It has finally happened — after a delay of nearly three years, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first cruise is underway.
The basics of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Several years back, the concept of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection was announced. This marks Marriott’s entry into the cruising industry, sort of. In reality this is just a branding and marketing partnership, though Marriott Bonvoy members do receive select elite benefits, and can earn and redeem points, when cruising with Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first ship is Evrima, and it’s a 198-meter ship featuring 149 accommodations, for up to 298 passengers. As you’d expect, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is promising a high-end experience, both in terms of the size of the ship, and in terms of what’s included and the quality of service. Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection promises one of the highest staff and space ratios at sea, and all rooms feature a private terrace and floor to ceiling windows.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has a further two ships on order, though note that they’re quite a bit larger. They’re expected to be 242-meter ships featuring 228 accommodations, for up to 456 passengers. They’re expected to join the fleet in 2024 and 2025.
I find it interesting (but not surprising) that Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s future ships will be significantly bigger. I mean, at some point you can’t in good conscience pretend something is a yachting-style experience anymore, if you ask me. The new ships are approaching the size of the Carnival ships I’d take as a kid, and I’d hardly call those “yachts.” 😉
Ritz-Carlton’s Evrima ship sets sail for first time
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection was initially supposed to set sail in January 2020, but the launch was delayed repeatedly.
The delay had nothing to do with the pandemic, but rather had to do with major issues with construction of the ship, as it not only took much longer than expected, but ended up going way over budget. If you’re going to have a major delay with a new cruise ship, I guess the timing at least worked out.
Anyway, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Evrima ship finally set sail on its maiden voyage, which departed on October 15, 2022, from Barcelona, Spain, to Nice, France.
My take on Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, as a kid I was kind of obsessed with cruises, but that the concept hasn’t had much appeal to me in the past 15 years. However, over the past couple of years I’ve been warming up to cruising once again, and it’s something I’d like to do again at some point (especially since we now have a kid, so taking a cruise seems like an easy vacation).
It’s cool to see how much more variety there is in the cruise industry than a couple of decades ago. There are a lot more options, and I’m also looking forward to Four Seasons’ upcoming entry into the cruise industry.
Here’s the thing, though — to me the greatest benefit of a cruise is being able to explore destinations you can’t easily explore by land, at least with good accommodation options. I have zero interest in taking a cruise where where you’re just visiting ports that you can easily travel to otherwise.
That’s also kind of my issue with Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection — the voyages look bland. When Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection first launched, there were some awesome itineraries, including cruises around Iceland, cruises around Atlantic Canada, etc. However, with the delay, it seems that Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has only kept the more “traditional” cruises, which you’ll find on plenty of other ships as well.
We had actually booked a Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruise back when it was first announced. However, when the journey was canceled, we decided to just get a refund, since none of the other itineraries interested us as much.
The cruise line that most intrigues me at this point is Ponant — not only does Ponant have small ships, but so many of the voyages look awesome. Ponant has journeys to everything from Antarctica, to Greenland, to Iceland, to smaller Pacific Islands. That’s the kind of stuff I’d like to see if I’m going to take a cruise.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has finally set sail, after a delay of nearly three years. It’s cool to see this new concept finally launch, as I know this will interest lots of Ritz-Carlton loyalists, as well as Marriott Bonvoy members (even if this is primarily a licensing and branding agreement).
You can expect Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to grow in 2024 and 2025, as the company will be getting two larger ships. While I’m warming up to the concept of cruising again, I just wish Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection had more interesting voyages.
What do you make of the launch of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection?