A hotel-on-sea: Ritz-Carlton launches luxury cruise ships
Part of Marriott International, the Ritz-Carlton hotel group is set for a new departure: with the promise that they will provide one of the most luxurious experiences it will be possible to have at sea, the chain is set to launch three lavishly appointed cruise ships from 2019.
Measuring 190 metres and seemingly designed to resemble privately owned superyachts, the vessels will accommodate up to 298 passengers and feature 149 suites, all with balconies. The most desirable residences of all will be two 138sq metre duplex penthouse suites, designed by Ritz-Carlton in collaboration with cruise-ship design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. Facilities expected on each ship will include a restaurant offering a culinary concept designed by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg; a spa; and a panorama lounge and wine bar, which will host live entertainment.
Although complete itineraries are yet to be released, the hotel group says they will offer “a uniquely curated destination experience… that includes both overnight and daytime ports of call.” Trips will last between seven and 10 days and will serve expected destinations such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as Colombia’s Cartagena and other intimate, exclusive destinations, such as Capri and Portofino, that are usually inaccessible to larger cruise ships. Announcing the initiative, Ritz-Carlton president and COO Herve Humler said: “The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world.”
In Italy, Borgo Santo Pietro hotel has launched its superyacht Satori. It features just five guest rooms (best is the master suite with its freestanding walnut bathtub); mahogany bar and dining area with open-view kitchen and 200-bottle wine cellar. At night, an outdoor cinema can be set up on deck.
In Oman, Six Senses Zighy Bay has just launched its 90m dhow Dhahab. Accommodating just six guests in three cabins, it features multiple dining areas and two sun decks, and will provide three-day itineraries (from $22,000) that explore the coast of Musandam, remote fishing villages and little-visited fishing spots. Aman Resorts, meanwhile, already offers intimate voyages aboard the 52m hand-crafted Indonesian phinisi Amandira - five-night tours of the spectacular Raja Ampat marine area are popular; Alila Hotels’ 46m Alila Purnama also provides tours of this region.