The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has celebrated the keel laying of its inaugural yacht at the Hijos De J. Barreras Shipyard in Vigo, Spain. The anticipated launch is set for late 2019.
Celebrating the official start of a ship’s construction, the keel laying ceremony was historically used to mark the initial placement of a central beam, which served as the vessel’s backbone. Today, as ships are built in a series of modular components, the symbolic ceremony is used to mark the lowering of the first module into place in the building dock.
As part of this occasion, Douglas Prothero, managing director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, and Timothy Grisius, global real estate officer for Marriott International, were joined by HJ Barreras Shipyard’s chairman, José García Costas, and Tillberg Design of Sweden’s owner and executive project director, Fredrik Johansson, as the commemorative coins were unveiled and welded to the hull. The coins are meant to bring good fortune during construction and throughout the ship’s travels. Also in attendance was Anthony Capuano, executive vice president and global chief development officer for Marriott International, alongside The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection executive team and members of investor group Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.
Reservations for the first of three yachts in this series will open in May. The inaugural ship will cruise to a variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The specially designed, small capacity vessels will measure 620 feet and have 149 luxury suites to accommodate up to 298 passengers.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer voyages ranging from seven to ten days, combining signature Ritz-Carlton service and amenities onboard with curated destination experiences. The ships of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are also available for private charter.
This story originally appeared on www.luxurytraveladvisor.com.