The launch date for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has been pushed back slightly, from late 2019 to February 2020. That’s according to the latest update from the new luxury cruise brand from Ritz-Carlton Hotels, which just announced the itineraries and shore excursion categories for its inaugural season.
The first of the three yachts planned for the brand is scheduled to set sail in February 2020, which will make parent company Marriott International the only provider of luxury accommodations on both land and sea, according to the announcement. Each yacht will measure approximately 620 feet, with a maximum capacity of 298 passengers in 149 suites, each with its own private terrace. There will also be two 1,700-square-foot penthouse suites, each with its own private whirlpool and interiors jointly designed by Ritz-Carlton and Tillberg Design of Sweden. Reservations will open to the public in June 2018, with priority access booking in May 2018 for Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Rewards loyalty members.
The new brand’s shore excursions will be divided into five categories: Iconic Sights, Stirring the Senses, Cultural Connections, Active Explorations and Epicurean Experiences. Additionally, guests on each Ritz-Carlton cruise will be able to work with a dedicated Concierge Ashore.
No two itinerary routes will be alike, according to Ritz-Carlton, with voyages ranging from seven to 10 days. Destinations will include the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada and the northeastern United States, with specific ports of call ranging from Barbados, Cartagena, Bordeaux and Copenhagen to more “yacht-like” experiences including Carriacou, Falmouth Harbour, Gustavia, the Balearic Islands, Mykonos, Portofino and more. Guests will also be able to combine back-to-back voyages without repeating ports, the cruise line said.
The five shore excursion categories were each created to track with guests’ interests and activity levels, according to the cruise line. All of the excursions will take advantage of local guides and will aim for a highly personalized, relaxed feel. The relaxed pace will also extend to both overnight and daytime ports of call, Ritz-Carlton said, as well as an intimate ship size. Previously, Ritz-Carlton had said that its yachts would have 149 suites with a maximum capacity of 298 passengers.
The Iconic Sights category will include chances to explore the cultural, historical and architectural elements of a destination, such as by browsing a museum in Montenegro on an exclusive tour with its curator. Stirring the Senses will focus on wellness and wellbeing, and may include sunrise and sunset yoga in the Grenadines. Cultural Connections will offer opportunities to give back, such as by spending a day helping to protect wildlife or the natural environment. Active Explorations will cater to travelers looking for outdoor adventure, such as swimming with turtles in Tobago Cays or a private sea kayak tour off the coast of Reykjavik, Iceland. Epicurean Experiences will focus on culinary travel, such as a winery visit in Bordeaux or learning to grow baby oysters in a private farm in Sete, France.
The Concierge Ashore will also be available to help craft a bespoke experience on land, Ritz-Carlton said, which may include insider access to a popular attraction or exploring a local community with a private guide.
Cruise fares will include accommodations, onboard activities and entertainment, multiple dining venues, onboard gratuities and Wi-Fi. Voyage prices will vary based upon the itinerary and season. The brand’s ships will also be available for private charter.