Not only will the luxury hotel brand build more luxury cruise ships, other Marriott brands may follow.
The fleet of the new ultra-luxury cruise brand the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection could grow to as many as eight ships, TTG reports, and an app is being developing as part of its onboard technology strategy.
“We know that if we build 15 yachts we would be able to fill them, but we are never going to go that far because we don’t think that would make us a niche product,” says chief executive Douglas Prothero.
He said that the line was developing an app and would also eliminate single-use plastics such as water bottles by offering guests refillable bottles and adding more refill points.
The cruise line currently has three 194-suite vessels on order, the first launching in 2020, and it will build “as many ships as makes sense”, perhaps “seven or eight” being the preferred amount, Prothero says.
The app will use RFID technology similar to Princess Cruises’ Ocean Medallion, he said, explaining: “Guests should be able to open their suite door with their smartphone, control the TV, order room service, make a spa reservation and book an excursion.”
Hotel to cruise
Prothero was speaking to TTG a year after the luxury hotel brand announced it was entering the cruise sector. He strongly hinted that the brand’s owner Marriott International would also reach into cruise through other hotel brands in the future.
Pushed on which brands that might be, he said, “Let me put it this way, we wouldn’t add another premium luxury brand. It doesn’t make sense and we wouldn’t build smaller ships.”
He elaborated: “For Ritz-Carlton, 149 suites is appropriate, so we wouldn’t go smaller than that. We’ll build say seven or eight of this [Yacht Collection] type and then we will add some other [Marriott] brands.” The new cruise line put its itineraries on general sale through the trade on June 11.