Luxury hotel brand starts cruise line

Ritz-Carlton hires Swedish cruise ship design firm
One of the biggest names in luxury hotels is starting a cruise line. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which runs 94 properties, says it will enter the cruise industry with a small-ship luxury market operation.
Scheduled to launch in time for the 2019 cruise season, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first ship will have capacity for 298 passengers. Two additional ships are expected in 2021 and 2022.
The Marriott-owned brand is working with maritime experts Lars Clasen, former president of the German line AIDA Cruises, and Doug Prothero who specialises in the business of operations and construction of ships, including tall ships.
“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true standouts in some of the most glamorous ports around the world,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
“This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalised service.”
The ships will measure 190 metres and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. They will also feature two 138 square-metre duplex penthouse suites, with “modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden”.
The luxury market is currently made up of 40 ships and 500,880 passengers per year, according to Cruise Industry News. Silversea is the biggest brand by capacity, but Viking Ocean Cruises will take over by 2019. By 2027, the market is forecast to grow to at least 55 ships and over 800,000 passengers a year.
Cruise Industry News

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