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Cruises: Ritz-Carlton takes the plunge

The launch of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection by Marriott International makes it one of the first hospitality champions to offer its own cruise ships. Ritz-Carlton has indeed announced the building of three upscale yachts, one of which will put out to sea by 2019.

Marriott International's Ritz-Carlton just took its first steps in the luxury cruise market with the launch of its new entity, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. It will be responsible for three upscale ships, one of which will start its adventure on sea by the end of 2017 in Northern Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Latin America. With a capacity of up to 298 passengers , it will offer 149 rooms and suites, as well as two 138 square meter duplex penthouse suites. Yachts will also provide customers with a restaurant, a spa, a panoramic living room and a wine bar.

"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," stated Herve Humler, President and COO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. "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 personalized service."

Marriott International thus becomes one of the first hoteliers from the global Top10 to launch its own cruise ships. However, it is not the only one operating in this industry. For instance, Belmond (formerly known as Orient Express) not only offers hotels and trains, but also river cruises; Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts operates vessels on the Nile; Disney runs its own cruise company, Disney Cruise Lines which was launched in 1995 and currently has 4 operating ships. The Club Med itself has one cruise vessel available. And looking at tour operators, TUI or Thomas Cook also offer cruises, but do not own their ships.

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