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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 announced the building of three luxury yachts, one of which will take to the seas in February 2020.

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 at sea in February 2020 in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the 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. The yachts will also provide customers with a restaurant, a spa, a panoramic lounge 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."

The first yacht will be called Azora: "We wanted to select a name that embodies the wanderlust of a luxury journey at sea and inspires travelers to dream of their next destination," said Doug Prothero, CEO de The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

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. Club Med also has a cruise vessel in its offer. And looking at tour operators, TUI and Thomas Cook also offer cruises, but they do not own their ships.

As of June 1, 2018, the brand Ritz-Carlton ranked 7th largest luxury hotel chain worldwide, with a portfolio of 102 properties for a total of 28,069 rooms, according to data published by Hospitality ON.



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