The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Ambitious Expansion Plans

Render of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's second yacht, Ilma

Renowned for its small, boutique-style cruise ships, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection (RCYC) is now charting a course for an expansive future with plans to introduce eight to 10 new ships, each catering to multiple Marriott International brands.

According to Seatrade Cruise News, this strategic expansion by RCYC aims to diversify its offerings, making them even more appealing to a broader range of cruise travellers while maintaining the high standards of luxury the brand is known for.

Incorporating multiple Marriott International brands into the yacht collection will allow travellers to choose from various distinct experiences, each tailored to the unique characteristics of the brand it represents. Whether it’s the timeless elegance of The Ritz-Carlton, the contemporary sophistication of JW Marriott, or the relaxed luxury of St. Regis.

“This day is the dawning of a new era for Ritz-Carlton Yacht that has such a promising future and takes the company from a start-up mode with one ship to a growth mode and operationalises a company that’s established a platform for rapid, sustainable growth into the future,” Executive Chairman and CEO Jim Murren told Seatrade Cruise News.

“We already have plans underway for ships four and five, to be built on a different platform, to be disclosed, and beyond that, we’re looking into maybe getting into the expedition space and other yacht types to get our fleet up to eight to 10 yachts within the next several years.”

As part of the RCYC ‘s commitment to sustainability, the new ships are expected to incorporate cutting-edge environmental technologies, ensuring the brand remains at the forefront of eco-conscious luxury travel.

“The new-platform ships will be very different in feel and design and operation than Ilma and Luminara,” Murren disclosed. However, they will be superyachts with no more than 450 or so berths.

Ilma and Luminara are due for delivery in July 2024 and early 2025, with the following new build slated for 2027 or 2028.

With its 177m Bonvoy loyalty members – said to be larger than the entire cruise industry’s database combined – Marriott International gives RCYC a substantial competitive advantage. So far, 75% of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s customers are Bonvoy members, and about half are new to cruise.

After Ritz-Carlton launched, Four Seasons, Aman and Orient Express have all came into the arena with yacht concepts likely to entice non-cruisers. Fincantieri and Four Seasons have recently announced they will launch their first yacht in 2025, officially joining this new category of cruise travel.

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