By: Ismael Rodriguez

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, expanding on its hospitality industry prowess, announced last week that a new luxury cruising yacht line is scheduled to tread water at the end of 2019. In doing so, it joins a congested field of luxury cruise lines and follows a path similar than that of Disney when it founded Disney Cruise Line some 21 years ago.

Ritz-Carlton, owned by Marriott International, is planning to launch its cruise line collection, consisting of three 298-passenger yachts that’ll be based in Coconut Grove, although home ports for the ships have not yet been announced.

Maritime experts Douglas Prothero, who was the founder of the Canadian Maritime Group, and Lars Clasen, a former president of Aida Cruises, are credited with creating the Yacht Collection, which will features 149 balcony suites and two duplex penthouse suites per yacht.

The yacht experience will also carry the renowned Ritz-Carlton hotel offerings, according to a statement by the company, which says the yachts will feature a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld, the head chef at Aqua, a Ritz-Carlton restaurant in Wolfsburg, Germany. They will also feature a Spa, a panorama lounge and wine bar and on-board entertainment.

As part of the experience, the new cruise line is developing curated tours that include local chefs, musicians and artists from the locations its ships visit. Itineraries will go from seven to 10 days with seasonal visits to the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

“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,” Herve Humbler, president and COO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, wrote in a statement for the press.

Reservations for the Yacht Collection open in May 2018.