The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection could build up to five more yachts in addition to the three it is planning at the moment, , while its parent compaby Marriott is likely to launch other cruise brands across its hotel portfolio, Travel Weekly reports in the UK.
Douglas Prothero, chief executive of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, told Travel Weekly of his intentions to expand his brand and expectations of the Marriott group’s developing cruise proposition, believing it to have “enough brands to diversify (into cruise) for quite a long time”. Currently Ritz-Carlton has three 292-passenger and 149-suite vessels on order in Spain, the first launching in 2020 followed by two in 2021.
Prothero said that while expansion was on the cards for the Ritz-Carlton yacht brand, it was also important it remains a niche and specialised product.
“We’re going to build more yachts,” he was quoted as saying. “We don’t know exactly how many more but the intent to build is there. We have one in 2020, two in 2021 and then we expect one or two in 2022.”
“We want to maintain a niche designation; we could easily build 20 of them but we won’t. I think six, seven, eight ships won’t be a problem for us,” he stated.
“We’ll do other cruise ventures under Marriott,” he continued. “And that’s part of the reason why other cruise lines aren’t happy with our arrival in the market because they know we won’t stop with Ritz-Carlton. Any number of our hotel brands would work as a cruise brand. We won’t go head to head with ourselves within the group. We’re doing luxury with Ritz-Carlton and we could do upper premium and premium. We have enough brands to diversify for quite a long time,” he said, according to Travel Weekly.
Several years ago, the Canada-based Four Seasons hotel group that has no connection to Marriott was planning to enter the cruise industry. It had plans to build a 37,000 gross ton spa-orientated ship at what it Meyer Turku today, but the plan fell through.
Four Seasons only wanted to invest a minority stake in the ship owning company – an asset light business model – although it would operate the ship. By contrast, Ritz-Carlton has opted to own the ships it plans to operate.