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The yachting scene is getting a luxury upgrade.
The Ritz-Carlton will bring its signature style and service to the seas in 2019 with three lavish cruising yachts.
"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," said Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
"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 yachts have been designed by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, with funding from Oaktree Capital Management, which will operate the new luxury hospitality experience under a long-term agreement.
Casual yachting will blend with the lifestyle experience that The Ritz-Carlton delivers to its guests. The small-capacity vessels will measure 190 meters long, accommodating 298 passengers with 149 suites, each with a private balcony.
"It's a hybrid between luxury cruising and yachting," Doug Prothero, managing director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, told CNN Travel. The Ritz-Carlton yachts aim to offer a "style that is unparalleled in the ultra-luxury cruise and private yachting sectors."
Onboard, guests will find a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, a three-star Michelin restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. The yachts will also have a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa, as well as a Panorama Lounge and a wine bar.
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Journeys will be curated to include collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists, coordinating with onboard offerings and giving guests an immersive experience in each destination and port.
Where will these new yachts be sailing? According to Prothero, all over.
"With the first two ships, we will do the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Eastern Canada, New England, the Caribbean and Latin America. The second ship will get the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes," he said to CNN. "The third ship we envision being based in the Pacific."
Rates have not yet been announced, but The Ritz-Carlton yachts will begin taking bookings in May 2018. Private charters will also be available.
Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles...
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