• December 8, 2022

Ritz-Carlton launches minimum £5,000-a-week luxury yacht cruises

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A version of the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain will take to the seas on Saturday offering 298 passengers – paying a minimum of £5,020 a week – a cruise holiday designed to ape life on a billionaire’s superyacht.

Evrima, launched by the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, boasts a restaurant designed by a three-Michelin-starred chef, “dedicated personal assistants”, four pools, a champagne bar, humidor (cigar room), nightclub and even “non-surgical facelifts”.

The yacht will embark on its maiden voyage from Barcelona, Spain, to Nice in France, on 15 October after a three-year delay caused by the Covid pandemic and the supply chain crisis.

Despite being launched amid a cost of living crisis and surging inflation, the company says it has been overwhelmed by demand, with almost all cabins sold out for this winter’s trips around the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Evrima, which means discovery in Greek, is the first of three luxury yachts Ritz-Carlton has ordered as it seeks to capitalise on wealthy people’s desire to experience something akin to billionaire’s lifestyle on board their superyachts.

Tickets for Evrima’s first seven-night cruise, which takes in Palma de Mallorca, Saint-Tropez and Antibes before ending in Nice, start at a minimum of £5,020 although most cabins are likely to cost a lot more.

As well as standard cabins, the yacht offers a series of suites including a two-storey “loft-style” apartment, and a 1,098sq ft “owner’s suite” which includes a luxuriant living and dining area, two bathrooms and a private balcony with a private whirlpool.

Those booking suites are told they will be greeted on board by a “dedicated personal assistant” with a complementary chilled bottle of champagne. The assistants are promised to ensure guests “a flawless, seamless journey from beginning to end”.

Ritz-Carlton declined to state how much those suites cost.

Hervé Humler, Ritz-Carlton’s president and chief operating officer, said the yachts had been designed to have a “distinctive personality” and “be true standouts in some of the most glamorous ports around the world”.

“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 personalised service.”

As well as 24-hour room service, the yacht offers seven different bars and restaurants including S.E.A, a fine dining experience designed by Sven Elverfeld, the head chef of Aqua, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Wolfsburg, Germany. “This namesake offers an inspired European à la carte journey in a sophisticated setting with a contemporary feel,” the company says. Reservations are required, with a five-course tasting menu expected to cost a minimum of £250.

After-dinner entertainment is provided by the yacht’s resident jazz and classical musicians, and the company says local entertainers will come on board to perform at some ports. The deckchairs on the top deck are removed every night with the space transformed into a nightclub where guests can dance under the stars until sunrise.

Those with kids can drop them off at “Ritz Kids”, the boat’s dedicated kids’ club facility offers “child-friendly amenities and menus address the day-to-day comforts of young travellers” whose “curiosity is sparked by locally inspired environmental and cultural experiences”. It costs an extra £40 a child for each visit.

The yacht includes an infinity pool, as well as its own “marina” from which guests can take out paddleboards, kayaks, sailboats, windsurf boards and snorkelling equipment.

There is also a gym, sauna, steam room, a beauty lounge offering treatments including non surgical facelifts, and a “gentleman’s grooming salon”.

Evrima, which has been delayed eight times, will be followed by two more identical yachts – Ilma and Luminara – which are under construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, where the Queen Mary 2 was built.

For those with really big budgets, Ritz-Carlton says all three yachts are also available for private charter. The company did not state the fee.

Ritz-Carlton, which owns 108 hotels and resorts around the world, was founded in 1983 and is part of the Marriott hotel empire. It does not own the Ritz hotel in London.

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