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  • Writer's pictureJulie Prusak

Setting Sail in Style: Luxury Hotels Launch Superyachts

The world of luxury travel is always evolving, and the latest trend is the launch of super yachts by luxury hotels. The concept of luxury hotels venturing into the world of yachting is not new, but the recent launches and announcements by some of the most well-known names in the industry have taken this trend to a whole new level.

photo credit: The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection

Launched at Last

One of the most talked-about launches in recent times is the Ritz-Carlton's Evrima, a 298-passenger yacht that finally set sail after several delays. The Evrima is the first of three ships that the company has planned, and the second one is set to launch soon. The ship has been designed to cater to the most discerning luxury travelers, with exquisite interiors and amenities, including a world-class spa, multiple dining options, and a private marina.

Relaxed pace with cultural immersion

Designed to combine the luxury lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton with the casual freedom of a yachting vacation, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers itineraries at a relaxed pace with curated immersive experiences ashore. Most voyages range from 7 to 10 nights and offer overnights in ports of call. The itineraries are designed with the ability to combine back-to-back voyages without repeating ports.

Private Charters for exclusive vacations

The Ritz-Carlton yachts are also available for private charter for 2024 and beyond. Itineraries as short as five nights are possible, making charters ideal for small corporate events or family reunions.

Brand Loyalty Matters

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection encourages Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points on cruise travel. Points accrue on cruise fare and hotel packages, nights count towards Elite status, and points can be redeemed toward the price of cruise fare. Plus, Elite members receive enhanced benefits onboard.

Aman sets sail in 2026

Another big player in the luxury hotel industry, Aman Resorts, is also set to enter the world of yachting. The company has announced plans to launch a series of superyachts, with the first one set to debut in 2025. The yacht will be a joint venture with a leading Dutch shipyard and will feature the same level of luxury and exclusivity that Aman Resorts is known for.

Aman’s Project Sama, coming in 2026, will be a 50-suite luxury motor yacht. Few details are available, but expect the travel experience to reflect Aman’s core values of privacy, peace, generosity of space, and unparalleled service.

Four Seasons at sea

Four Seasons, another renowned name in the luxury hotel industry, has also announced plans to launch a series of superyachts in the coming years. The company is currently in the design phase, and the first yacht is expected to set sail in 2025. The Four Seasons yachts are expected to be equipped with world-class amenities, including a spa, fitness center, multiple restaurants, and more.

Launching in late 2025, Four Seasons’ new yacht will have 95 large suites. The largest four-level suite at over 9,600 square feet also includes a private spa and a private wading pool. Optional extensions will be offered combining itineraries with stays at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

From trains to sails

Orient Express, which has a long history of providing luxury travel experiences, is also set to launch a series of superyachts in the future. The company has not yet announced a launch date, but it is expected that the Orient Express yachts will be designed to offer a truly unique and exclusive experience to luxury travelers.

Setting sail in 2026, the Orient Express Silenseas will be the world’s largest sailing ship. Combined with a hybrid propulsion system running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), Silenseas will feature environmentally-friendly operation and design.

Boutique hotels at sea

What makes these new “superyachts” different from the small luxury vessels that already exist? They’re not trying to be smaller cruise ships; they aspire to be boutique hotels at sea. They’re designed around the hotels’ own aesthetics and brands. They’re smaller than most luxury ships; hold fewer passengers; have elegant big suites, some that can be combined into family suites; offer intimate, gourmet restaurants; and visit more secluded ports. Just as important is what they don't have: casinos, theaters, or cruise directors. They're not aimed at cruise travelers. In fact, on Evrima, 80 percent of its passengers report being first-time cruisers.

For luxury travelers who are always looking for novel and exclusive experiences, the launch of these super yachts by luxury hotels offers a new level of indulgence and service. The yachts offer a perfect combination of the best of both worlds – the world-class hospitality and luxury amenities of a luxury hotel, combined with the freedom and flexibility of a private yacht.

Overall, the trend of luxury hotels launching super yachts is an exciting development in the luxury travel industry, and it will be interesting to see how these new players will disrupt the traditional yacht charter market. As these ships set sail in the coming years, they will undoubtedly offer a new level of luxury and exclusivity to the most discerning luxury travelers.

With 71 percent of the earth’s surface covered by water, it makes sense that these hotel brands will use new superyachts to widen the scope of the destinations they can offer and capitalize on their global brand recognition and customer loyalty. If you are interested in planning your own superyacht experience, contact me.

Click here for more information about the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

You can browse our ports of call guide here.

Please contact me if you have any other questions about cruising. Bon voyage!

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