Barreras lays keel for Ritz-Carlton's first-ever luxury cruise yacht

Barreras lays keel for Ritz-Carlton's first-ever luxury cruise yacht
The newbuild will offer contemporary luxury designs when she launches in early 2019 (Image: The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection)

Hijos De J. Barreras laid the keel for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first-ever luxury cruise yacht at its shipyard in Vigo, Spain on 11 January 2018.

Historically used to mark the initial placement of a central beam, the keel-laying ceremony was used to signal the start of construction as the first keel block was lowered into place in the building dock. According to tradition, commemorative coins were welded to the hull to bring good fortune during construction and throughout the ship’s travels. The ship will be delivered in early 2019.

“We are delighted to commemorate this milestone as we embark on our journey to bring The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to life,” said Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “The keel laying marks the realisation of a longstanding dream for The Ritz-Carlton brand as we bring our guest experience and service ethos to the seas through these highly unique luxury vessels and one-of-a-kind onboard amenities and experiences.”

The ceremony was attended by Douglas Prothero, managing director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection; Timothy Grisius, global real estate officer for Marriott International; Anthony Capuano, executive vice president and global chief development officer for Marriott International; Barreras Shipyard’s chairman José García Costas. Other attendees included The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection executive team and members of investor group Oaktree Capital Management.

The keel laying is a significant moment in the ship building process and signals that we are well on our way to redefining luxury at sea with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection,” said Prothero. “The intimate size of our ships and compelling itineraries will give our guests the opportunity to explore unexpected destinations, all while enjoying the legendary Ritz-Carlton service. This is an exciting new venture and we look forward to celebrating the many more milestones to come.”

Tillberg Design of Sweden’s owner and executive project director Fredrik Johansson also attended the ceremony. His team will design the yacht’s interiors.

“The opportunity to design The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has been extremely exciting as we have been able to start from a blank piece of paper and create a whole new brand from scratch,” said Johansson. “Our guiding principles for all aspects of the yacht’s design have been spacious privacy and personal comfort. The keel laying celebrates how far we have already come in the design process, and in creating the most exclusive and serene experience possible at sea.”

Designed to accommodate up to 298 guests in 149 luxury suites, the 190-metre newbuilds will offer seven- to ten-day voyages to various destinations, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. They will all have signature Ritz-Carlton service and amenities.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Friday, January 12, 2018