Delivering a distinctive cruise experience

Douglas Prothero explains how The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has carefully crafted itineraries

Delivering a distinctive cruise experience
Soufrière’s iconic volcanic peaks – known as the Pitons – are two of the many attractions for cruise guests visiting St. Lucia

By Rebecca Gibson |

Driven by a desire to deliver a bespoke and luxurious yachting experience to guests, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is preparing to welcome its first-ever cruise ship, the 298-guest Evrima, in May 2022. Featuring elegant interiors by Tillberg Design of Sweden and a name that means ‘discovery’ in Greek, Evrima has been designed to offer guests a distinctive cruise experience that is unlike any other in the market.  

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s quest for the ship to inspire travellers to explore new destinations and foster the spirit of adventure guides its itinerary planning process. Each cruise is meticulously curated to feature a complementary combination of marquee and lesser-known destinations, as well as extended port visits to allow guests sufficient time to explore.  

“Similar to the design of the yacht, our itinerary style is based on the tenets of casual luxury,” says Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “During the itinerary planning process, we focus on unique destinations that align with the yachting lifestyle, and the Caribbean has no shortage to choose from.  

“The intimate size of the yacht will allow us to provide guests with unique access to hidden gems that are not on the usual cruise route and shouldn’t be missed, like Montserrat or Terre-de-Haut. With no two Caribbean itineraries alike, there is an added sense of adventure and exploration with each journey.”  

Evrima will be sailing to various destinations throughout the Eastern and Western Caribbean, calling at places such as Aruba, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and many others.  

“We have an amazing range of Caribbean destinations planned for guests, but one that I think will be really special is our seven-night New Year’s sailing from San Juan in Puerto Rico to Bridgetown in Barbados,” says Prothero. “Guests will start with an overnight in San Juan before setting sail for the yachting mecca of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. From there, guests can welcome the new year in style with an overnight in St. Barts and then explore some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean around Basse-Terre’s Pigeon Island.” 

Prothero predicts that quintessential yachting destinations such as St. Barts, Terre-de-Haut and Bequia will quickly top the list of guests’ preferred Caribbean destinations. “They are exclusive and provide the opportunity for us to incorporate unique and personalised experiences into our shore excursion programme,” he explains.  

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has collaborated closely with local tour operators to curate an extensive collection of sightseeing, nature-based, cultural, epicurean, relaxing and active shore excursions in each destination it will visit. Highlights include everything from yoga classes with ocean views to forest bathing, chocolate tasting, windsurfing, zip-lining through forests, and watching whale sharks in Utila, whales off the coast of Samaná and flamingos on the shores of Aruba. 

“Our experiences are about taking people into the destination and bringing a new or different perspective to ‘must-do’ tours, and we also offer our own off-the-beaten path adventures,” says Prothero. “We aim to stimulate our guests’ cultural curiosity and offer a truly memorable and authentic way to experience a destination.”

This article was first published in the 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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