Ritz Carlton is set to become the latest player to have a crack at the thriving cruise sector, becoming the first major luxury hotel brand to announce a cruise venture.

The Marriott subsidiary had confirmed plans to introduce the first of three small capacity vessels in late 2019, operating under the banner of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Measuring 190 metres, the first Ritz Carlton ship will carry up to 298 passengers in 149 suites, with all guests enjoying the privacy of their own balcony on board, and modern interiors jointly designed by Ritz-Carlton and Swedish ship design firm Tillberg.

Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said the Yacht Collection would have a distinctive personality and the vessels would be true stand outs in 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,” he said.

Itineraries will vary between seven and 10 days in length. Destinations for the first ship will include the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Due the size of the vessel, it will visit locations typically not accessible to large ships, such as Capri and Portofino in Italy and St Barths in the Caribbean. Reservations for the first season of sailings will open in May, and the ship will also be available for private charter.

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