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Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection owners acquire more ships: Will other Marriott brands get into cruising?

Feb. 01, 2022
3 min read
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection owners acquire more ships: Will other Marriott brands get into cruising?
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The owners of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection have plans to acquire another cruise line and are hinting that the opportunity might allow other Marriott brands to get into the cruise industry.

Maritime investment company The Yacht Portfolio on Feb. 1 signed a letter of intent to acquire German cruise line Sea Cloud Cruises, which operates three vessels, all of which are masted sailing ships.

"Sea Cloud offers such a unique environmentally-friendly experience in the cruise space, which aligns well with our continued focus on building a strong portfolio of niche luxury brands," said Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Yacht Portfolio, in a statement. "We look forward to completing a transaction with the Sea Cloud team and supporting the brand's next phase of growth in the luxury cruise space."

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Sea Cloud has been in business since 1979, and it caters heavily to a German-speaking market. Its vessels range in age from less than one year old -- new ship Sea Cloud Spirit began sailing for the line in 2021 -- to 90 years. The latter ship, Sea Cloud, was the original private yacht of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the cereal heiress who, at one time, was one of the richest women in the world.

The Yacht Portfolio indicated that other Marriott brands could be following in Ritz-Carlton's footsteps by bringing their names to the cruise market using the Sea Cloud vessels.

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"The acquisition not only expands The Yacht Portfolio's presence in the luxury cruise sector, but also creates an opportunity to expand its relationship with Marriott International beyond The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and gives Marriott International the opportunity to enter the cruise industry through its other luxury brands," the statement said.

The Yacht Portfolio said it does not yet have any information to share with regard to which brands it's considering for the crossover.

What's interesting about the timing of the transaction is that the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection hasn't even sailed its first vessel yet. In Aug. 2021, the line pushed back the launch of its first ship, Evrima, for a fifth time. It was initially scheduled to debut in early 2020, but the timeline has repeatedly been affected by shipyard issues and COVID-19-related delays.

Evrima's first voyage is now scheduled for May 6, 2022.

Featured image by The 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit. (Photo courtesy of Sea Cloud Cruises)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
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  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
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  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees