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

February 1 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.

"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 photo 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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6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
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  • Terms apply.
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