Evrima, the first of three new-builds, started sailing for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in October 2022. The company hopes its new 298-passenger yacht will be as much of a destination in and of itself as the ports it visits: small, off-the-beaten-path enclaves like Mayreau in the Caribbean or France's Saint-Tropez, and popular European destinations like Barcelona and Athens.
Designed for discerning luxury travelers who are looking for a customized and immersive experience, a voyage aboard a Ritz-Carlton yacht will focus on the same personalized service the company prides itself on at its land-based hotels and resorts.
Voyages will focus on authentic experiences that you can't get elsewhere, with the emphasis very much on the fact that this is a superyacht, not a standard cruise ship. The line plans to execute this lofty goal with features like dedicated personal assistants in all suite categories and a Concierge Ashore program that can customize private tours to your specifications.
The pace of the ship will allow for in-depth exploration of a variety of destinations across the globe, and itineraries frequently include extended stays and overnights in port.
There is no casino on the yacht and nor is there a show lounge or Broadway-style revues. However, the top-deck outdoor space converts to a nightclub-style environment each evening and the ship’s resident musicians play classical and jazz and acoustic guitar.
The ship also offers several spots to enjoy casual conversation and a drink or two: The Observation Lounge (Deck 10), The Humidor cigar bar (also on Deck 10), The Bar (Deck 6), the Pool House (Deck 5) and The Living Room (where the library, shop and art concierge are based in one big open plan lounge) and Living Room Cafe (Deck 4). The Marina Terrace on Deck 3 is also a beautiful spot to sunbathe, drink and snack at water level when the ship is at anchor. On Deck 9, forward of the spa and gym, there’s a beautiful terrace dotted with oversized, clamshell beds, luxurious loungers, and big, padded daybeds for sunbathing.
No expense has been spared anywhere in the fittings, which include covetable cream and chrome directors’ chairs, and cream leather swivel boat seats on pedestals by the railing. There’s mainly abstract, contemporary art and sculpture all over the ship, too, with many pieces for sale.
This yacht experience is all about slowing down and enjoying the ship as well as the interesting ports of call it visits. One of the ship's standout features is the aft marina platform from which you can borrow a kayak or standup paddleboard. The Marina Terrace promises to be a popular spot to hang out and watch the activities at the marina as well as the shoreline. Two side platforms also fold out when the ship is at anchor, creating extra sunbathing space, and opening the Marina Terrace bar to the sea breezes.
The ship also features two pools: the larger of the two is on Deck 5 behind The Pool House, with a swimming section and a shallow area complete with curved seats. The other, a smaller infinity pool is located on Deck 8 behind the Mistral Mediterranean restaurant. There are three whirlpools, one either side of the pool on Deck 5 and one on the Spa Terrace, in front of the gym. Reef-friendly SPF30 and SPF50 sun lotion is provided in all the outside spaces, as is cooling aloe gel for anybody who overdoes the tanning.
Spa-goers and fitness buffs will head to Deck 9 for The Ritz-Carlton Spa and fitness center. The facility includes men's and women's changing facilities, indoor and outdoor spa treatment rooms (the outdoor spaces shielded from the sun by gauzy curtains), a relaxation lounge, plus a salon for women and a barber for men. The gym is all the way forward and features a selection of treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and rowers plus ropes, kettlebells and free weights. Daily classes are held in the fitness studio. For a bit of fun, you can take the studio privately and choose from 1,500 video classes on demand for a workout with friends. The spa is run by Ritz-Carlton so you can expect the service level and treatment range that you’d get in a Ritz-Carlton resort ashore. Products used are ESPA and 111SKIN.
A comprehensive cruise fare on the ship includes alcoholic beverages, onboard gratuities, all the restaurants except one, and Wi-Fi. That places the ship on par with other yacht cruises, such as SeaDream Yacht Club and Scenic.
Some things cost extra, though. The S.E.A. restaurant carries a $285 cover charge for a seven-course wine-paired menu. The Ritz Kids Club costs $45 per child for three hours. While WiFi is included, you can upgrade to a faster speed for $38 per day.
One of the most exciting things about Ritz-Carlton entering the cruise space is that passengers can earn and redeem points in Marriott's popular Bonvoy loyalty program.
Cruisers can redeem 180,000 points for $1,000 off the cruise fare, and then use points in increments of 90,000 points toward a $500 savings thereafter. Full redemption may also be available, costing a pricey 1.2 million-plus points per person to pay for a $6,800 one-week sailing (giving members a low redemption value of .0057 cents per point.)
Both old and new Bonvoy members can accelerate the number of points earned through the loyalty program’s co-branded credit card perks which can include hefty welcome bonuses and good points-per-dollar-spent.
Members will also receive one elite night credit per night onboard the ship which goes towards achieving higher elite program status. Those who are already Elite members of the program will receive onboard perks such as a private reception, a welcome gift, and priority boarding, depending on status. Marriott Bonvoy members will also earn five points for each $1 spent on Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruise fares, as well as additional points and elite night credits if they do a pre- or post-cruise stay at a member hotel property.
Ritz-Carlton has placed its focus on the onboard culinary experience so even the pickiest foodie will be pleased with the choices. Despite catering to a mere 298 passengers, the ship will feature five different dining venues, plus 24/7 in-room dining. And there’s no buffet.
You'll find a chic main dining room, The Evrima Room, that's designed to feature many intimate corners for quiet conversation and romantic moments. Expect dishes including wild mushroom risotto, Moroccan roasted rack of lamb, and roasted Chilean seabass. A small private room, Dining Privée, can be taken for exclusive groups, and custom menus created, for a charge.
Talaat Nam on Deck 6 is a superb Asian-fusion restaurant featuring dishes like Thai mango salad, chicken satay, and beef rendang. There’s a sushi bar in here, too. Mistral, on Deck 8, is an elegant indoor-outdoor restaurant offering Mediterranean specialties including a sharing mezze, burrata, chicken tagine, and sea bass filet. The most casual venue is The Pool House, again, with indoor-outdoor dining and tables set around the pool. This restaurant is open for breakfast and all afternoon, and offers dishes like burgers, wraps, lobster rolls, and poke bowls.
Finally, passengers have a rare opportunity to sample the wares of a three-Michelin star chef at S.E.A, an outpost of Aqua from celebrity chef Sven Elverfeld. His restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg (Germany), has three coveted Michelin stars. S.E.A. (which stands for Sven Elverfeld Aboard) offers a seven course tasting menu with paired wines and has a cover charge of $285 per person.
All 149 rooms on the ship are suites with balconies, which the Ritz-Carlton refers to as "terraces." Bedrooms are outfitted with queen-sized beds dressed in high-end Frette linens in crisp white and gray, with pops of navy blue and emerald green from scatter cushions. Expect to find an espresso/coffee maker in the room (with complimentary coffee and tea), plus a stocked mini-bar. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has a partnership with Moet et Chandon, which is the champagne in the minibar, and there’s no limit to how many bottles you can have (within reason, of course). Bathrooms offer luxury Diptyque bath amenities, plus a double vanity. All bathrooms have a walk-in shower and apart from the Terrace Suites, all have a bathtub, too.
Upon boarding the yacht, you'll meet your suite's Personal Assistant. This is your point person for just about every detail onboard the ship. A Personal Assistant can assist with dinner reservations or organize your shore tours. This crewmember's sole purpose is to pamper you.
While the 90 entry-level Terrace Suites cabins are the smallest rooms onboard, they are still spacious by cruise ship standards at 300-square feet with a balcony up to 80-square-foot. The all-in-one space consists of a bed, desk with stool, two chairs and a coffee table. Higher than usual ceilings give a real sense of space.
Twenty seven Signature Suites are similar in nature to Terrace accommodations but bump up the interior square footage to 429-square feet and the balcony to 118-square feet.
The 14 Grand Suites are 587-square feet with a 118-square-foot terrace. The bedroom has pocket doors to separate it from the living area, which offers a dining table for four, plus a sofa and armchairs.
At 611-square feet, Loft Suites were designed to afford balconies even to those staying in water-level cabins. The duplex design puts the bedroom -- complete with panoramic picture window -- downstairs while the living space with a dining table for four and sofa is upstairs in a loft that leads to a 81-square-foot terrace.
Four View Suites feature up to 574-square feet, plus a 129-square-foot terrace. The bedroom is separated from a living area with an L-shaped sofa and coffee table, work desk and chair, and dining table that seats four.
The most expensive rooms onboard are the Owner's Suites on Deck 7, aft. Each is 1,098-square feet with a 635-square-foot balcony that features a whirlpool tub. The bedroom is separated from the living space, which includes a dining table for six as well as a sofa and armchairs. The terraces of these suites, though, are visible from the Mistral restaurant and pool on Deck 8.
Ritz Kids is the onboard kids’ club. (Children as young as six months are welcome to sail with their families, although the kids’ club is for ages four to 12.) With content designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, activities focus on nature and the environment -- and how to protect it. Supervised programs include educational games and age-appropriate activities. Additional family services will be available during school holidays and the summer months. There’s a charge of $45 per child for four hours.
Evrima will divide its time between European and North American itineraries for the coming year.
During the winter of 2022 and into 2023, the ship will sail in the Caribbean, using Bridgetown, Barbados; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and San Juan, Puerto Rico as homeports.
In January 2023, the ship will do a cluster of Panama Canal cruises before moving to Fort Lauderdale for a series of Bahamas cruises.
Spring sees Evrima back in Europe, sailing mainly seven-night itineraries out of a variety of ports from Rome to Venice, Athens, Barcelona, Valletta, and Dubrovnik. The idea is to focus on the ports and anchorages favoured by the private yachting crowd, and to have no two voyages the same so passengers wanting a longer vacation can bolt two together.
Five different groupings of shore excursions are on offer. Iconic Sights includes museum tours or visits to historic sections of a port. Stirring the Senses offers opportunities such as a visit to a lavender field and then a perfumery to create your own scent.
Active Explorations includes heart-pumping activities such as zipline or dune buggy adventures. Cultural Connections focuses on protecting wildlife and the natural environment or an activity that raises awareness of a local cause. Epicurean Experiences, meanwhile, includes visits to local markets, Michelin-starred restaurants or renowned wineries.
Sometimes, shore excursions are tied in with Ritz-Carlton hotels, for example, in Aruba, where you can visit an aloe production facility and then head to the Ritz-Carlton Resort for an aloe-based spa treatment. This global network of luxury hotels is an invaluable asset, as Ritz-Carlton or other Marriot group hotels can be used for pre- and post-cruise stays, or even mid-cruise forays overland to spend the night ashore and catch up with the yacht the next day.
If none of the above appeal, Concierge Ashore allows guests to take private tours customized to your specific preferences.
The 298-passenger ship was built at Astillero Hijos de J. Barreras shipyard in Vigo, Spain, and the Astander yard near Santander, Spain. Ritz-Carlton and Tillberg Design of Sweden created the interior design. The 624-foot-long yacht measures 25,400 gross tons.