Ritz-Carlton's ship Ilma completes sea trials ahead of September debut

   May 22, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

Ritz-Carlton's second superyacht completed sea trials on May 20th, off the coast of France in the Bay of Biscay.

Constructed by the French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique/STX France in St-Nazaire, the new ship - named Ilma, is scheduled to enter service in September 2024.

Designed by Helsinki-based design studio Aivan, Ilma features a sleek and graceful exterior inspired by private superyacht aesthetics, setting it apart from typical cruise vessels. Construction commenced with the keel-laying in March 2023, followed by the float out in September 2023. Ilma is one of two ships ordered from the French shipyard, with her sistership, Luminara, expected to enter service in 2025.

The ultra-luxury travel brand Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, launched by an investor group under a licensed brand name, introduced its first Spain-built ship, Evrima launched in 2023 after several delays. This move is part of a broader industry trend, with luxury hotel brands like Four Seasons and Orient Express also venturing into the ultra-luxury cruise segment.

Ilma and Luminara are larger and more traditionally designed compared to Evrima. Ilma's volume is 46,750 GT-tons. The vessel has LOA length 790 ft (241 m), max passenger capacity 448 (224 suites) plus 374 crew, 10 decks (6 with cabins).

In contrast, Evrima is 25,400 gross tons and holds 298 passengers in 149 suites.

The sea trials for Ilma, conducted between May 16 and 20, tested the ship’s seakeeping, noise, vibration, and wind comfort. The ship will now undergo final outfitting and a last trial before her maiden voyage on September 2, 2024, from Monte Carlo to Rome.