Ritz-Carlton Ilma

Specifications of Ritz-Carlton Ilma

Year built2024 new ship
BuilderChantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)
ClassMega Yacht
Engines (power)MAN ( MW / 0 hp)
Propulsion power19.4 MW / 26016 hp
Gross Tonnage46750 gt
Passengers456
Decks11
Cabins228
Decks with cabins6
Sister-shipsRitz-Carlton Luminara
Christened bytba
OwnerThe Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
OperatorThe Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Ritz-Carlton Ilma Review

Review of Ritz-Carlton Ilma

The 2024-built Ritz-Carlton's Ilma cruise ship is the second of all three ultra-luxury expedition superyachts owned by Marriott International Inc (shipowner). The ship is operated by The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection (cruise brand and subsidiary of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company/official website).

The vessel (IMO number 9967586) will be Malta-flagged (MMSI tba) and registered in Valletta.

History - construction and ownership

Ritz-Carlton's cruise brand "The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection" is a Miami-headquartered (Coconut Grove) new company owned by Marriott International Inc via its subsidiary The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC.

On June 22, 2017, the 5-star hotel brand Ritz-Carlton announced its privately-owned cruise line brand, with a planned start in 2019. The company's fleet consists of 3 newbuilds, with a shipbuilding option to expand to 5 vessels. Ritz-Carlton's cruise company was created by Douglas Prothero (CEO, founder of Canadian Maritime Group) and Lars Clasen (Managing Director, former President of AIDA Cruises).

In early-February 2022 was announced that The Ritz-Carlton (via the subsidiary The Yacht Portfolio) had acquired the Hamburg-based company Sea Cloud Cruises GmbH (operating via the travel brand "Sea Cloud Cruises"), adding to the fleet its 3-ship fleet.

Ritz-Carlton Ilma cruise ship

On March 17, 2022, Ritz-Carlton officially announced signing the order with the French shipbuilding company Chantiers de l'Atlantique (shipyard in Sant-Nazaire) for two LNG-powered superyachts - the sisterships Ilma (2024) and Luminara (2025).

The Ritz-Carlton deal with Chantiers de l'Atlantique was signed by Douglas Prothero (The Ritz- Carlton Yacht Collection's CEO), Tim Grisius (Marriott International's Global Officer for Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Development, Real Estate), Karim Khairallah (Oaktree Capital Management's and European Principal Group's Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager) and Laurent Castaing (shipbuilder's General Manager).

Initially, Ritz-Carlton planned a fleet expansion with two Evrima-like boats/sisterships, which were planned for deliveries in 2023 and 2024. The shipbuilding order for the second vessel was signed on May 31, 2019, with Hijos de J.Barreras (shipyard in Vigo Spain) by Jose Garcia Costas (shipbuilder's President) and Douglas Prothero. However, due to the Coronavirus crisis and Barreras Shipyard's financial issues, these projects were both canceled and replaced with the bigger, France-built units.

Unlike Evrima (completed at Astander Shipyard in Santander Spain), Ilma and Luminara are larger as both gross-tonnage/volume (tba, compared to Evrima's 26500 GT-tons), cabins (228 vs Evrima's 149) and max passenger capacity (456 vs Evrima's 298).

For the new superyachts' design were contracted AD Associates (London, England UK/yacht's interior design), Aivan (Helsinki Finland/yacht's exterior design), and DPA Designers (Miami Florida USA).

Ritz-Carlton cruise ship yacht

Decks and Cabins

All Ilma cruise ship staterooms (228 total) are balcony suites with tall ceilings, including Duplex Suites (2-level apartments). The fore-located Owner Suites are the yacht's largest accommodations, featuring an upper suite living area, floor-ceiling windows (for 270-degree views), and a huge wraparound terrace (with 270-degree views and an outdoor plunge pool).

The boat has 11 decks, of which 9 are passenger-accessible and 6 with cabins.

Ilma's cabin types include Signature Suites, Grand Suites, Loft Suites, and the majority are Terrace Suites. Loft Suites are duplexes (bedroom on the lower level). Terrace Suites are connecting cabins (with a soundproof blind wall in between) easily combined to reduce the cabins number when the yacht is privately chartered.

The largest accommodations are sized 1076 ft2 (100 m2).

 

Standard (complimentary) cabin amenities and services include custom-made King-size beds (premium sleeping system, custom-made for Ritz-Carlton linens, hypoallergenic pillows), smart HDTVs (infotainment system with Internet, movies-on-demand, Room Service ordering), seating area with contemporary furniture (mirrored dressing table, padded stool, lounge cabinet with shelves, armchairs, coffee table), complimentary minibar (fully-stocked with beverages /craft beers, juices, soft drinks, bottled water), Espresso coffee machine (complimentary capsules /coffee and tea), direct-dial phone, wardrobe, electronic safe box and lifejackets (in the closet), 220-110 V power outlets, USB charging ports, complimentary WiFi Internet, complimentary 24-hour room service and in-cabin dining (ordering items from all onboard dining venues), dedicated butler (Personal Concierge assistant), en-suite bathroom (double-sink vanity, separate WC-toilet, hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers, custom-made bath linens, luxury-brand bath products), individually controlled air-conditioning, LED lighting, modern light fixtures (recessed lights).

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The Ilma yacht has 5 restaurants, 6 bars/lounges, a Wine Vault, an expanded Marina (with a mezzanine), Ritz-Carlton Spa (expanded wellness complex), a space dedicated for children (by the brand's Ritz Kids program).

NOTE: The following review is based on the original "Evrima" design. It will be updated as soon as The Ritz-Carlton officially announces more details on the revised design - deck plans, staterooms, onboard facilities, amenities upgrades.

Ritz-Carlton Evrima yacht offers a total of 10 ultra-premium dining options at intimate venues with chef-curated menus, small seating capacity, opened around the clock, and without assigned seating or fixed mealtimes. Passengers can eat whenever they want, rather than the traditional pre-set dining times customary on most companies.

All-day and all-night dining in cabins (or on their terraces) can be ordered from the 24-hour room service menu (items from all onboard dining venues), as well as during regular hours from the MDR menu.

The dress code is "Yacht Casual" during the day for breakfast and lunch - shoes, shirts, and bathing suit cover-ups are required when the passengers are not at the swimming pool. In the evenings, sleeveless t-shirts and bathing suits are not allowed, and shoes and shirts are required throughout the vessel. The dress code in the specialty dining restaurant by Sven Elverfeld is "Yacht Sophisticated" - collared shirts are not required, but recommended. No formal nights are organized on board.

Follows the complete list of Ritz-Carlton Evrima restaurants and food bars.

  • S.E.A. (Aqua Restaurant) is via partnership with celebrity chef Sven Elverfeld (3-Michelin stars) who presides over Ritz-Carlton's Aqua Restaurant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Aqua Restaurant has capacity 28 seats, offers a la carte 5-course menu and wine pairing (with premium wines and champagnes by the glass). An additional fee is applied and reservations are required.
  • Evrima Room is the boat's Main Dining Room restaurant (MDR) with capacity 140 seats. The venue is designed to look like 10 small restaurants, with plenty of nooks. The menu consists of locally inspired creations and changes daily to reflect the ports visited. Dining Privee (10-seat room) is part of the MDR and can be reserved as VIP dining room for lunches and dinners with customized menus.
  • Talaat Nam (contemporary Asian cuisine restaurant) has a separate sushi bar and outdoor terrace seating.
  • Outdoor Grill (lower Sundeck) is a Lido bar serving the aft swimming pool (Deck 8) with fast food and beverages. This pool deck is served by Poolside Grill and Seafood Grill. This casual eatery offers from Early Risers (portable breakfast) to late-night complimentary dining, serving various cuisine specialties prepared outdoor and a la minute.
  • The Pool House (casual poolside food bar) offers all-day dining (including breakfasts, lunches, dinners).
  • Mistral is a seafood bar for lunch or al fresco dinner with prime steaks and fresh seafood grilled to order.

Ritz-Carlton Yachts' Culinary Director is Matthieu Godard (pastry chef) who oversees the brand's culinary activities and menus. Lee Goble is the brand's Executive Chef who manages the fleet's culinary teams.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

MS Evrima ship offers destination-based activities (onboard performances by local artists and musicians), itinerary-based gourmet cuisine (with locally-sourced products and dishes prepared by local chefs). Onboard entertainment includes live performances (jazz and classical) and professional (expert-led) lectures and media presentations. During each voyage, local guests (artists, lecturers, chefs) board the ship for various entertainment acts throughout the cruise. The shipwide Wi-Fi is free of charge.

The main onboard social hubs are The Observation Lounge (top-deck) and The Living Room (ship entrance hall / Atrium Lobby lounge, also doubling as Cafe and Library). The ship doesn't have a dedicated Theater (show lounge) or Casino (gambling lounge).

The mega-yacht has an aft marina platform for watersports, providing direct access to the sea. The marina is also used for open-air parties and other events. A selection of water toys (sea kayaks, paddleboards, snorkeling equipment) is provided complimentary to all passengers. The marina is connected to the indoors, forming an indoor-outdoor solarium (sundeck) which looks more like a cozy lounge than the usual sundeck.

Next image shows Spa Deck's fore-located sundeck with a large Jacuzzi (covered in the evenings) and outdoor padded seating (sofas, loungers, tables and chairs).

Ritz-Carlton cruise ship yacht (sundeck pool)

Above Sun Deck is the Helideck with a helipad (helicopter landing area) used in cases of emergency.

The open-air Marina Bar provides 270-degree sea views and is covered by a retractable glass roof. Marina Bar is operated as al fresco dining lounge by day and as a disco nightclub in the evening. The venue serves a variety of made-to-order dishes prepared a la minute.

There are two infinity whirlpools, 2 swimming pools (1 shallow and 1 deep). The infinity-pool (aft on Deck 5) is also used for exercising (resistance swimming). Glass doors open to a sweeping staircase leading to Lido Deck (with an aft-located swimming pool / on the stern). The ship carries speedboats.

Due to fire and safety regulations, most of the ship's spaces are sectioned off and subdivided, with metal walls dividing restaurants from lounges and bars. Ritz-Carlton ships pioneered an open floorplan concept ("fluid and transparent") designed to "break down the traditional boundaries between dining and drinking areas".

Follows the complete list of Ritz-Carlton Evrima ship lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • The Bar is a cocktail lounge serving premium brand liquors and Champagnes with caviar pairings.
  • The Humidor is a top-deck smoking bar lounge (part of Observation Lounge) where can also be purchased hand-rolled cigars and premium liquors.
  • The top-deck located Observation Lounge is the best place for cocktails and socializing. At twilight, it is transformed into a late-night hangout with live entertainment.
  • The Living Room is the ship's Cafeteria-Patisserie offering freshly-baked pastries, cakes, pies, roasted coffees (at the Espresso Counter and the Bar) and traditional British Afternoon Tea service. Ready-made sweets are available for ordering until late-night.
  • The Pool House (poolside bar) provides all-day complimentary food and beverage service. The ship's pool deck (aft sundeck) is fitted with loungers, deckchairs, banquettes and whirlpools, along with a spacious spot for outdoor movies and deck parties.
  • Ritz-Carlton Spa (Deck 9) is operated by Ritz-Carlton Hotels and provides indoor and outdoor treatments. Each massage room has its own private step-out balcony. Guests are able to pick if they wish a treatment indoor or outdoor. The Wellness complex also includes Relaxation Lounge, Medical Center, The Salon (full-service beauty parlor/hairdresser-manicure-pedicure), The Barber (grooming-barber services). Ship's Fitness Center is an indoor-outdoor Gym complex with training equipment inside and an outdoor exercise area for classes (yoga, pilates, aerobics, etc) and relaxation.
  • Ritz-Kids is the yacht's Kids Club (indoor playground) providing a complimentary educational and fun activity program for children. Enhanced kids entertainment and services are available during summer months and holidays.
  • Boutique Shop sells brand sportswear, fashion clothing and accessories, leather goods, premium jewelry and watches, brand perfumes and cosmetics. In select ports along the cruise itinerary, the onboard shopping experience is enhanced via collaborations with local artisans boarding the ship to showcase their unique handmade products.

The Marina is an aft-located/stern watersports platform providing direct access to the sea and the ship's watersport equipment. It is also used for parties and other open-air events. A selection of water toys (sea kayaks, paddleboards) are launched from here and provided complimentary to all passengers. Glass doors open to the sweeping staircase leading to Lido / Pool Deck above (aft / on the ship's stern). The Marina is adjacent to an indoor/outdoor solarium (Marina Terrace) which is more a cozy lounge than a conventional sundeck.

Marina Terrace is an open-air deck space (served by Marina Bar) offering 270-degree panoramic views. This outdoor area is covered by a retractable glass roof and can be operated as al fresco dining lounge by day and as a disco nightclub in the evenings. As a dining venue, Marina Terrace serves a variety of dishes prepared a la minute, as well as handcrafted cocktails.

Itineraries

Bookings for Ritz-Carlton Ilma's inaugural cruise season (2024 voyages) will open in 2022-Q4.

What is known so far is that the itineraries will range in length from 7- to 10-nights, with deployments in the Caribbean and Europe (Mediterranean) and seasonal Transatlantic crossings on relocation (RepositionCruises.com).

All Ritz-Carlton superyachts are available for private chartering.

Ritz-Carlton Ilma - user reviews and comments

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Ritz-Carlton Ilma Wiki

The Ilma vessel (shipyard/hull number J35) was ordered by the Miami-based company Cruise Yacht OpCo Ltd, and is currently scheduled for delivery in June 2024.

Unlike the Spain-built Evrima, Ritz-Carlton's sisterships Ilma and Luminara are France-built - by Chantiers de l'Atlantique SA in Saint-Nazaire.

Ritz-Carlton ship technology

The superyacht Ilma is LNG-powered and with electric propulsion system consisting of two Azipods (by ABB) with total power output 15 MW. Azipod-D are 360-degree rotating/azimuthing thrusters ideal for smaller-sized vessels as they require lower installed power. Unit's electric drive motor is installed in the pod and submerged outside the hull, thus allowing more space for passenger cabins. The patented Azipod system also produces less vibration. The thrusters have the ability to turn 360 degrees which increases the ship's maneuverability and allows access to ports without the need for tugboat assistance.

The Azipods are part of ABB's medium voltage power plant. It also includes sensors producing real-time data that can be tracked from land-based facilities operated by both ABB Operations Centers and the customer. The Azipod thruster is approx 10% more fuel-efficient in comparison to shaft line propulsion systems. This results in a significant reduction of the vessel's operating costs and emissions. The lack of traditional rudders also allows the hull's hydrodynamics to be optimized.

"ABB Ability" is a remote diagnostic system using Microsoft Azure (cloud computing). It monitors the vessel's electrical systems and is connected 24-7 to ABB's infrastructure ashore. The system monitors all linked devices and sends real-time data analytics for maintenance (predictive and planned) and online support.

In late-September 2018, ABB contracted Raytheon Anschutz (Singapore-based manufacturer) to provide the ship's Integrated Navigation System "Synapsis NX" (bridge and navigation equipment). Synapsis NX includes autopilot, track control, radars, navigation sensors, communications, multifunctional navigation workstations (with software).

The first Ritz-Carlton yacht (Evrima) had an initial building cost / as ordered EUR 190 million (USD 225 million). During the vessel's construction, due to design changes, the cost reached EUR 240 million (USD 260 million) and the delivery was rescheduled from November to December 2019. In August 2019, the Spanish shipbuilder (Astilleros Barreras/Vigo) demanded an additional EUR 50 million (USD 55 million) to finish Evrima.

Ritz-Carlton's 3-ship-fleet project's equity investor is Oaktree Capital Management (Los Angeles USA-based global investment management firm). The shipbuilding order was supported by CESCE Espana (Madrid Spain-based commercial risk management company/world's 4th-largest, also ECA-Export Credit Agency) and CaixaBank SA (fka Criteria CaixaCorp - one of Spain's largest banks).

The deal with CESCE covered the Evrima yacht's cost overruns, secured the construction of Ritz-Carlton's second vessel, and also saved the Astilleros Barreras shipyard from bankruptcy.

In April 2022, the French shipbuilder contracted ABB to supply both yachts' (Ilma and Luminara) electric propulsion systems and year-round predictive maintenance and remote support of the machinery. The ordered packages included two Azipod units (power output 5,5 MW each) allowing high maneuverability (in both ports and at sea) as well as low vibrations and minimal noise during navigation.

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