Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or new to setting sail, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s fleet takes yachting to a whole new level of luxury.
The Ritz-Carlton’s Evirma features personalized service and luxurious amenities
Embarking at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, I immediately noticed The Ritz- Carlton’s level of service kick in from the outset. As a newbie to cruising, but a longtime Marriott Bonvoy member, I hypothesized that The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection might be a match made in luxury hotel heaven for those of us who aren’t that interested in massive ships with thousands of people. “The Ritz- Carlton Yacht Collection gives our guests an entirely new way to experience the brand by combining the lifestyle of our resorts with the casual freedom of a yachting vacation,” says Chris Gabaldon, Senior Vice President, Luxury Brands, Marriott International. “Through Evrima, we are redefining luxury at sea, completely reimagining the concept of a luxury cruise by providing a highly-curated yacht-style experience.”
The yacht has a marina that offers sun loungers and a variety of water toys
With only 298 guests on board, forget long lines and the inability to find a quiet spot to relax. “Evrima was designed for guests to feel as though they were on their own private superyacht,” says Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “Our goal was to encourage each guest to make their experience what they want it to be, so there are an equal number of places to be social or to enjoy a moment of quiet.” All passengers on the yacht are matched with a personal concierge to ensure that every detail is considered and that you have a seamless journey from beginning to end, including organizing destination experiences and making your dinner reservations.
Culinary experiences on board range from casual poolside eateries to elegant fine dining.
Oh, the food. Forget giant dining rooms where you sit with people you don’t know because every dining experience on board The Ritz-Carlton Yacht is what you would expect if you went out to dinner on land, including your own table, impeccable service, unique chef-driven menus, and private seating. The only difference from terra firma? No check. All meals are included, except one very special experience aptly known as S.E.A. Aboard the Evrima, we tried every restaurant and each was unique and fabulous, but S.E.A. stood out as far-and- away excellent, as you might expect from a dining experience designed by Chef Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg. This namesake offers an inspired European tasting menu in a sophisticated setting and it’s the only dining experience that costs extra, which is well worth it. At the Evrima Room, a menu of locally inspired creations changes with the season to reflect the passing scene. Talaat Nam offers creative interpretations of Southeast Asian cuisine plus a sushi bar. For a come-as-you-are experience, Mistral features a seafood bar with fresh local catches and prime cuts prepared to order from the grill. The views from the deck are stunning and a perfect place to enjoy cocktails. The Pool House offers leisurely breakfast and all-day dining, serving casual eats and bottomless glasses of Moët. Actually, the entire ship serves bottomless glasses of Champagne or any other cocktail your heart desires. I enjoyed ordering daily breakfast delivered in-suite from our private terrace, but you can order from that menu anytime you wish.
The yacht features several refreshing pools and whirlpools on multiple decks.
Like the yacht itself, entertainment and enrichment on board are an intimate affair, with none of those cheesy cruise ship shows. Resident musicians provide live musical performances throughout the voyage, ranging from modern and contemporary to elegant classical and jazz. The Patron of the Arts program partners with local communities and artists to bring a variety of entertainment options aboard.
Top-deck views erase the borders between land and sea, an inspired setting for lounging, cocktails or socializing
“NOT ONLY WERE WE THE FIRST LUXURY HOTEL BRAND TO EXPAND TO SEA, BUT WE CONTINUE TO SEE STRONG DEMAND, WHICH SPEAKS TO BOTH THE ROBUST BRAND EQUITY OF THE RITZ-CARLTON AND THE SUCCESS IN DELIVERING ON WHAT WE SET OUT TO CREATE.” –CHRIS GABALDON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, LUXURY BRANDS, MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
suites featuring private terraces with scenic views.
Only a handful of children were on our yacht, including my 6-year-old daughter Lola, so we relied on the Ritz Kids program with its educational and fun-filled programming. I dropped her off so I could fully immerse myself in the yacht’s luxury spa and it was heavenly.
Meanwhile, Lola was so obsessed with the Ritz Kids staff that she cried on the last day when we dropped off a picture she had colored for them. We really loved the staff. And they’re the same group that manages the marina on the ship. Yes, the yacht has its own marina—a feature that truly sets The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection apart from other cruise ships. The marina sits right at the water’s edge and offers sun loungers with a variety of water toys like stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. As you would do on a yacht, guests have seamless entry into the sea directly from the boat. The platform folds out onto the sea while at anchor. There’s so much to do, whether you’re staying on board or going ashore to explore.
When you’re ready to explore the ports of call, you can curate your own journey through the brand’s Shore Collection tours. Five themed categories make it easy to match your interests and no matter which you choose, each has been curated by The Ritz-Carlton travel experts with insider knowledge so you’ll have a truly local and authentic experience. And since the yacht travels all over the world, you can journey to some of the most stunning ports and harbors on the planet. Travel to Casablanca and explore the vibrant markets of Marrakesh, or search the shores of Aruba for pink flamingos or the waters of Samaná for breaching whales. “The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will be expanding its fleet with two other yachts: Ilma and Luminara, which are slated to set sail in 2024 and 2025 respectively,” says Prothero. “We also just celebrated the keellaying for Ilma, an important construction milestone in the shipbuilding process.” No matter which voyage you choose, a myriad of opportunities for exploration await.
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RITZ-CARLTON