The launch of Ritz-Carlton’s new cruise line is delayed yet again

Jan 25, 2021

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You’ll have to wait at least six more months to try out the first Ritz-Carlton cruise vessel.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the new cruising arm of the upscale hotel company, on Friday said it had pushed back the debut of its much-awaited, 298-passenger Evrima for a third time — from April until July.

The line blamed ongoing safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic for the delay.

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“The safety and wellbeing of our guests and (staff) continues to remain our highest priority,” Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection CEO Douglas Prothero said in a statement sent to The Points Guy. “Due to the ongoing safety concerns and travel restrictions due to COVID-19, we have decided to proactively reschedule our first sailing to later in the summer.”

Evrima originally was scheduled to begin sailing nearly a year ago — in February 2020. But problems at Hijos de J. Barreras, the shipyard in Vigo, Spain, where Evrima has been under construction for three years — led to two significant delays in its debut last year that already have pushed back its arrival by 14 months.

The new delay means the debut of the vessel is now 17 months behind schedule.

Ritz-Carlton Evrima
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first vessel, Evrima, is designed to have a yacht-like feel. It’ll carry just 298 passengers. (Rendering courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection)

As a result of the latest delay, all Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection voyages that had been scheduled through mid-July have been cancelled. The ship’s inaugural voyage is now scheduled for July 24. It’ll be a seven-night trip from Venice, Italy, to Piraeus, Greece (the port for Athens).

In addition to pushing back the debut of Evrima by several more months, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection on Friday cancelled a number of cruises on the ship scheduled for September and October that would have taken place in North America. The line now plans to keep the vessel in the Mediterranean during those months.

The cancellations of the North American cruises come as the timing of a restart of cruises that touch U.S. and Canadian waters remains in doubt due to ongoing restrictions imposed by authorities in both countries.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection said the line is switching Evrima to Mediterranean sailings during September and October due to demand from customers.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is just the latest cruise brand to cancel more spring sailings as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage. Norwegian Cruise Line on Tuesday pushed back its planned restart of operations by another month, to the start of May, and Carnival Cruise Line on Friday did the same. Carnival on Friday also cancelled all Australia departures through 19 May and European departures of one of its ships, Carnival Legend, through 31 October.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection on Friday said passengers on cancelled sailings can reschedule their voyages for a later date or contact the line to discuss reimbursement options.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has been touting Evrima as an upscale, yacht-like vessel that will appeal to Ritz-Carlton regulars with an elegant, residential look. The company is promising spacious cabins, a stylish spa and lots of deck-top lounge space for sunning, plus five separate restaurants. The dining venues, notably, will include an á la carte restaurant designed by Sven Elverfeld of the three Michelin-starred Aqua in the Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg, Germany.

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Featured image of courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

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