Hijos De J Barreras, the Spanish shipbuilder, has won a contract for building a luxury cruise yacht for use by the Ritz-Carlton group, the US based luxury hotels company.
It will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2019, with a completion time of 30 months. The contract includes the option of building a second and third vessel.
On 22 June, Ritz-Carlton said it would build three large luxury cruise yachts, the first of which would enter service in 2019.
The ship, jointly designed by the owner, Tillberg Design and Barreras, will be one of the most sophisticated and elegant vessels in the world, Barreras said in a statement.
It will have an overall length of 190 m, and 23.8 m beam, and will accommodate 444 people, including 298 passengers in 149 suites and 246 crew members.
The vessel will fulfill the highest standards with regards to the comfort of guests and be intended to exclusive voyages in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Europe and the North America.
“Barreras takes its first steps in the cruise business with this extraordinary vessel. The entry into this sector, which until now was exclusive of several European factories (sic,. i.e. shipyards), opens the doors to new projects that the shipyard is currently offering,” the company said.
The luxury cruise yachts of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., part of Marriott International, Inc., will measure 190 metres, accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony.
“The yacht will also feature two 138 square metre lavish duplex penthouse suites, with modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized; a first in the cruise industry,” the company said in a statement.
The concept is jointly developed by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.
The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a unique foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator. The first of three lavish cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019, and distinguishes Marriott International as the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea.
“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalized service.”
Itineraries are being developed with an intent to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury resorts and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation. Calling at intimate and signature destinations alike, voyages will range from seven to ten days.
The first ship will cruise a wide variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Due to the intimate size of the vessel, the yacht will call at unique locations typically not accessible to large cruise ships, from Capri and Portofino to St. Barths and the old town of Cartagena. With a relaxed pace, that includes both overnight and daytime ports of call, guests will be offered a uniquely curated destination experience.
“The Ritz-Carlton is known for its legendary service and high standards,” said Douglas Prothero Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We are delighted to collaborate with The Ritz-Carlton as our hospitality operator in offering the most exclusive yachting experience to be found at sea in a venture that will give new meaning to curated luxury travel,” continued Lars Clasen, Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.
Throughout the journey, guests will indulge in a cruising style that is unparalleled in the ultra-luxury cruise and private yachting sectors. The Ritz-Carlton yachts will feature a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg; a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa; and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar, offering a wide variety of on-board entertainment. Additionally, the yacht will offer one-of-a-kind curated destination journeys through collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists, allowing guests to experience the locations in unique and experiential ways, both onboard and ashore, the company said.
Carnival Corporation & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, said bookings run ahead of the level seen last year at this time at prices that are also higher, which has led it to increase its earnings per share (EPS) guidance for the financial year to 30 November 2017
The company now expects full year 2017 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.60 to $3.70 compared to March guidance of $3.50 to $3.70 and 2016 adjusted earnings per share of $3.45.
“At this time, cumulative bookings for the next three quarters are higher at prices that are well ahead of the prior year. During the quarter, booking volumes for the next three quarters have been running in line with last year, also at prices that are well ahead,” the company said.
Looking forward, Arnold Donald, President and CEO commented: “We are realizing sustained strength in booking trends across all core products. We are delivering on our strategy to grow demand in excess of measured capacity growth while leveraging our industry-leading scale resulting in increased return on invested capital. We are working hard to sustain the momentum.”
“We have accelerated returns to shareholders through our recent dividend increase, with annual dividend distributions now approaching $1.2 billion, and the reauthorisation of up to $1 billion in share repurchases.” Donald added that the company has completed $2.7 billion in share repurchases since late 2015.
Carnival group expects full year 2017 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 3.5 % compared to the prior year, better than March guidance of up approximately 3.0%.
The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 1.5% compared to March guidance of up approximately 1.0%.
Changes in fuel prices (including realised fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates compared to the prior year are expected to decrease earnings by $0.35 per share.
Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping company, has reported a fall in second quarter net profit, mainly on losses on fuel derivatives, while operating profit and revenues both increased.
The company made a net profit of $379 million in three months to the end of May compared to $605 million in the same period a year earlier. Operating profit increased to $500 million from $478 million and revenues increased to $3.95 billion from $3.71 billion.
Losses on fuel derivatives amounted to $53 million in the review period, while a year earlier they had produced a gain of $171 million.
Earnings per share came to $0.52 compared to $0.31 in three months to 31 May last year and against the company’s own forecast at its first quarter interim report of adjusted earnings per share in the range of $0.43 to $0.47.
Arnold Donald group president and CEO said in a statement:, “Strong execution drove significant operational improvements, which more than offset the substantial drag from fuel and currency, leading to another second quarter adjusted earnings record.”
“It was reinforcing to see over five percent improvement in cruise ticket prices, affirming our efforts to increase demand by building positive word of mouth through the delivery of exceptional guest experiences as well as our innovative marketing and public relations programmes,” he stated.