Ritz Carlton Cruise investors buy luxury Sea Cloud sailboats

The Yacht Portfolio, the maritime investment firm behind the Ritz-Carlson Yacht Collection, has signed a letter of intent to purchase Sea Cloud Cruises, a line of luxury small sailboats based in Hamburg, Germany.

Sea Cloud’s three ships are the historic 64-passenger Sea Cloud, launched in 1931; the 94-passenger Sea Cloud II (2001); and the new (in 2021) 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit. All are three-masted tall ships.

The brand will continue to be based in Hamburg and there will be no changes to planned routes, officials said.

“Sea Cloud offers a unique and eco-friendly experience in the cruise space that aligns well with our ongoing goal of building a strong portfolio of niche luxury brands,” said Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Yacht Portfolio, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to completing a transaction with the Sea Cloud team and supporting the brand’s next phase of growth in luxury cruises.”

Through the acquisition, The Yacht Portfolio also plans to expand its relationship with Marriott International beyond the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, officials said, noting in a press release that the deal “gives Marriott International the opportunity to enter the cruise industry through its other luxury products”. brands.”

“We are excited about the transaction between The Yacht Portfolio and Sea Cloud and look forward to the opportunity to further collaborate with The Yacht Portfolio to bring our luxury accommodations to sea,” said Timothy Grisius, Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and real estate at Marriott International.

Negotiations have been going on for several months, Sea Cloud officials said. No purchase price was disclosed.

“We are delighted that The Yacht Portfolio strengthens Sea Cloud’s position in the market,” said Hermann Ebel, Managing Director of Sea Cloud Cruises. “The course is set for many years of successful international marketing and the foundation is laid for future business and fleet growth.”

The first Ritz Carlton cruise ship is set to launch in May 2022

The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection’s first ship, Evrima, is set to launch with a first cruise from Lisbon on May 9, 2022.

The new cruise line has generated excitement among luxury cruise enthusiasts, who see the 298-passenger ship as a notable entry with a beloved brand behind it. The ability to use Bonvoy points and integrate with Marriott’s loyalty program has also generated interest.

The launch, however, was delayed for several years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and problems at the shipyard in Vigo, Spain, where the ship is being built.

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