It’s the battle of the yachts with two high-end players making big announcements this week.

The high-end luxury yacht space is now dominated by hotel brands – each launching their own vessel to attract their luxury clientele to the high seas.

Aman, Orient Express and RH too, will be entering the market with their own tricked-out boats and big boy toys.

But the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, the first to launch its own ship after the pandemic, announced it plans to build eight to 10 new ships.

And the group has earmarked a yacht for the Asia-Pacific region.

The Ritz-Carlton Ilma floated out earlier this week.

Executive Chairman and CEO Jim Murren told Seatrade Cruise News the Marriott-owned company looks to deploy its fourth or fifth vessel in Asia Pacific.

The new era of Ritz-Carlton Yachts

“We already have plans underway for ships four and five, to be built on a different platform, to be disclosed, and beyond that we’re looking into maybe getting into the expedition space and other yacht types, to get our fleet up to eight to 10 yachts within the next several years,” Murren said at the launch of Ilma.

The next ship Luminara will be launched in 2025 and the next new builds could arrive in 2027 or 2028. However, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection group is looking for financing for the next order of vessels.

“The new-platform ships will be very different in feel and design and operation than Ilma and Luminara,” said Murren.

The ships will be no more than 450 berths.

“We want to have a strong and growing balance sheet and believe after ships four and five, we’ll be able to self-fund our fleet going forward on cash flows generated from the existing yachts, and all that works on a common purpose: to be a successful company in the luxury cruise market.”

Funnel vision

This week, Four Seasons revealed details about their yacht which will launch in 2025. Their second vessel will be delivered in late November 2026.

But the talk of the town is the ship’s pièce de résistance – a four-level 9500 square-foot penthouse which is located in the funnel.

The 9000-square-foot Funnel Suite covers four storeys

New renderings show off the glitzy architecture of the Funnel Suite, which also boasts a 5000-square-foot terrace, a private spa, as well as a 280-degree view afforded by one giant slab of curved glass.

Yes, that piece of glass costs much more than the price of an average Australian home – an eyewatering US$4.5 million.

Sports enthusiasts both on land and on the sea have access to exclusive sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing activities. What’s even more bougie, is the rentable custom-crafted sea limousines that are designed for transfers and coastal grand touring.

The pool on the Four Seasons Yacht.
The pool on the Four Seasons Yacht.

The yacht will also have a canoe-aft deck with a 20-metre pool. It has been designed to be quickly emptied for weddings, events, and even fashion shows.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, or Cristal, line up line up.

For the inaugural sailing, Four Seasons will invite guests who have stayed or travelled with the brand regularly.

So for us mere mortals, we’ll be joining a substantial waitlist which you can access here.