Luxury & Fashion

Jan 1, 2018

CRADLED BY THE SEVEN SEAS

Intended for selected groups – from the "stupidly rich" class – with stops in private beaches and almost one crew member for each passenger, are some of the advantages offered by the cruise ships targeted to the VIP public.

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By NARUTO SHIZUKA

In the so called "six star ships" the passenger has to his disposal restaurants with menus signed by "famous" chefs, shore excursions, butler services and private meals served in the intimacy of the cabin, among other "treats".

Another advantage of these cruises is that they dock at well located ports. As they are shorter than the traditional ships, they can reach smaller harbours, with easier access to the tourism spots of the cities. In St. Petersburg, for instance, the bigger ships dock at a half-hour drive from the most attractive places, unlike these luxury cruises which, in their turn, remain at a five-minute walk from the same places. Due to their minor dimensions, the luxury cruises call in short and paradisiacal islands, like St. Barths, in the Caribbean, where the bigger vessels can't reach.

Contrary to the large majority of super-luxury cruises, 'The World', also known as "The Sea Residential" and with 196 meters long, is one of the bigger and more complete luxury vessels in the world and the first "residential cruise" of all times. In addition to 110 apartments of T2 and T3 typology, whose acquisition prices vary between one and nine million euros, the liner features 58 suites dedicated to temporary rental. The condominium of one of these apartments can go from 300 thousand up to 450 thousand euros a year.

Besides the customer's liking decorated rooms, this 12 decks liner features still all kinds of treats that money can buy – six restaurants, swimming pool, tennis courts, SPA, gym, cinema, library, church, medical center and even a grocery store full of delicacies, among other facilities, besides various unique experiences which occur on the different harbours it docks.

The passenger type of 'The World' has an average age of 52 years-old, he comes from North America and Europe, reveals a great passion for travelling, values luxury, success in business and money. Currently, 'The World' is counting with residents from over 40 countries who live aboard the ship in full time or temporarily. The ship "lives" circling the globe, remaining only on ports for two to five days.

Already the 'Seven Seas Explorer', considered by the Cruise Critic (one of the most respected cruise sites) as the most luxurious ocean liner on the planet has the interior worthy of a luxury hotel, accessible only to those who have a well-stuffed wallet. On board, guests can attend classes of haute cuisine in a room overlooking the sea. In the courses, participants learn to make exquisite dishes of French cuisine, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Greek and Nordic countries.

Although there are dozens of companies of large size cruises with itineraries around the world, the hotels 'The Ritz-Carlton' network has created a new cruise line bound for "1% of the world travelers". The new fleet will count on three luxurious ships which will be ready by 2019. The rates for boarding these ships are not yet known, but the company promises to break all the stereotypes of a conventional cruise.

This luxury hotels network, part of 'Marriott International', will expand its business from land into the sea and it will be the first to include in its top quality range the option for yachts and cruise ships. The promise is to cut the current mass offer of the cruises market and, starting from the last three months of 2019, replicate on board the same installation and services quality already prized on its hotels scattered around 30 countries.

Reservations for the opening travels will only be possible from May 2018 on. With recourse to the 'Oaktree Capital Management' funds, founded on 'The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection', which will operate in the luxury travel market with three yachts. With 190 meters long, the new yachts will be able to accommodate up to 298 passengers within 149 suites, all with a private balcony. It adds also two 'penthouse' suites, each one with 138 square meters. According to the company, the travel itineraries – which are expected to last between seven and ten days – will be exclusive and will cross different regions of the globe, depending on the season of the year, including several Europe, Caribbean and Latin America destinations. One of the advantages attaches to the reduced dimensions of the vessels, which allow (unlike the giant cruise ships) to dock to destinies typically not accessible, as Capri, Portofino, St. Barths and Cartagena, among others. It will be also possible to rent the new yachts for private travels. "The yachts will surely detach and call for attention in some of the most glamorous ports all over the world", stated Herve Humler, president and CEO of Ritz-Carlton, underlining: "this unique combination between yacht and cruise, in luxury travels, will attract customers who want to discover the world in an elegant and comfortable way with the maximum personalized services levels".

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