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Failure To Launch: Luxury Cruise Line Ritz-Carlton Delays All Sailings

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Correction: A previous version of this article misstated a management change at Hijos De J. Barreras, SA. It is absolutely false that Alfonso López Loureiro has received a letter of dismissal from the company PEMEX -the majority shareholder of the shipyards-, HIJOS DE J. BARRERAS, S.A. or any of its legal representatives in the week prior to 3 October 2019 and equally false that Alfonso López Loureiro has received a letter of dismissal to date. 

Failure to Launch” Luxury Cruise Line Ritz-Carlton Delays All Sailings

With only four months until the first ship from the new Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection was to set sail, the luxury cruise line announced this week its new vessel won’t be ready in time.

All 14 voyages scheduled between Feb. 5 and June 13, 2020, have been cancelled and passengers are not impressed. These aren't your typical cruisers and they've shelled out large amounts of cash to be on the inaugural sailings. Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection targets the ultra-high end luxury segment of the cruise market with small-ship cruising.

Rtiz Carlton Yacht
Rendering of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Completed
Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection
Project Completion of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Thus Far (Photo: Hijos de J. Barreras)

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection released a public statement ensuring guests were aware that they would not lose any money on cruise fare, lodging or airline tickets. 

“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is extending voyage fare savings when guests rebook their future voyage or full reimbursement for our guests’ paid cruise fare and airfare and hotel change fees.”

Ritz carlton cruises= ship
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection targets the ultra-high end luxury segment of the cruise market

Among those disappointed customers was TPG's former chief of staff, Adam Kotkin, who planned to sail on the first transatlantic voyage from Bridgetown, Barbados, to Lisbon, Portugal, in March 2020.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has given him the option of booking the same itinerary in 2021, at a 30% discount but that isn’t working out to be much of a deal. The same room and itinerary he originally booked on the inaugural sailing now has a rate of close to $14,060, up $3,500 from what he paid for the 2020 sailing.

With 30% discount, the total drops to $9,842 — which ends up being almost the same price he paid, but for a year later.  

Ritz Carlton Verandah Suite
Ritz-Carlton Yacht: Verandah Suite

According to the Maritime Executive, the ship's completion was delayed due to challenges with the Hijos de J. Barreras shipyard regarding ship delivery and project cost issues.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection CEO Douglas Prothero commissioned an independent audit, which found that subcontractors were not working according to the strict schedule.

“We sincerely apologise to all guests who were ready to sail with us in the beginning of 2020 . . . Our team is deeply committed to delivering a highly customised, state-of-the-art build that will make our inaugural yacht the most distinctive of its kind.”

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