Last year, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection was supposed to take off on its long-anticipated maiden voyage. Sadly with the pandemic grinding travel to a halt and the cruise industry taking a knock, they had to keep the aptly named “Evrima” (greek for Discovery) in dry dock. But now, she is gearing up to take to the high seas later this year … with a new positioning that is still focussed on ultra-luxury, but with wellness amplified and inspired by the deep blue sea.
With travellers looking for safe, luxury experiences that put them as far away from others as possible, the maritime-tourism world has responded with the opportunity for at-sea holidays, particularly private yachting. We know yacht journeys are not for everyone, so providers are looking beyond the basics to offer new experiences on their ships, with much of the conversation based around wellness and health, to entice those on the fence.
Fair play to them, particularly those with yachts big enough to be considered cruise-ships. Cruising got a pretty bad reputation when the pandemic hit, so it is no wonder that there is an industry-wide push to associate going afloat, with wellness, so to regain the confidence of travellers. But beyond the brand building, we had already been hearing a lot of discussion in luxury travel about “blue health” – heralding the restorative properties of time-out on the water. Studies have shown that spending just 120 minutes a week near or on the open sea had significant positive effects on mental health, particularly in terms of stress reduction and perceived wellbeing (just what we all need, coming out of this extended period of lockdown). Add to that, conversations about the physical boost that fresh sea air and a pescatarian diet can give to bolstering the immune system.
Leading the way, is the new The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and their flagship carrier, Evrima. We first got wind of the floating palace years ago, but that wind was taken out of their sails when the pandemic grounded travel to a halt last year. They’ve now set their sights on a summer-sailing in the Mediterranean for their maiden voyage and they’re bringing on board British spa royalty, ESPA, to curate their menu of wellness treatments. And just like how one of the brand’s hotels would link their spa programme to its surroundings for that added sense of place, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Evrima’s spa will be creating therapies inspired by the sea and the healing properties of the ocean.
The ESPA partnership will deliver mindful, wellness experiences at sea, through bespoke facials and a range of massage treatments designed to relax, recharge and promote the body’s restoration … as well as balancing treatments, including aromatherapy and exfoliation. The floating spa will be home to dynamic facilities, something a traveller may not look twice at on land, but will find amazing considering its on-deck location. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer a three-day “Discovery Programme”, or a five or six -day “Journey Immersion Programme” to tie in perfectly with sailing itineraries.
Accommodation wise, the Evrima will feature just under a hundred and fifty spacious suites, everything from 35 square metres / 379 square feet, right up to the Owner’s Suite that is 157 square metres / 1,690 square feet, a large city apartment. If city apartments are your thing, there will also be two duplex Loft Suites. All cabins come with gorgeous views and higher categories with terraces.
We know that it’s the facilities, like the spa, that will drive the return of OutThere travellers to the high-seas. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collections intention to be less of a cruise-line and more of a sea-bourne resort – with award-winning dining, all-inclusive amenities and experiential shore-plans – definitely has us curious to make an enquiry.
Photography courtesy of The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection