Many people will wonder not when the first ultra-luxury Ritz-Carlton cruise yacht will sail but if it will ever sail. Evrima has now been delayed for the eighth time, an unprecedented delay for any cruise vessel.
While Ritz-Carlton can be commended for trying to get it ‘right,’ a further push-back to October 15, instead of the scheduled inaugural voyage of August 31, will cause even the most optimistic executive to wonder what has happened over the last four years.
Evrima Delayed Again
Few cruise ships will have faced the difficulties that the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Evrima has faced over the last five years.
Although the vessel has already successfully concluded her sea trials, ongoing global supply chain issues and late delivery of materials needed to operate the ship have now dealt another blow to the vessel’s intended delivery date.
Instead of sailing on her inaugural voyage on August 31, 2022, the newest announced sailing date is October 15. While this may not seem that bad, this is already the eighth time the newly formed cruise operator has had to postpone the maiden voyage for Evrima.
The pandemic, highly disruptive protests’ by metalworkers in Spain’s Cantabria region, supply chain issues, and even a move to a second shipyard have all contributed to the delays.
The ship had originally been scheduled to start operations in February of 2020. However, problems at the shipyard chosen to build Evrima caused significant delays. And that in itself was not a huge surprise.
A Shipyard That Never Built A Yacht
The shipyard that the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, and its financial backer Oaktree Capital Management, chose for the construction of its first yacht was surprising. The company had no experience in building superyachts or cruise ships. In fact, it built up its name by building fishing vessels and ferries.
Ordered in 2017 from the shipyard Hijos de J. Barreras, based in Vigo, Spain, with construction starting on January 11, 2018, the first delay came in October 2019, just months before the first cruise was due to depart.
At the time, the cruise line issued a statement to guests booked on the first voyages, saying: “Challenging circumstances with the shipyard have caused us to extend the construction delivery timeline of our inaugural yacht.”
Last year, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection finally had enough of the constant delays from the Vigo-based shipyard as it moved the 320 million dollar Evrima to the Astander shipyard in Santander, Spain, to complete the vessel.
But even that doesn’t seem to have done the trick to finally get the 26,500 gross tons Evrima out to the open sea. If she does make it out of the shipyard in October, she will likely have the record for the longest build time for any cruise ship.
Evrima’s first cruise, barring any more delays, will sail on October 15 from Barcelona. The ship will spend three days in Mallorca, Spain, including an overnight in Palma de Mallorca, two days in Saint-Tropez, a day in Antibes, before heading to Nice, all in southern France.
Two Sisterships Canceled, Plans For Two New Designs
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection intended to have two more ships built at the Spanish shipyard, similar in size and design to Evrima. Those will not be made in Spain.
Earlier this year, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announced it had made a deal with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, a hugely successful and experienced ship builder in southern France, to construct two new vessels.
“We are thrilled to work with Chantiers de l’Atlantique on the development of our second and third superyachts, Ilma and Luminara,” stated Douglas Prothero, Chief Executive Officer for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “They are a likeminded organization that is committed to excellence and a custom quality process and program that will help execute our vision as we thoughtfully expand our portfolio.”
Ilma and Luminara, as the two vessels will be called, are scheduled to set sail in 2024 and 2025, respectively. They will feature an enhanced design and be significantly larger than Evrima at 46,750 gross tons.