The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has celebrated the float out of its new ship Ilma at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The float out of Ilma is a significant construction milestone, marking the first time the ship has touched water and the completion of all major exterior construction and assembly works.
The focus of attention will now shift to final fit and finishing as the ship is moved to a construction wet dock.
The float out was attended by company leadership from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection including Jim Murren, Executive Chairman & CEO, and Ernesto Fara, President and CFO.
Also in attendance were representatives from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, including Laurent Castaing, General Manager, and Arnaud Le Joncour, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing.
Ahead of the float out, the drydock was filled with water overnight, then the ship was moved to an outfitting dock where she will remain until sea trials begin in April.
The final stage of construction will include completing interiors, fixtures, and fittings for suites, restaurants and other public spaces onboard Ilma ahead of her debut in 2024.
“As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, we are immensely proud of the dedication and craftsmanship by all those involved in the construction of Ilma,” said Murren.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with the team at Chantiers de l’Atlantique and are excited to enter the next stage of construction and outfitting in anticipation of the yacht’s inaugural journey next year, expanding our fleet and vision within the ultra-luxury space,” he added.
Ilma will join Evrima as the second ship in the Ritz-Carlton branded cruise line. The vessel is slightly larger at 790-feet, with 228 airy, light-filled suites, for up to 456 passengers, and will have the highest space and staff-to-guest ratios in the luxury cruise category.
By comparison, the cruise line’s current superyacht, Evrima, carries just 298 guests.
Ilma was ordered from Chantiers de l’Atlantique as part of an initial two-ship order. The second vessel, Luminara, is due for delivery in 2025.
Although Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection calls the new ships superyachts, and they retain a superyacht-esque shape, at 456 passengers, they’re in a similar class as Silversea’s Silver Muse and Silver Moon, its two largest ships.