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Ritz-Carlton's newest superyacht 'Ilma' to take her maiden voyage in September 2024

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s second superyacht has completed sea trials and the countdown is on for first sailing later this year. How will Ilma compare to sister ship Evrima? Here’s the lowdown for your clients.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s second superyacht has completed sea trials and the countdown is on for first sailing later this year. How will Ilma compare to sister ship Evrima? Here’s the lowdown for your clients.

First of all, the names of these stylish vessels: Evrima is Greek for ‘discovery’, Ilma is the Maltese word for ‘water’ and Luminara, the third ship in The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, is Latin for ‘light’.

The history of the Ritz-Carlton name itself is fascinating and harks back to the achievements of 19th-century Swiss ‘hotelier to the kings and king of hoteliers’ César Ritz – but that’s a whole other story.

Ritz Carlton Yachts latest superyacht Ilma completes her sea trials Photo Credit Sundeck Films Chantiers de lAtlantique
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s latest superyacht, Ilma, completes her sea trials. Image: Sundeck Films/Chantiers de l’Atlantique

Claiming the winning position in the ‘hospitality-at-sea’ stakes, the US-based Ritz-Carlton group is the first of four prestigious hospitality brands to add luxury ocean cruising to their portfolios.

Four Seasons Yachts’ first of two superyachts is due to set sail in the Caribbean in January 2026; the Orient Express Silenseas is expected to make her debut in March 2026 as the largest sailing ship in the world (coincidentally, she is being built at France’s Chantiers de l’Atlantique where The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Ilma was built and Luminara is nearing completion); and Aman at Seas’ first uber-luxe vessel is slated to launch in 2027.

The superyacht fleet

Ilma Owners Suite Terraces feature private whirlpools and outdoor showers render
Render of Owners Suite Terraces featuring private whirlpools and outdoor showers on Ilma.

How do The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s three superyachts compare? Ilma, which will set sail on 2 September 2024 on her seven-night maiden voyage from Monte Carlo to Rome, is somewhat larger than 2022’s Evrima.

Ilma is 241m with a guest capacity of 448 compared to Evrima’s 190m and guest capacity of 298.

Luminara is being built in France and is scheduled to launch in July 2025. She will be the same hull size and tonnage as Ilma, although suite configurations are set to differ slightly.

There will be two new upper suite categories, measuring a generous 93 square metres each and she will accommodate 452 guests instead of Ilma’s 448 – just four more.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection says both new superyachts will offer the highest ratio of space per guest at sea while the crew-to-guest ratio on Evrima and Ilma is similarly high, estimated to be 1:1.2 (1 crew member for 1.2 guests).

Ilma the Concierge Suite is the second largest category on the ship render
Render of the Concierge Suite – the second-largest category on Ilma.

All three superyachts feature spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces, a Ritz-Carlton Spa, numerous bars and dining venues, pools and an aft marina. They are even family friendly – babies aged at least six months are welcome aboard and the Ritz Kids club caters for older children.

While other ultra-luxe cruise lines are building bigger ships – Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently announced its two new Prestige-class ships will accommodate 850 guests and Explora Journeys’ first two ships accommodate 922 guests – The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and other luxury hotel groups’ cruising divisions are focusing on smaller, private-yacht style vessels.

What’s on board?

Ilma The Main Pool on Deck 10 render
Render of the main pool on Deck 10.

Apart from being larger than Evrima, Ilma boasts a few new and enhanced features. Her interiors and art collection are said to be inspired by elements of Malta (where she is flagged) and were designed by London-based firm AD Associates; exterior spaces are the work of Finnish design studio Aivan.

The Marina and Marina Terrace area on deck three have also been expanded on Ilma. The Terrace, where drinks and light bites are served, features large windows for maximum light and side doors that open and float above the water. A hydraulic platform connects guests directly with the ocean when the ship is at anchor for kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkelling.

Deck 10 provides an open-air space for outdoor entertainment and houses the main pool, pool bar and an outdoor LED screen.

Ilma The indoor outdoor restaurant Beach House Interior render
Render of indoor-outdoor restaurant Beach House interiors on Ilma.

The Beach House on deck five is new to Ilma – a casually elegant, indoor-outdoor restaurant that boasts 180-degree sea or harbour views, it serves cocktails and Peruvian and Latin-American influenced cuisine. The infinity pool, complete with sun loungers, is a perfectly placed extension of the Beach House.

Ilma has six other dining options: The Tides, Dining Privée (set within The Tides), Seta Su Ilma, Memori, Mistral and the Living Room plus 24-hour in-suite dining. She also offers seven bars and a wine vault. All dining and drinks are included in the fare across the fleet.

Ilma the sundeck near the main pool Mistral eatery and pool bar on Deck 10 render
Render of the sundeck near the main pool, Mistral eatery and pool bar on Deck 10.

There will also be a larger spa. Where Evrima has five treatment rooms, Ilma has 11, including five equipped for alfresco treatments. The three distinct fitness spaces are a Movement Studio, Cycle Studio and Fitness Studio, which has weights and cardio machines.

Superyacht sailing destinations

Ilma joins Evrima in September 2024 for her inaugural season in the Mediterranean and from November, both superyachts will sail in the Caribbean. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection ships both return to the Med in April 2025.

Ilma will then head to Northern Europe in July for a series of cruises in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, calling at Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and more.

On 31 July 2025, Luminara will make her maiden voyage for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection – a seven-night round-trip from Rome.

Asia-Pacific on the horizon

Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection render of the Residential Suite on the third superyacht Luminara
Render of the Residential Suite on the third superyacht, Luminara.

Luminara will be the first of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to sail in the Asia-Pacific region. She will offer 10 new itineraries, ranging from 10 to 15 days between December 2025 and May 2026 and exploring Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Thailand.

Sailings will depart from either Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore and there’s much speculation among luxury cruisers as to whether Luminara will squeeze in an Australasian season between her inaugural Mediterranean season from July to September 2025 and the start of her Asia-Pacific season in December 2025.