After multiple delays and much anticipation, the Ritz-Carlton’s Evrima finally set sail on Saturday, October 15.e from Barcelona, Spain to Nice with its first paying customers. The luxury yacht represents the hospitality company’s first time entering the cruise space – and while it’s not yet a well-oiled machine, it has proven it has the substance to deliver a innovative experience like no other on the market.
It’s obvious that Evrima’s clean design, soothing, neutral hues and contemporary layout have been carefully crafted to appeal to a clientele seeking the relaxation, serenity and service they expect from the Ritz hotel brand. Carlton. First and foremost, guests have been more than pleased with the ample amount of space both in their suites (intentionally not called staterooms) as well as in the vast and plentiful common areas of this 190 meter vessel. The company promised more square feet per passenger and with just 149 suites and a passenger count of less than 300, guests aboard the first sailboat were pleasantly surprised at the space to stretch out.
The mega yacht is magnificent, a true floating work of art, with spacious suites that all offer balconies and high ceilings, 5 dining rooms, various welcoming common areas, several swimming pools (including an infinity one), a handful of hot tubs, spa, fitness center, cigar lounge and marina.
“We are thrilled to introduce the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and open an exciting new chapter for this beloved brand,” said Chris Gabaldon, senior vice president for luxury brands, Marriott International. “The Ritz-Carlton has long been rooted in innovation and service excellence, guided by a commitment to be at the forefront of delivering transformative travel experiences. As we continue to evolve our legendary brand, we couldn’t be more excited to give our guests the opportunity to experience The Ritz-Carlton in a new way.
The Pool House – Located on Deck 5, this is the busiest area of the yacht, with indoor and outdoor seating around the main pool for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Second only to Evrima’s design is the delicious food, which is fully included in the rate (except for SEA, the Michelin-inspired restaurant). All meals on Evrima reflect the finest in fine dining, making it a true highlight of the sailing experience. From delicious snacks and casual fare at Pool House and Mediterranean-style cuisine at Mistral, to Asian fusion and sushi at Talaat Nam and traditional fare at The Evrima Room, every meal is something to savor – and the portions are also abundant. (Don’t expect buffets on board, as that’s not the vibe here, but room service is available 24 hours a day).
To complement the delicious cuisine and further enhance the ambience on board, special touches like Moët Champagne which is offered throughout the cruise – everywhere from the spa and pool to the tender meeting areas at the end of a long day on land. Additionally, guests will find a bottle in their room and can request that their suites be stocked with specific libations. To complete the first-class ambience, chocolates and a bottle of wine are also delivered mid-week to the suites.
Speaking of suites, guests can choose from Terrace Suites, Signature Suites, Grand Suites, Two-Story Loft Suites, View Suites, and Owner’s Suite. All have private terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as king-size beds, double-sink bathrooms, luxury linens, and Ritz-Carlton bathrobes and slippers. Each suite also has its own personal concierge. Concierges can assist with meal reservations, shore excursions, stocking suites with beverages and more, as well as any specific needs of their guests. Concierges can be contacted by phone through the suite, though many guests have suggested an improvement would be to add a texting option to the onboard app (which required some tweaking when browsing).
To complement Evrima’s many strengths, the staff are almost as numerous as the passengers. Their courteous smiles and willingness to help guests with any task was apparent. From suite stewards and wait staff to personal concierges and guest services, the crew of Evrima are full of pride in this beautiful vessel and they have sought to please guests at every turn. This attention to service and detail reflected the brand, even when there were elements beyond its control that needed tweaking.
The Living Room – this location on Deck 4 has the cozy feel of a library and features a bar for cocktails and a piano and cello for entertainment.
On board and ashore
There is no theater on board the Evrima, but there is still enough entertainment to keep passengers entertained and entertained. Guests can relax poolside on comfortable loungers while a live guitarist provided background tunes. In the evening, they can head to the Living Room for a piano serenade or, for a bit more excitement, dance on the observation deck or Marina Lounge with a live DJ. In fact, on the last night of sailing, guests were treated to a performance in The Observation Lounge reminiscent of a live concert.
Several shore excursions are offered at the intimate and exclusive ports of call and it is recommended to book these before sailing, due to space limitations. Options ranged from horseback riding and mountain hikes to city tours and food tastings, among others. Excursion prices ranged from $100 to $500 per person, depending on the activity. Some guests commented that the shore excursions were not worth the price and that the yacht company might want to review and modify some of the experiences.
Despite the many favorable sides of Evrima, the yacht had a lot of hiccups during her first sail. Guests on board have complained of leaky showers, TVs and phones that didn’t work, inconsistent use of the online app, delayed laundry service, air conditioning issues, and more. While these inconveniences are frustrating, they haven’t stopped most passengers from raving about the overall experience and even booking on board again.
A passenger on board for the first sailing, who asked to remain anonymous, shared her comments. “The yacht is beautiful, the staff are extremely nice and helpful and the food is amazing. Yes, there have been a few glitches but nothing that I don’t see being resolved over time. I have sailed a lot and this was not a typical cruise. There were very few announcements over the PA system, the crew went out of their way to accommodate us, and it truly is a refined first class experience all around.
The Spa Deck – Plenty of lounge chairs and beds surround a hot tub that overlooks the water on this comfortable and relaxing spot on Deck 9.
Evrima is the first of three custom-built yachts in the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection set to debut over the next three years. She will call at a number of destinations around the world, starting in the Mediterranean and passing through the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
All the glitz and glamor of sailing on Evrima does not come without a hefty price tag. The Medium Terrace Suite costs around $7,000 per person for sailing, which includes all meals and beverages and access to the thermal suites and spa salon. Extras include shore excursions, spa treatments, salon services, meals at SEA, and premium wines.
That being said, Evrima’s unveiling asserted that there is a clientele that seeks the blend of resort relaxation and the intimate feeling of a yacht vacation with service excellence. Once they iron out the issues, the potential to attract a high-end passenger who seeks the Ritz-Carlton experience on the water is unquestionable.
The Observation Lounge – a guest favorite by far, this indoor/outdoor space is located on Deck 10 and offers plenty of space to enjoy cocktails, listen to music and dance the night away (if you wish) .
The Marina – located on the lowest deck, this laid-back space offers outdoor seating that extends to either side of the yacht as well as an opening deck for water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.