By John O’Ceallaigh
Four Seasons is taking to the seas, with the launch of the Four Seasons Yacht. Newly announced details of the hotel group’s latest venture give a first glimpse of how the first of a series of Four Seasons vessels will look, and clarify what future guests will find on board.
Here are the stats on the inaugural ship, with those to follow expected to be similar:
It’ll be 207 metres long, with 14 decks. The build cost will equate to an investment of $4.2m per suite, and with 95 suites on board that equals a total cost of $399m. Those suites will start at an average of 54 square metres, though the majority will be at least 76 square metres. The Funnel Suite – strange name – will be spread over four levels and a mammoth 892 square metres, allowing more than enough room for its private wading pool and spa.
A number of these Four Seasons Yachts will be built over the coming years by the Italian shipyard Fincantieri, with the first launching in 2025. Interiors will be by Tillberg Design of Sweden and London-based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (which did a very good job of sprucing up Four Seasons Hampshire a few years back). Few details have been made available about what will await guests on board (and presumably many of the F&B concepts have yet to even be decided), but there’s vague talk of Mediterranean-inspired lunches and tasting menus at the sushi bar. There’ll also be a comprehensive wellness proposition, a generously sized pool area and outdoor film screenings.
There’s also scant detail on itineraries, but the reference to Mediterranean lunches feels like a giveaway that it will sail this region; if so, it’s likely tours would include stops at Four Seasons properties in the south of France, Sicily and Athens.
Four Seasons already offers sailing experiences in the Maldives, aboard its long-running Four Seasons Explorer yacht and also provides highly curated round-the-world trips aboard its Four Seasons Private Jet (I flew aboard it a few years back and remember plush white-leather seating, lots of Bulgari treats and highly attentive service), but it isn’t the first hotel group to get into offering branded cruises. Already delayed by years, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is almost fully up and running, while Aman Resorts last year announced that their own vessel Project Sama would commence sailing in 2025.
Interestingly all these hotel companies tend to avoid any reference to ‘cruise ships’, ‘cruise passengers’, ‘cruising’ or the like in any of their publicity materials, presumably because those connotations don’t quite align with how these ultra-luxury brands see their offering. But (luxury) cruise ships they are, and they could well encourage more people to consider this type of journey generally. For now, there’s no word on prices for the Four Seasons Yacht voyages, but rates for the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection might provide a benchmark. A seven-day Caribbean voyage aboard that collection’s Evrima ship starts at about $5,100 per person in a double-occupancy suite.
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