France begins construction on the world's largest liner

The construction of the most spacious liner in history has begun in France

Photo: ritzcarltonyachtcollection.com

Giant The Chantiers de l'Atlantique yard in Saint-Nazaire, France held a keel-laying ceremony last week to officially begin construction of the new vessel commissioned by the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in 2022. It is planned that Ilma — namely, this name was given to the ship — will join the Ritz-Carlton fleet in 2024.

10-deck Ilma — this is a new addition to the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and will be almost twice the size of the first Evrima.

Ilma will also carry many more — 456 instead of 298.

Interestingly, this will be the most spacious cruise ship ever built. Vessel capacity — a measure of the interior space on a ship — will be 46,750 tons, and the “capacity factor” per passenger — almost 103. In comparison, most luxury cruise ships, such as the recently introduced Seven Seas Splendor, billed as the most expensive ship in the world at the moment, have a capacity ratio in the 70-80 range. For the mass segment of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, this ratio is 35–45.

The first ship from the Ritz-Carlton — Evrima, has a capacity factor of about 82.

The sheer space that the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is building into the Ilma will expand cabin space and open up more public areas for passengers.

For example, the largest suites on the ship will be 100 square meters.

< p>Of the public areas on the ship, we note five restaurants, six bars, a wine cellar, a marina and a spa.

The vessel will be operated with a staff of 374, giving a staff-to-passenger ratio of approximately 8 to 10.                                                                                                                                         ;                          ;  Silver Endeavor by Silversea Cruises, which operates at a 10 to 10 staff-to-passenger ratio.

As part of the keel-laying ceremony, the first modular Ilma was lowered into the construction dock, where the ship will be built over the next 18 months. The first flight is scheduled for September 19, 2024. This is a journey from the Athenian port of Piraeus to Israeli Haifa with stops in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Rates currently start at $7,400 per person for double occupancy in the smallest cabins.

The ship's largest suites on the first voyage start at $50,100.

Thus, a day's stay on board will cost between $2,100 and $14,300 for two.

These plans will come true if construction goes smoothly and without delay. While working on the first Ritz-Carlton vessel, Evrima, problems arose that resulted in eight delays to the first voyage. As a result, the debut was 33 months behind schedule.

The delays were partly due to the fact that the company entered into a contract for the supply of a ship with a shipyard in Spain, which had little experience in building luxury ships. 

This time, the Ritz-Carlton is using the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard, which has much more experience building cruise ships of all types. In fact, Chantiers de l'Atlantique — one of the world's most famous cruise ship manufacturers for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises and other major operators.

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