Sea Cloud Cruises to be acquired

The owner of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will acquire Sea Cloud Cruises, the German operator of three masted tall ships.  

The Yacht Portfolio, a maritime investment company headed by Douglas Prothero, has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Sea Cloud and its three vessels: the Sea Cloud, Sea Cloud II and the recently delivered Sea Cloud Spirit. 

Prothero also is CEO of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. 

“Sea Cloud offers such a unique, environmentally-friendly experience in the cruise space, which aligns well with our continued focus on building a strong portfolio of niche luxury brands,” Prothero said in a statement. “We look forward to completing a transaction with the Sea Cloud team and supporting the brand’s next phase of growth in the luxury cruise space.” 

Hermann Ebel, managing director of Sea Cloud Cruises, said the acquisition would “strengthen Sea Cloud’s market position. The course is set for many more years of successful international marketing and the foundation is laid for further company and fleet growth.” 

According to a statement from Sea Cloud, its headquarters will remain based in Hamburg, Germany, and its team of employees will stay on as part of this transaction. Sea Cloud’s existing voyage planning and charter commitments are intended to be continued. 

A news release also says that the acquisition creates an opportunity for the Yacht Portfolio to “expand its relationship with Marriott International beyond The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and gives Marriott International the opportunity to enter the cruise industry through its other luxury brands.”

“We … look forward to the opportunity to collaborate further with the Yacht Portfolio to bring our luxury accommodations to sea,” said Timothy Grisius, global M&A and real estate officer at Marriott International. 

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first ship, the Evrima, will sail its maiden cruise on May 6 from Lisbon. The Evrima has been delayed due to both the pandemic and shipyard issues.

The cruise brand in November became a member of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program. 

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