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Key participants at the keel-laying festivities, from left, Marriott's Timothy Grisius, Tillberg Design's Fredrik Johansson, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's Douglas Prothero, Barreras's José García Costas

Barreras lays the keel for Ritz-Carlton's luxury yacht

Astillero Hijos de J. Barreras laid the keel for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's first luxury vessel, due in fourth quarter 2019.

Festivities were held Thursday morning at the shipyard in Vigo, Spain.

'We are delighted to commemorate this milestone as we embark on our journey to bring The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to life,' said Lisa Holladay, global brand leader, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. She promised 'one-of-a-kind on-board amenities and experiences.'

Doug Prothero, managing director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, and Timothy Grisius, global real estate officer for Marriott International, were joined by Barreras chairman José García Costas and Tillberg Design of Sweden co-owner and executive project director Fredrik Johansson as commemorative coins were unveiled and welded to the hull.

Also on hand was Anthony Capuano, EVP and global chief development officer for Marriott International, alongside The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection executive team and members of investor group Oaktree Capital Management.

'The intimate size of our ships and compelling itineraries will give our guests the opportunity to explore unexpected destinations, all while enjoying the legendary Ritz-Carlton service,' Prothero said. 'This is an exciting new venture and we look forward to celebrating the many more milestones to come.'

Johansson called the opportunity to design the yacht 'extremely exciting as we have been able to start from a blank piece of paper and create a whole new brand from scratch.' Tillberg's guiding principles for all aspects of the design have been spacious privacy and personal comfort, he said.

Reservations will open in May. The ship will cruise a wide variety of destinations, including the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The 190-meter/623-foot yacht will house 149 luxury suites to accommodate up to 298 passengers. Voyages will range from seven to 10 days, and the yacht will be available for private charter.

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