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Douglas Prothero's The Yacht Portfolio to acquire Sea Cloud Cruises

Launched in 1931, Sea Cloud is a legendary windjammer once owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post and Edward Hutton
Maritime investment company The Yacht Portfolio — which is also behind The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection — signed a letter of intent to acquire Sea Cloud Cruises.

Sea Cloud operates three tall ships: the historic Sea Cloud, Sea Cloud II and the new Sea Cloud Spirit.

The value of the transaction and the expected closing date were not disclosed.

Opportunity for Marriott to enter cruise through brands beyond Ritz-Carlton

The acquisition expands The Yacht Portfolio’s presence in the luxury cruise sector and creates an opportunity to expand its relationship with Marriott International beyond The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, while also giving Marriott International the opportunity to enter the cruise industry through its other luxury brands.

'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,' said Douglas Prothero, CEO of The Yacht Portfolio. '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.'

'We are excited about the transaction between The Yacht Portfolio and Sea Cloud and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate further with The Yacht Portfolio to bring our luxury accommodations to sea,' added Timothy Grisius, global M&A and real estate officer at Marriott International.

Old and new

Launched in 1931, the 109.5-meter Sea Cloud is a legendary windjammer once owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post and Edward Hutton. It has capacity for 64 passengers. The 117-meter, 94-passenger Sea Cloud II was built in 2001. The newbuild Sea Cloud Spirit (138 meters, 136 passengers) was introduced in 2021.

Most trips are conducted under sails, engines off, using only emissions-free wind power. The vessels offer a relaxed atmosphere and attentive service and have a loyal customer following.

Sea Cloud HQ, itineraries unchanged

The headquarters and employees of Sea Cloud Cruises will remain based in Hamburg, and existing itineraries and charter commitments are intended to remain unchanged.

'We are pleased that The Yacht Portfolio will strengthen Sea Cloud’s market position,' said Hermann Ebel, managing director of Sea Cloud Cruises. “The course is set for many more years of successful international marketing and the foundation is laid for further company and fleet growth.'

Prothero is also CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which The Yacht Portfolio and Ritz-Carlton created in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. First yacht Evrima is expected to enter service in May.