Sea Cloud Cruises nixes sale and remains independent

The parent of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection won’t be acquiring Sea Cloud Cruises and its three tall masted ships, according to Sea Cloud Cruises. 

The Germany-based line said it decided last year that it was no longer interested in selling.

“After intensive deliberations, our shareholders have meanwhile decided that a sale will not take place. Sea Cloud Cruises will remain an independent cruise line,” read a statement from Sea Cloud. 

The Yacht Portfolio, a maritime investment company led by Douglas Prothero, had signed a letter of intent to acquire Sea Cloud Cruises in early 2022. 

Prothero, also CEO of the Yacht Portfolio’s one-ship brand, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, declined to comment on his pursuit to buy Sea Cloud but said Sea Cloud Cruises is an attractive product. 

“It’s a niche within a niche in luxury,” he said during a media tour this week of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s first ship, the Evrima. “It’s a well-run organization. The ships are beautiful and we have the customers.”

In Sea Cloud Cruises, the Yacht Portfolio saw an opportunity to expand its relationship with Marriott International to include another luxury cruise brand, according to a news release at the time. Marriott owns the Ritz-Carlton hotel brand.

Sea Cloud Cruises introduced its newest ship, the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit, in 2021. The line also sails the 92-year-old Sea Cloud (a 64-passenger ship) and the 94-passenger Sea Cloud II, which was built in 2001.

The Evrima debuted last October. Ritz-Carlton Yacht has lined up the release of two more ships: the Ilma, scheduled for delivery in 2024, and the Luminaria in 2025.

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