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Construction Begins on Ultra-Luxury Cruise Yachts for Four Seasons and Aman

yacht cruise ship keel
Keel block for the Four Seasons mega-yacht was lower in to the Fincantieri dry dock (Fincantieri)

Published Jul 10, 2024 3:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Work got underway at two shipyards in Italy for the cruise industry’s next ultra-luxury mega-yachts designed to bring a new level of opulence and service to cruising. The ships, which are being built for the Four Seasons and Aman brands, are part of the trend seeing the luxury hotel brands expand into cruising. Ritz-Carlton also entered cruising in 2023 and Orient Express is building cruise ships in France.

Fincantieri marked the keel laying as it lowered the first block for the Four Seasons I into the construction dry dock at the Ancona shipyard yesterday, July 9. Featuring a residential, all-suite style, the vessel, which is due for delivery before the end of 2025, is being called a new benchmark for luxury yachts.

The ship will be 34,000 gross tons with a length of 679 feet (207 meters) and feature 95 deluxe suites each with a large outdoor space. The signature space is the 9,975 square-foot glass-enclosed Funnel Suite which will feature a 270-degree view. The suite will span four levels and include a wading pool and a private spa area. Other suites include the 7,952-square-foot Loft Suite.

 

Four Seasons I (Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings)

 

Passengers will enjoy unique amenities including a transverse marina with openings on both sides of the vessel as well as areas for lounging and water sports. The cruise ship will also have one of the largest pools at sea (according to its designers) which will also be able to convert with a raising platform into a multi-function area. 

“The keel laying ceremony marks a key milestone in the construction of our inaugural yacht and for the Four Seasons brand as we bring our renowned luxury service and hospitality experiences to the seas,” said Alejandro Reynal, President and CEO, of Four Seasons.

The cruise ship, the first of two on order, will be owned by Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings and operate under an agreement with the well-known luxury brand.  The ship is scheduled to enter service in early 2026 in the Caribbean and later redeploy to the Mediterranean for the spring and summer of 2026.

 

Aman at Sea (T. Mariotti)

 

Work also began at the T. Mariotti shipyard in San Giorgio di Bogaro, Italy on the mega-yacht Aman at Sea. Aman which operates 35 hotels, reports, and branded residences in 20 destinations and has 12 properties in its pipeline is also expanding to cruising in a joint venture with Cruise Saudi. 

"Today's ceremony represents a significant step forward in the development of Aman at Sea and in my strategic vision to create a new category of ultra-luxury superyachts that will offer exceptional travel experiences,” said Vlad Doronin, President and CEO of Aman Group.

Steel for the vessel which will be approximately 23,000 gross tons and measure 600 feet (183 meters) in length was cut earlier this year after the construction contract was finalized in December 2023. The unique ship will also be the first for T. Mariotti and one of the first in the industry to be dual-fuel using marine diesel and methanol. 

Designs for the vessel were developed by contractors including electrotechnical specialists Ortec Santamaria and luxury yacht outfitters De Wave Group, who will bring to life the vision of appointed designers SINOT Yacht Architecture & Design. The ship will be built under Lloyd’s Register class. 

Aman at Sea will have 50 suites each with a private balcony. There will be an array of dining options, including an informal all-day restaurant, a club and lounge, and a beach club with water access at the stern of the ship. The Aman Spa will include a Japanese garden and the ship will have two helipads. The ship is due to enter service in 2027.