Ritz-Carlton shipbuilding contract goes to cruising novice

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Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's first ship is due in 2019.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's first ship is due in 2019.

A Spanish shipyard with no experience building cruise ships has been tapped to build the first luxury ship of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

The yard, Hijos de J. Barreras, is based in Vigo and has built 1,600 vessels since its founding in 1892. Currently, it specializes in ferries, cargo vessels and large fishing ships. The Mexican state oil company Pemex acquired a 51% ownership in 2013.

A unit of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. has a contract to manage the 298-passenger ship, which will be owned by the private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, along with senior managers of the brand.

Barreras said a contract was signed for the first ship, with options for a second and third.

Miami-based Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection expects to take delivery of the first ship in late 2019. Contract prices were not disclosed.

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