Ritz-Carlton to Partner Cousteau

29th Jan 2004

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, opening in fall 2004, and Jean-Michel
Cousteau`s Ocean Futures Society (OFS) have announced a first-time
partnership to create The RitzKids Ambassadors of the Environment, an
environmental education and eco-adventure program, at the resort. The
venture represents the first resort partnership in the Caribbean for OFS
as well as a brand new approach to The Ritz-Carlton Company`s popular Ritz
Kids(R) activities program.
“It would be impossible to over-estimate our enthusiasm or the importance
of this partnership,” said Jean Cohen, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman`s
vice president and general manager. “To work with absolutely the best
organization in the field of environmental education and marine ecology is
a tremendous honor. The result will be an outstanding enhancement to The
Ritz-Carlton vacation experience and a highly substantive program for
young guests that is as enriching and memorable as it is thoroughly

Speaking of the partnership, Jean-Michel Cousteau said: “The best way to
truly understand and appreciate any environment is to be an active part of
studying and sustaining it. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman will provide
the perfect setting for children to reconnect with nature in a way that
feels anything but academic. The objective is to immerse all children—
residents as well as guests—in the natural life of The Cayman Islands.”

The RitzKids Ambassadors of the Environment, while modeled on OFS`
educational programs elsewhere, is custom-designed for The Ritz-Carlton,
Grand Cayman, showcasing the unique character of the natural and cultural
heritage of the islands and demonstrating exciting ways to sustain them.
“Ambassadors of the Environment is a multi-faceted environmental education
program. Indoor, outdoor, on island, underwater, half-day, all-day,
perhaps even overnight, the activities for young guests will provide both
safe adventure and enduring value,” said Dr. Richard Murphy, who will head
up the program. OFS will develop the curriculum, activities and resources
for The Ritz-Carlton`s program as well as recruit and train the naturalist

The Ambassadors of the Environment program will have two main components:
a Learning Center for on-site activities and “eco-adventure” excursions.
The Learning Center will introduce the young guests to the natural world
of The Cayman Islands and serve as a model for sustainable living. In
addition to multi-media presentations, the Center will offer such
resources as video-microscopes, a mini-scientific lab, computers, an
organic garden and a composting program. Using the living laboratory and
natural classroom of reefs and mangroves, aspiring marine biologists will
have in-depth learning experiences impossible to obtain from a classroom
or books.
While still in the development stage, the program`s eco-adventures will
introduce participants to a broader view of The Cayman Islands through
such activities as hiking, kayaking and snorkeling, the enjoyment of a
mangrove tree house and an elevated adventure trail, and exploration and
field study of the islands` flora and fauna. Each day`s programming will
focus on a specific theme such as reef life, the mangroves, terrestrial
ecology and Cayman history and culture. One expected highlight is an
uplink program for live video feeds from divers on the coral reefs to
guests at the resort. It is also expected that overnight camping
experiences will be developed once the Learning Center and the
eco-adventures are up and running.
“Every child is fundamentally a naturalist. I have no doubt that all young
guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman will return home with very happy
memories of their unique adventures but also with a greater awareness and
appreciation for what they can do to sustain the world we live in,” Murphy
Jean-Michel Cousteau`s Ocean Futures Society was founded to explore the
oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act
responsibly for their protection and to celebrate their vital importance
to the survival of all life on the planet. Ambassadors of the Environment
represents the Society`s commitment to prepare the next generation for the
responsibilities they will inherit to manage the planet`s biosphere. For
more information, visit the websites at http://www.oceanfutures.org/ and
Situated on 144 acres stretching sea-to-sea from the acclaimed Seven Mile
Beach to the North Sound, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and The
Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, blend a lush Caribbean
backdrop with classic British-Colonial architecture. The resort features
365 guestrooms and suites, the first La Prairie Spa in the Caribbean, five
dining venues offering a full range of experiences from fine dining to
casual poolside refreshment, as well as several bars and lounges, an
exclusive shopping arcade featuring premium brand boutiques, the island`s
largest ballroom, a tennis center with professional instruction, The Ritz
Kids(R) program, and a Greg Norman-designed nine-hole golf course.

The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, 69 private ownership
homes, are available with two, three and four-bedroom plans ranging from
2,400 to 8,000 square feet. Residents enjoy all the facilities, services
and amenities of the oceanfront resort, including two lifetime golf
memberships, as well as dedicated Residential Concierge service, a
Dial-a-Chef program for private dining and access to a unique Endless
Service program featuring customized home interior furnishings and design,
use of a top of the line Mercedes Benz or a selection of other European
luxury cars and a crewed power boat and continual maintenance and
refurbishment of owners` residences.


The Ritz-Carlton Company`s exceptional standard of service, rated by
travelers as the best in the world, shapes every aspect of the guest
experience at the property.



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