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Expedition cruising is a growing sector amongst Australians, and more cruise lines are keen to get a slice of the market.

Lindblad Expeditions launched a new brochure this year featuring its expedition ships, including the National Georgraphic Orion vessel. Earlier this year, Silversea announced it would bring the Silver Discoverer to the Kimberley in Western Australia for the first time next year. And now, French line, Compagnie du Ponant is planning to enter the market with a new ship.

This week Compagnie du Ponant and its Australian representatives, Travel the World, announced the line would bring a new expedition ship in and around Australia from late 2015.

The announcement follows the appointment of former Orion Expedition boss, Sarina Bratton to lead Compagnie du Ponant’s Australasian operations.

The new yacht will arrive in winter 2015 and is expected to offer luxury and exhibition cruising within an intimate private yacht atmosphere.

In a statement, Ms Bratton said Australia has “never seen ships like these”, and says the line has all the ingredients to become a global leader in the small and five-star expedition sector.

“The majority of the world’s small expedition ships are old, having been built in the late 1980’s and 1990’s,” she said.

“But Compagnie du Ponant has a fleet of four, brand-new, ‘state of the art’ ships and a touch of that unique French avant-garde style.”