Ponant’s AU expansion

Compagnie du Ponant continues to make waves down under, with the release of its first brochures featuring products priced in Australian dollars.

The French company’s founder Jean-Emmanuel Sauve´ spent his first few hours in Australia last night discussing the line’s plans for the market with about 200 Australian and New Zealand travel agents at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli.

The line’s Australasian chairman and former Orion founder Sarina Bratton was also there to introduce him to the industry.

Mr Sauve´ said the Australian market is a key market for the cruise line, particularly as it continues to grow in the luxury expedition sector.

“We want to develop our product in Australian waters and in the Pacific,” he said.

“The idea for us is to develop our business where the cruise market is booming.

“In France we are lucky to be in a market where the cruise market is booming and here in Australia we have the same feeling.”

In 2014, the line has up to 1,000 Australian passengers sailing with the line. And the Australian market is ranking second highest for forward bookings in 2015.

Growth is expected to continue over the coming years, particularly as the line sends its first expedition ship to Australia in 2015 and with the release of the line’s three new brochures featuring Australian dollars.

The 2014/15 brochures feature cruises on board the line’s four current ships – Le Ponant, L’Austral, Le Boreal and Le Solea – to destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Central and South America, the Polars, West Africa and Oceania.

Additionally, new brochures proudly boast the line’s new tagline ‘ Expeditions and Your Cruises’.

“There’s a significant investment here in Australia in terms of people, marketing, resources, time and energy,” Ms Bratton added.

“We have high expectations and are excited about the future.”

Ms Bratton hinted that the line is looking to introduce new destinations and itineraries over the coming years, but didn’t reveal any locations.

Earlier this week, the line revealed details of its newest expedition vessel, Le Lyrial.

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