FACE-2FACE: Monique Pon­foort

Cruise Weekly - - News -

Cruise Weekly caught up with Monique Poon­fort, vice pres­i­dent, Asia Pa­cific, PONANT Yacht Cruises & Ex­pe­di­tions, ahead of her ap­pear­ance on a panel at to­mor­row’s Cruise360 con­fer­ence in Syd­ney.

1. What is your favourite part of the job?

Ris­ing to the chal­lenge of build­ing a pre­mium cruise brand - it’s such a great prod­uct that sits out­side main­stream mass-mar­ket cruis­ing. Young fleet, new ships, en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble and in­no­va­tive.

2. What a racted you to a ca­reer in the cruise in­dus­try?

The true spirit of ad­ven­ture, lack of bound­aries, and love of the sea. I can now en­rich oth­ers and awaken their sense of won­der.

3. What is key to suc­cess in the cruise in­dus­try?

Work­ing with a driven team of tal­ented and united in­di­vid­u­als – it’s magic. Hard work. Pas­sion. Tire­less en­ergy.

4. Big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing the in­dus­try?

“Me too” prod­uct/same­ness - des­ti­na­tions that lose their in­di­vid­ual iden­tity. Al­ways be true to your brand.

5. Ad­vice for up and com­ers? Work hard and play hard. Be en­er­getic. Know your cus­tomers. Take a deep breath & throw your­self in at the deep end, you will sur­prise your­self.

6. What was your best famil? PONANT In­done­sian/Spice Is­lands. Ko­modo Is­land was in­cred­i­ble, and I will never for­get Mount Bromo by Jeep and horse­back.

7. Where do you see your­self in five years?

Run­ning PONANT Ex­pe­di­tions for Asia Pa­cific... hang on, that’s what I do now! My role from here will con­tinue to evolve and el­e­vate nat­u­rally.

8. How do you like to wind down a er a busy week?

Fam­ily time at Manly beach. They are a great leveller to re­duce pres­sure and cre­ate per­spec­tive. Wine helps too!

9. Which celebrity would you most like to cruise with?

Def­i­nitely Jean Reno, a truly tal­ented French ac­tor. I will never for­get “The Big Blue” shot in the French An­tibes.

10. What should the cruise ship of the fu­ture look like?

Let’s make a purposebuilt ex­pe­di­tion cruise ship. Com­pact, ma­noeu­vrable, lux­u­ri­ous and en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble. It’s al­ready here - PONANT!

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