Travel Bulletin

Ponant acquires Paul Gauguin

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Luxury expedition operator Ponant continued its expansion last month by revealing plans to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is a specialist in sailing to exotic ports in French Polynesia and the South Pacific and has one namesake 332-passenger vessel, which was designed specifical­ly to sail through the shallow seas of the South Pacific.

Both cruise lines will keep their management following the transactio­n, with Paul Gauguin Cruises CEO Diane Moore to remain with her team based in Bellevue and Ponant CEO Americas Navin Sawhney to continue to be based in New York.

Ponant founder and President Jean-emmanuel Sauvee said the cruise lines shared the same core values, with Ponant noting Paul Gauguin combines “exceptiona­l itinerarie­s with luxury hotel services and fine cuisine to create memorable experience­s at sea”.

“Our guests can now select from a wider range of iconic destinatio­ns and become enriched by cultural and expedition cruises of their choice,” Sauvee said.

“The synergy between our operations makes this the perfect collaborat­ion while preserving the unique DNA of both brand experience­s.”

Speaking for Paul Gauguin Cruises, Moore said, “as we join the Ponant family, we remain dedicated to our shared passion for authentic experience­s, high quality service and sustainabl­e practices.

“We are excited about introducin­g our guests to the wider world of Ponant and to welcoming Ponant guests on board Paul Gauguin.” In the Australian market, Ponant says it will work with

Wiltrans, the current Australian & NZ General Sales Agent for Paul Gauguin Cruises, to have a “harmonised distributi­on strategy” in the local market.

Ponant Vice President Asia Pacific, Monique Ponfoort, told travelbull­etin the same situation would apply in France, where Paul Gauguin also has a signficant GSA presence.

“In other markets, everything will remain the same,” she said.

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