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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