With a new focus on the North American market – including a recently launched partnership with Canada’s Cruise Strategies Ltd. – a PONANT, Cultural Cruises & Expeditions official visited Toronto Wednesday to help get the word out on all that the line has to offer.
Specializing in luxury expedition cruises, the French cruise line offers more than 200 departures to 81 countries touching all seven continents and is the number one cruise company in polar expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica.
Helping increase PONANT’s presence in Canada, Cruise Strategies has been involved in numerous agency trainings, conferences, trade shows, e-marketing campaigns and this week hosting an exclusive soiree for a small group of agents in Toronto with guest of honour, Kathy Johns, director of sales, North America, PONANT.
Further initiatives will include a ship tour and luncheon being hosted onboard the PONANT yacht, L’Austral on July 11 in Vancouver.
Along with the intimate Le Ponant – which holds 64 passengers – PONANT has four other ships, each with a capacity of 264 passengers.
Speaking with PressToday, Johns said PONANT sees a lot of opportunity in Canada.
“We really want to get brand recognition with the agencies and give them all the tools they need to sell us,” she said, adding PONANT is definitely a five-star product. “We’re built for adventure, but luxury at the same time.”
To help launch its Summer 2016 brochure, PONANT is offering travellers who book any summer 2016 voyage by Sept. 4 savings of $1,000 per couple, as well as an additional savings of up to 30% with PONANT bonus fares on voyages to Alaska, the Arctic/Far North, Northern Europe & Baltic and the Mediterranean.
Also new for 2016, PONANT has introduced a series of voyages that will be focused on discovery and learning. These will include an onboard learning program given by luminaries, artists, special guest lecturers and carefully selected included activities ashore which will provide focus and purpose to guests’ travel.
“We are extremely pleased with our new relationship with PONANT and their highly regarded new enrichment program. Their itineraries are excellent and diverse and these beautiful small yachts are perfectly positioned and in demand for the port collector clients of our retail partners,” said Cruise Strategies president Vanessa Lee. “We welcome any interest from travel retailers across the country who would like to learn more about PONANT from our sales and marketing team and we look forward to engendering further support for this exceptional cruise company.”
Johns added that PONANT boasts a high repeat factor – 85% of guests repeat within three years – which will help agents build customer loyalty.
“We’re a luxury expedition cruise line with small ships that give us access to many unique destinations. That’s what makes us different,” said Johns.
Pictured at the Toronto event are Johns (l) and Lee.