Compagnie du Ponant, with a fleet of three small ships and a new vessel—the 264-foot mega-yacht Le Boréal, debuting in May—is going after the U.S. incentive market and has just opened a North American sales office in Miami. Until now, only a handful of lines have targeted incentive groups looking for an intimate cruise experience, including SeaDream, Star Clippers, and Windstar Cruises.
Ponant has had little exposure in the North American market, according to Joyce Landry, CEO of Landry and Kling, Inc. Miami, “primarily because they have marketed to Europeans and the ships have been small. With the Diamant [an ice-class expedition ship that accommodates 226 guests and was purchased from the former Radisson Seven Seas in 2004], they have a product that competes very well with the luxury ships in the U.S. market.”
Ponant’s ships sail to ports in Europe and the Caribbean, as well as to remote areas such as Greenland. The line is known for its small ship experience and French cuisine. Says Landry: “There is no longer a ‘French Line’ [Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, which sailed famed liners like the S.S. Normandie and the S.S. France] and there’s a market of sophisticated U.S. travelers who will love the ambience.”
The question is whether incentive groups—in this economy—will become part of that market. Visit http://www.ponant.com
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