Cruise guru elevated

Ponant has appointed Sarina Bratton AM as Senior Strategic Advisor and Honorary Chairwoman Asia Pacific.

24 August 2023


Ponant global CEO Hervé Gastinel has announced a significant new role for Sarina Bratton AM as the company’s Senior Strategic Advisor and Honorary Chairwoman Asia Pacific, formerly Executive Chair of the region.

As Ponant’s Senior Strategic Advisor, Bratton will work closely with the global CEO on strategic worldwide opportunities including mergers and acquisitions, market intelligence and market development.

Hervé Gastinel said of the appointment: “The growth of Asia-Pacific has had a profound effect on the accelerated growth of the company, since the acquisition by Artémis in 2015.

“In working closely with Sarina, I have the utmost respect for her as a person and as a professional. She leads by example, listens intently, acts with integrity and puts a strong emphasis on supporting everyone around her.”

When Bratton commenced with Ponant 10 years ago and established the business entity and structure in Australia, the primary focus at the time was Australasia, with the extension then through Asia Pacific.


At the time, the company had four ships and APAC revenue was less than 1 percent. Now, the business has 13 ships, with a 14th in development, and APAC revenue represents 20 percent, due to the successful strategies developed by Sarina as Chairman and the contribution of her great management team.

“My long-term commitment to the small, luxury, expedition sector was from the outset a natural fit with Ponant. It has been personally rewarding to see the company grow, our people grow, and the meaningful contribution our operation brings to Australia and Australians,” Bratton said.

Ponant is the market leader in luxury exploration and expedition cruises, with the largest, newest, most technical, and environmentally sustainable fleet of small ships in the world. The fleet includes Ponant’s iconic three-masted sailing yacht Le Ponant and the company’s newest vessel, the world’s only luxury icebreaker, Le Commandant Charcot.

Ponant offers state-of-the-art ships that resemble a private luxury yacht, specifically designed to navigate in extreme conditions. Widely regarded as a visionary businesswoman, Bratton has drawn on her passion for discovery to redefine the concept of small-ship luxury cruising.

Her reputation, knowledge and expertise has played a major role in the development of the Australian cruise industry, from the early days of Cunard’s famous QE2 visiting Australia, to then being the first woman in the world to create a cruise line, the then market-leading five-star Orion Expedition Cruises.

Often referred to as Australia’s First Lady of cruising, Bratton became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2014 Australia Day Honours for her significant service to tourism, particularly the cruise ship industry and business. Her business acumen and illustrious career has led to several senior board directorships within Australian state and federal governments. She has received many awards including the NSW Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2008, Veuve Clicquot

Business Woman of the Year Award 2006, the inaugural Australian Travel Innovators Award 2006, the Commonwealth Government’s Centenary Medal 2003 and in 2000 was entered into the Business Woman’s Hall of Fame.



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