21 February 2023
Australian travel identity Chris Hall has joined Ponant as Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific as the Australian headquarters for the luxury expedition cruising company simultaneously enters an exciting expansion phase with newly created departments.
Sarina Bratton AM, Ponant Chairman for Asia Pacific said Chris was an experienced leader in the global tour operating, river cruise, expeditions and distribution space with the role perfectly aligning in a new growth chapter.
“Via Ponant’s Explore to Inspire Global Strategic plan, Chris will bring an additional level of experience to our International Executive Committee and global operations,” she said.
“As a regional team, we have established a strong foundation to expand, and Chris’ appointment will further enhance our ability to provide our guests with even more luxury exploration and expedition experiences.”
New areas within Ponant’s Asia-Pacific team include a newly created Maritime Operations and Logistics Department as well as the expansion of Ponant’s Expedition and Destination Development Area, which sees the introduction of new product roles for the enhancement of guest enrichment and pre- and post-touring offers.
Ponant is committed to the Asia-Pacific and its partnerships in the region continue to strengthen. With Chris at the helm, Ponant plans to accelerate the range of experiences across the APAC business through additional ship deployment.
This includes Ponant’s recently refurbished sailing yacht Le Ponant and the company’s newest vessel: the world’s only luxury Icebreaker, Le Commandant Charcot, which departed from New Zealand for the first time on 14 February 2023 following a successful past guest, trade and media event on board. These two vessels will join Le Lapérouse and Le Soléal, which have operated locally for several years.
Ponant CEO Asia Pacific Chris Hall said, “With the benefit of a proven operational and sales and marketing team in APAC – successfully led by co-General Managers Deb Corbett and Maxime Farrenq – I feel confident that we can explore new and different opportunities to enhance our guests’ experiences and bring trade partners even stronger results.
“From a wider company perspective, The Ponant Group is positioned for successful growth, and I look forward to making a significant contribution.”
Ponant now has the largest, newest and most technically advanced fleet in the luxury expedition sector, providing opportunities for expanded destination offerings and further market growth potential.
Ponant, the French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small-capacity ships equipped with state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly equipment. With Ponant, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration.