Ponant has confirmed it has reached a deal to purchase Paul Gauguin Cruises, which will continue operating under its own brand.
Paul Gauguin will remain an independent company, headquartered in Washington State and under the leadership of Diane Moore, president, according to sources.
Ponant, which has been on an expansion track, adds another company and cruise brand into its portfolio under the ownership of the Pinault family and Groupe Artémis.
In addition, by 2021, French-flagged Ponant will have a strong luxury expedition fleet of four Boreal-class vessels; six Explorer-class vessels; Le Commandant-Charcot, a polar exploration vessel with hybrid propulsion; and Le Ponant, a niche sailing vessel.
Based year-round in Tahiti, Paul Gauguin offers a luxury product and a number of adventurous itineraries, starting at seven days.
A new call introduced last year and being expanded for 2019 and beyond is Tahiti Iti, which is an exclusive destination for the brand. The vessel is generally welcomed by the entire town on port days.
A new children’s program was launched earlier summer, as the Moana Explorer program is a now complimentary and replaces a previous for-charge program. Families can opt for additional shore excursions. The hands-on programming focuses on education and environment.
In line with its sustainability commitment, the company has removed plastic straws and other items, as well as mini shampoo and conditioner bottles in staterooms, replacing them with dispensers.
The Seattle-based company is also adding to its culinary line-up with more sailings featuring experts representing wineries and delivering lectures and hosting tastings. In 2020, celebrity chefs will join select voyages.
The biggest market for the line is North America, with most business coming in through the major travel agent networks. International sourcing is limited, reaching Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, the UK and Japan.
The 332-guest Paul Gauguin was launched in 1997 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and has sailed for Radisson Seven Seas and Regent Seven Seas. In 2009, Pacific Beachcomber acquired the vessel.