Ponant Expands with Key Executive Hires

Ponant Ships

Ponant has announced three new executive appointments: Bert Van Middendorp, Development Director Hotel Experience; Natasha Hanson, Expedition Exploration Director; and Vanessa Kraus, Director of Marketing, Americas.

With more than 30 years of experience in the cruise and hospitality industry, Van Middendorp is now managing the onboard hotel experience across Ponant’s fleet. In his new role as Development Director Hotel Experience, he is responsible for defining and elevating service excellence on the vessels and continuing to develop client relations. Before joining Ponant, he successfully led teams at Seabourn, Cunard, Crystal and Azamara, where he contributed to the creation of an all-inclusive, upscale offering with global deployment at Azamara, according to a press release.

Hanson has been appointed to Director of Expedition Operations, overseeing all expeditions and excursion activities as well as managing the team of expedition guides, excursion managers, and local guides. Prior to this role she was the Senior Operations Manager at Crystal Cruises as a Head of Expeditions. She has also held various positions at Holland America Group and Hurtigruten as well as an expedition leader herself at Seabourn Cruise Line and Poseidon Expeditions.

Kraus is now leading the North American marketing efforts for Ponant. In her role as Director of Marketing, Americas, Vanessa will be responsible for continuing to build awareness and drive bookings for the brand’s growing portfolio. She joins Ponant with more than 15 years of brand management and communications experience and has held various senior marketing positions, including most recently at Miller Environmental Group and Sea Tow Services.

This announcement comes on the heels of Ponant-owned Paul Gauguin Cruises’ two recent appointments of Susan Robison, General Manager, Sales and Marketing and Liz Coleman, Vice President of Sales. 

Van Middendorp and Vanessa Kraus are based in New York while Natasha Hanson is based in Seattle, Washington.

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