Exploris will launch a new expedition cruise brand next year with the former Silver Explorer as the new line was revealed at an event in Paris.
Philippe Videau, president of the new cruise brand and was one of Ponant’s founders, said that the concept is to operate small expedition vessels for the French market.
“We will operate the ship for French-speaking guests,” added David Blouin, operations director. “All guest-facing crew will speak French.”
The company is set to take over the Silver Explorer next fall. After a short drydock, the first cruise is scheduled to depart from Chile on Dec. 23.
“We visited many vessels,” noted Videau, adding that the Silver Explorer was the right size.
He said the ship will be renamed Exploris One and capacity will be restricted to 120 guests in Polar Regions. She will also be reflagged and fly a French flag.
The inaugural season features 30 departures and 26 unique itineraries, as the ship concludes its Antarctica program and then heads to the Amazon in March 2024, then moving to the Atlantic Islands and Western Europe before a summer Arctic season in Norway, Greenland and Canada.
“It was important to us to have itinerary diversify,” said Isabelle Vareille, product manager.
Now, attention turns to sales and marketing, as the company has already build up partnerships with travel agents and major tour operators.