National Geographic Expeditions and PONANT: Howdy, Partners
A recent development in the world of cruising has brought two innovative companies together in an exciting partnership. National Geographic Expeditions, the travel arm of the legendary multimedia conglomerate, and PONANT, the French luxury cruise company, have joined forces to offer premium travel experiences to adventurous travellers via co-branded cruises to some of the world’s most exotic destinations. While PONANT provides the luxurious hardware in the form of state of the art ships, National Geographic Expeditions provides expert lecturers and photographers to travel with guests to enhance their experiences.
First the ships. Still smelling brand new, PONANT’s Dumont d’Urville is one of the latest ships to have joined the company’s fleet in recent years. If Renee Zellweger were a passenger, she would definitely be saying “You had me at hello.” The ship’s main lobby, airy and bright, is a stunning introduction to the Dumont d’Urville cruise experience. Decorated in muted pastel tones, the colour scheme is as discreet as the passenger list, which often includes the rich and famous seeking to take a break from their realities to indulge in a bit of maritime fantasy. The smart style continues into the 92 passenger staterooms and suites, spacious and well designed to provide passengers with comfortable private spaces to enjoy when not in the restaurants, on the decks, or in the glass-sided swimming pool. At night, the unique Blue Eye underwater lounge gives a submarine view of the nocturnal sea.
As reiterated by its new affiliation with National Geographic Expeditions, PONANT is clearly aware of the growing interest in adventure cruising exhibited by affluent passengers. And potential passengers, too―PONANT’s casual style suits the newer generation just fine while still maintaining the standard of excellence and professionalism longtime cruisers are accustomed to. Whatever the age demographic, National Geographic Expeditions’ partnership with PONANT is the perfect combination of entities for the increasing number of travellers seeking farflung cruises in complete comfort. Not that the Expeditions experiences are limited to the extremes; cruises and tours are also available in some of the most popular destinations across the world.
Since its majority acquisition by The Walt Disney Company, National Geographic has been expanding its brand into areas far beyond magazine publishing and television programming. National Geographic Expeditions now offers private expeditions, private jet tours, and exceptional accommodation in special places known as National Geographic Lodges. National Geographic Lodges add a spirit of adventure to the contemporary guest’s quest for luxury accommodation with environmental awareness and sustainability. Dismiss immediately any notion of roughing it in the wild; the private expeditions and lodges―and of course the jet, too―are luxurious to the max.
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