Bratton said the company’s new strategic partnership with NGE will develop its programme in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific.
She said core destinations will be the Antarctic and Arctic, with a range of global expeditions covering all continents.
NGE will provide a range of expedition resources on board Ponant’s fleet of seven boutique ships, which will increase to 12 by 2021 with more Explorer class vessels and a luxury hybrid icebreaker powered by LNG.
These will include expert destination lecturers and National Geographic photographers who will engage with the passengers to create an immersive and quality experience.
Bratton said Ponant’s fleet has been ‘clean ship’ certified with a number of leading edge technologies to protect the environment, including recycling and reuse programmes, reduced exhaust emissions and sustainable purchasing practices.
She said all efforts are made to respect the environment and marine life.
‘We are thrilled and gratified that one of the greatest specialist media companies in the world has chosen Ponant to be its expedition cruise partner,’ she said.
’This partnership brings together two highly respected global organisations with shared values and a common goal to inspire guests to live curiously, explore our planet and become ambassadors for sustainability.'
‘In Ponant we have a luxury and ethically minded partner with European flair, experience in travelling to ambitious locations, along with an expansive travel agent network,’ Tim Jones, vp travel Asia Pacific for National Geographic Partners, said.
‘We will be working together to offer premium expedition experiences, creating unique itineraries that speak to the explorer in all of us.’
National Geographic Expeditions’ partnership with Ponant in the Asia Pacific region is part of its global expansion. Its alliances with Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours and Lindblad Expeditions remain in place.
Last November NGE and Scenic launched a new line of National Geographic river cruises and Lindblad-owned ships display the National Geographic moniker.
Just yesterday Lindblad Expeditions Holdings announced an expanded agreement with National Geographic Partners to include all of the Americas.