'We have always welcomed French passengers'
For David Tanguay, regional sales director, EMEA & Latin America, 'French people are interested in discovering new horizons. Wasn't Jean-Baptiste Charcot one of the very first explorers in the Antarctic? We have been on the market for a few.years. It started with 10 passengers. We registered some 200 in 2018. For the last three years, we did a charter with the Marseille-based agency TMR to, respectively, the Antarctic, Canadian Arctic and Greenland. Wé are quite grateful to them. Bleu Voyages agencies, too, do a lot of groups with us.'
In Paris, a business development manager and a preferred agent
'To make sure agencies are aware of us and informed about living a once-in-a-lifetime experience and candid encounters with iconic wildlife with our cruises, Laurence Deloison, who is French, is to dynamise the image of the company and boost the French-speaking markets, which include parts of Belgium and Switzerland,' Tanguay added.
Small presentations are planned in Bordeaux, Lyon and Nice. And a preferred agent deal has been inked with Un Ocean de Croisières, which also represents Norwegian Cruise Line, SeaDream Yacht Club, Oceania Cruises and Silversea and is the official representative in France and Monaco for Cunard, Seabourn, Crystal, P&O Cruises and Holland America Line. At the same time, UOC is a tour operator; it packages some 22 cruise companies.
'We like to work with passionate people,' Tanguay said.
A good French program on board
Language being an important point, it has been a focus. 'We have a very large pool of permanent expedition members who speak French. Documents, lectures and accompanying passengers on the Zodiacs and ashore all take place in the passengers' mother tongue,' according to Tanguay.
A full brochure in French is going to be published. In the meantime, four 20-page leaflets detail 2020 cruises to the Arctic on board the new World Explorer (172 passengers), Ocean Adventurer (128 passengers) and Ocean Endeavour (198 passengers).
Quarks expects 250 French-speaking passengers in 2019.