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Samuel Chamberlain succeeds Navin Sawhney as Ponant Americas CEO

Samuel Chamberlain, left, joins Ponant from Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings. He succeeds CEO for the Americas Navin Sawhney, right, who'll continue as a strategic advisor to Ponant
Samuel Chamberlain, most recently associated with Four Seasons Yachts, is taking over from Navin Sawhney as CEO for Ponant in the Americas.

The changes take effect April 1.

Chamberlain was VP business development for Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings, joint owner and operator of Four Seasons Yachts, as a member of the start-up leadership team. Earlier he was in the private aviation sector with Wheels Up, and spent more than a decade in sales with Hilton and Waldord Astoria.

Sawhney saluted

Belinda Hindmarsh, group deputy CEO for Ponant's global business, praised Sawhney's contributions.

HIs 'unwavering commitment and expertise have been tremendously valuable to Ponant during the last 10 years, she said, adding: 'Navin has been instrumental in enhancing our brand and business development in the Americas for both Ponant and Paul Gauguin Cruises.'

Continuing as strategic advisor

Sawhney will stay on in a strategic advisor capacity to HIndmarsh and Ponant CEO Hervé Gastinel, and continue to be based in the New York office, as Chamberlain will be.

Hindmarsh also welcomed Chamberlain, who brings a 'wealth of luxury expertise and experience to help tackle the fantastic opportunity ahead of us as we continue to grow Ponant’s presence in the Americas and internationally.'

For his part, Chamberlain called Ponant's reputation for delivering luxury experiences and access to the world's most remote destinations 'unmatched' and expressed his satisfaction at leading the team during a 'pivotal pivotal time in the company’s exciting transformation.'

Building a brand in the US marketplace

Sawhney expressed 'heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity I have had to be part of this 10-year journey with Ponant. Together we have built a remarkable brand in the US marketplace, offering exceptional experiences aboard small ships in extraordinary places, from scattered islands to classical destinations.

'I want to thank my team and share with them my pride in what we've accomplished and my optimism for the bright future ahead.'

Sawhney joined Ponant in 2014 after serving as SVP sales and marketing for Tauck World Discovery. Earlier cruise roles included SVP marketing at Cunard Line and marketing planning manager at Holland America Line. He also served in business leadership roles outside travel and in 2012 formed his own consultancy focused on strategic planning, brand development, channel & digital marketing and growth through alliances.