Former Crystal Cruises President Edie Rodriguez Joins Ponant

by Doug Gollan
Former Crystal Cruises President Edie Rodriguez Joins Ponant

Rodriguez speaking at ASTA's AGC in August.

Edie Rodriguez has joined Ponant Cultural Cruises & Expeditions as Americas brand chairman and corporate special advisor, a month after she resigned as president and CEO of Crystal Cruises.

Rodriguez left Crystal last month after a fast-paced tenure that saw the luxury cruise line expand from two large ocean ships to river and yacht cruises, as well as private jet charter with its own 84-seat Boeing 777-200LR and Bombardier Global Express.

In her new role, Rodriguez tells Travel Market Report she believes there is a big opportunity to expand the growing interest in expedition cruises.

Calling Ponant’s vessels a “Ferrari” with the “sexiest hard product” of the segment, she says her main focus will be making expedition cruising and Ponant top of mind with travel agents who she sees as the engine to delivering increased sales growth. Navin Sawhney continues in his role as CEO for the region and Rodriguez says the two will work together to promote the company

Ponant, like Crystal, seems to have large ambitions with multiple new ships on order. Two years ago it was acquired by Artemis, the holding company of the Pinault family, which also owns luxury fashion brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney and Brioni as well as watchmaker Ulysse Nardin, jeweler Boucheron, and auction house Christie’s.

Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, the CEO of Ponant said at the time that Artemis “shares our vision and ambitions for Ponant as a global player in the high-end cruise market.”

Rodriguez says Ponant is unique in combining a French take on luxury cruising, small ships that can access small ports in both Arctic and tropical destinations with cultural and experiential immersion she believes will appeal to the preferences of today’s affluent consumer.

“When you look at the itineraries, every one is a bucket list journey,” she says. Rodriguez says Ponant has the unique combination of having the vision of Sauvee, its founder, with significant financial backing. On its website, Artemis reports over $30 billion in assets.

Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Five Places to Go for Spring Travel

1. Carlsbad, Calif.

2. Aspen, Colo.

3. Kauai, Hawaii.

4. Cabo San Lucas

5. Washington, D.C.

Source: Forbes


Must-See Mediterranean Boutique Ports, Sans the Crowds

Sponsored by Seabourn

As summer travel heats up, exploring lesser-known seaside towns delivers an intimate and romantic experience, minus the throngs of tourists often found at larger commercial ports.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Five Proven Methods of Ticking Off Your Clients
Five Proven Methods of Ticking Off Your Clients

As a travel agent, check yourself to be sure you don't have any of these business-busting habits when you're interacting with clients each day.

Norwegian’s Dana Gain Headed to Air Canada Vacations
Norwegian’s Dana Gain Headed to Air Canada Vacations

Previously with Norwegian and Carnival, Gain will oversee Air Canada Vacations' national sales strategy, manage partnerships, and support all of the company's B2B lines of business.

Hoteliers on the Move, April 2018
Hoteliers on the Move, April 2018

To help you keep up with your favorite GMs and hotel executives as they move around and open new properties, Mary Gostelow offers up a monthly update of who's doing what.

Travel Institute Names New President
Travel Institute Names New President

The Travel Institute made the decision during its annual staff and board meetings in Las Vegas this week.

Love Me…a Little
Love Me…a Little

Just how big of a commitment does a travel agent have to make to have a relationship with a client that lasts over the years?

How Cuba Is Changing in its New Era
How Cuba Is Changing in its New Era

Growing commercialism is altering the experience for travelers, including access to the first ultra-luxury hotel as well as inns, restaurants and antique car taxis run privately by the Cuban people.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Luxury Retreats