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Sitting with Edie Rodriguez and talking about her new role as Ponant brand chairman and corporate special advisor, it was crystal-clear (pun intended) that Rodriguez is passionate and excited to be associated with the Ponant brand, as well as filled with admiration for its founder Jean-Emmanuel Sauvee, an accomplished sailor and naturalist.

Ponant is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, and has four new luxury expedition ships coming in 2018 and 2019, and Rodriguez is laser-focused on familiarizing the North American travel agent market with the benefits of selling more of Ponant.

Rodriquez tells Recommend unequivocally that the Ponant brand is “the world’s leading luxury yacht expedition cruise line.” She adds, “I can’t wait to show travel agents details about the youngest and sexiest hardware in the industry, including the fabulous understated, elegant and chic suites, and the iconic itineraries of a lifetime—from the cold weather destinations of the Chilean fjords to warm weather destinations like Cuba and Kimberley, Australia.”

Innovation is also a key pillar for the brand with Rodriquez pointing to the Blue Eye multi-sensory, first-of-its-kind, underwater lounge experience launching in 2018 on board Le Laperouse. 

“Our owners, Group Artemis (which also have a stake in Kering and own brands like Gucci and Saint Laurent) certainly understand luxury and believe in the future of Ponant and its ability to delivery luxury travel.” Rodriguez also believes Ponant’s French roots add to the unique flair on board its ships and as an international brand, the ability to deliver an eclectic mix of passengers adds to the Ponant experience.

“Ponant is an ideal solution for an agent’s clients who want a luxury small ship experience,” says Rodriquez, and with no more than 260 guests on board, and as little as 62 on its smallest ship, agents can deliver more intimate, authentic and personalized experiences for their customers. “The new ships will hold only 184 guests. We are also the most experienced expedition fleet in the industry,” Rodriguez notes.

When asked if there will be more ships, Rodriguez says, “We are definitely a brand that plans to continue to grow.”

Rodriquez will be personally conducting monthly webinars for the travel professionals in North America and plans on traveling the country to make presentations.

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