This Week in Cruise: AmaWaterways' New Investor, Ponant's New CEO

On the financial front, L Catterton, a global investment firm, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a significant stake in AmaWaterways from a consortium of investors led by Certares. So, L Catterton joins founders Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and the Murphy family, all of whom said in a press release “remain committed to supporting AmaWaterways’ long-term growth in the river cruising industry and will continue to have meaningful ownership in the company.”

In an executive leadership shift, Samuel Chamberlin will join Ponant as CEO, Americas, effective April 1, while Navin Sawhney, former CEO, will remain in a senior advisory role.

Ship Shape

Sea Cloud Spirit's March 27, 2025, voyage from Miami will include a pre-cruise stay at The Breakers in Palm Beach and a Brightline train ride. Separately, Mirell Reyes, president North America for Sea Cloud Cruises, hosted Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper and other Bahamian tourism and port officials on board the new, 136-passenger ship during its maiden call in Nassau last week. In other news, Chef Michael Collantes, head chef/owner of Soseki, a one-Michelin Star omakase restaurant in Winter Park, FL, will sail as guest chef on the ship’s October 5, 2024, voyage from Nice, France.

Other significant developments?

On the trade front, Holland America Line previewed new Group Advantage benefits for travel advisors.

Chinstrap Penguins in Antarctica
Viking's guests, expedition team and scientific partner discovered a new chinstrap penguin colony in Antarctica. (Photo by Dr. Grant Humphries)

And, in the "feel good” story of the week, Viking announced that Viking Octantis guests and expedition team members and partner Oceanites discovered a previously unknown chinstrap penguin colony on Diaz Rock in Antarctica. That came during one January 2024 voyage.

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