This week there were a number of big developments in small ship cruise news.
Ponant announced plans to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises, a move that would significantly expand the range of destinations it is able to offer guests by adding Paul Gauguin’s South Pacific routes to its portfolio. Following the acquisition, both cruise lines will keep their management, with Diane Moore acting as CEO of Paul Gauguin with her team still based in Bellevue, WA, and Navin Sawhney acting as CEO Americas of Ponant, based in New York. The deal comes as Ponant is working to expand its fleet to 14 ships by 2021, most recently taking delivery of Le Dumont-d’Urville and Le Bellot scheduled to launch in April 2020.
In new ship news, Scenic took delivery of the Scenic Eclipse, the first vessel in its Discovery Yacht series. Next up the ship will sail its inaugural cruise, a 13-day itinerary out of Reykjavik, Iceland, calling at various destinations in Greenland and Eastern Canada, before arriving in Quebec on August 27.
On the rivers, American Cruise Lines announced the name of the fourth ship (out of five) in its Modern Riverboat series: the American Melody. Built in the same style as the rest of the cruise line’s Modern Riverboats, with an opening bow, retractable gangway, multi-story glass atrium and staterooms with private, furnished balconies, the American Melody is scheduled to begin cruising in late 2020.