For Tapping Into Authentic, Local Experiences
As French-flagged Ponant, a luxury yacht expedition brand, seeks to draw more luxury clients from North America, it’s turned to the formidable team of Navin Sawhney, CEO, Americas, responsible for day-to-day management and operations, and Edie Rodriguez, Americas brand ambassador and special corporate advisor, who is known for her energetic style and trade expertise. This summer, they introduced Ponant’s new series of Polar-rated expedition ships, Le Laperouse and Le Champlain, to U.S. travel agents.
Sawhney and Rodriguez are ratcheting up efforts to showcase the line’s array of small-ship, boutique luxury products to the media, who can further spread the word to consumers. In a European-focused roundtable at Questex Media’s headquarters recently, Sawhney explained that Ponant’s newly launched Quintessential Collection is tapping into the trend of allowing guests to become part of the destination through the experience. In Sicily, for example, Ponant’s focus is food and wine with locals rather than a celebrity chef or celebrated vintner.
The duo are also articulating the essence of Ponant’s French onboard product (both French and English are spoken onboard) to luxury selling agents and showcasing the savory onboard dining, fine champagne and cheeses, full-service spa, enrichment programs and itineraries. The line also recently beefed up outreach efforts by adding Jennifer Rosen in New York as director of marketing-Americas and Yenedi Perez in Miami for building southeastern U.S. sales.