Virtuoso Life - May/June 2017 - 62
Navin Sawhney has expeditions on his mind.
My job: CEO of the Americas for Ponant,
a France-based luxury cruise line.
Ponant will debut Le Lapérouse (1), the
first of four new expedition ships - and
the first to feature an underwater lounge -
in the summer of 2018. Why we're focused
on expedition cruising: We're seeing an
increased trend toward traveling with meaning. Travelers don't just cruise to sightsee
and shop anymore; they want to understand
a destination's culture, habitat, and history.
Building smaller [184-passenger] luxury expedition ships gives us the depth and ﬂexibility to navigate to certain parts of the world,
such as Australia's Kimberley region.
A port I have yet to visit that's on
my list: Antarctica's Elephant Island,
where members of Sir Ernest Shackleton's crew were stranded for 137 days in
1916. It would be fantastic to get a sense
of how they were able to survive a century
ago. It's inspiring and humbling.
It's happy hour on board Ponant's Le
Lyrial (3). You'll find me: Without a doubt,
in Deck 7's open-air bar (4). It's a great
place to congregate with new friends.
My favorite book about traveling: Ghost
Train to the Eastern Star (5) by Paul Theroux. It's a memoir about self-discovery, as
opposed to seeing the world as a tourist.
Next up: Scotland (6) and the Hebrides.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
"My advice for first-time cruisers:
Let us surprise you, and
start small. It's the small
luxury expedition ships that
will get you hooked."
(NAVIN SAWHNEY) KEVIN J. MIYAZAKI/GROOMING BY SONG LOPEZ, (LE LAPÉROUSE)) STUDIO JEAN-PHILIPPE,
(ICELAND) ANNE-LAURE MICASIO, (BAR) FRANCOIS LEFEBVRE, (LE LYRIAL) FRANCIS LATREILLE, (SCOTLAND) DEREK CROUCHER/ALAMY
The scoop on Le Lapérouse's
maiden season: It will include voyages around Iceland (2), the Mediterranean, and Australia. Ponant is a
leader in polar expeditions, and
now we're expanding into tropical
and subtropical ones too.