Cruise

Ponant’s Monique Ponfoort to lead Aurora Expeditions

Aurora Expeditions has announced the appointment of Monique Ponfoort as CEO, commencing October 2020.

Monique Ponfoort joins the Aurora from Ponant and Paul Gauguin Cruises, where she was vice president and general manager for the Asia-Pacific region.

Ponfoort has also held senior marketing roles at Helloworld Travel, Jetset Travelworld Group and Qantas throughout her career.

The appointment of Ponfoort as CEO of Aurora comes not long after the expedition cruise line confirmed the resignation of managing director Robert Halfpenny in May.

However, a spokesperson for Aurora told Travel Weekly that Halfpenny remains in discussions with the board of directors regarding future opportunities within the company.

Aurora chairman Neville Buch said: “Monique is an impressive executive and her extensive experience in the cruise and travel industry will be of enormous value to Aurora Expeditions.

“The board and I are delighted that Monique has agreed to join us. We have a very exciting future ahead of us with our second vessel, the Sylvia Earle, arriving in 2021 and further vessel plans in the pipeline.

“Monique’s experience and skills will really help Aurora Expeditions in the future expansion of the business and ensure we continue to provide the unique life-changing travel experiences that we do, in a small intimate vessel environment.”

Commenting on her appointment, Ponfoort said: “I am thrilled to be joining Aurora Expeditions as CEO in October 2020.

“I was drawn to the growth and forward thinking of the business, together with their true passion in delivering outstanding expeditions and guests experiences to some of the most remote and unique places and cultures in the world.

“I look forward to building on this incredible 28 years of history and to achieve further success in the years to come.”

Buch will continue to lead Aurora in his executive chairman role until Ponfoort officially joins the cruise line.

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