Australian-owned Aurora Expeditions has welcomed Monique Ponfoort to the role of chief executive, marking the start of an exciting new chapter in small-ship expedition travel.
With a career spanning more than 25 years in the travel and cruise industry, including Qantas, Jetset, Helloworld, and most recently, seven years in expedition cruising managing the Asia Pacific market, Ponfoort brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Aurora Expeditions at a time when the company is expanding.
With a brand new, purpose-built small expedition ship Sylvia Earle scheduled to sail on her maiden voyage in November 2021 – a sister ship to the award-winning Greg Mortimer – and an array of forward-thinking Aurora Expeditions initiatives on the horizon, she is both optimistic and excited for the future of expedition travel.
“I’m truly humbled to have the opportunity to lead such a passionate and dynamic team who strive constantly to deliver the best product, service and experiences to our family of global expeditioners,” Ponfoort said.
“Despite the challenges facing the global travel and cruise industry in 2020, our many loyal and repeat guests tell us they are eager to set sail again, and we are excited and ready to welcome them back on board once international borders reopen.”
Along with the new expedition ship – named after renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer Sylvia Earle – Aurora Expeditions is launching a host of dynamic programs featuring new global itineraries which will take our expeditioners beyond the polar regions to some of the most biodiverse corners of the planet and a new Deposit Protection Scheme.
“We have very exciting business growth ahead of us as we take delivery of our second purpose-built expedition ship Sylvia Earle.
“Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to marine conservation, and we are honoured to be working with her to further educate and inspire both our team and our expeditioners,” added Ponfoort.
Destinations in the new Global and Arctic 2022 program will include Alaska, the Russian Far East, Raja Ampat, West Papua, the North West Passage and Baja California.