PONANT Chairman Asia Pacific, and Deputy Chair CLIA Australasia ,
Widely regarded as a visionary businesswoman, Sarina Bratton has drawn on her passion for discovery to redefine the concept of small ship luxury cruising.
Building on her reputation, knowledge and expertise, in November 2013 the luxury yacht and expedition French cruise line, PONANT flagged its serious intent to expand into the Asia Pacific region when it announced the appointment of Mrs Bratton as Chairman Asia Pacific and Special Advisor to the company's Marseilles-headquartered executive board.
Considered Australia's "First Lady" of cruising, Mrs Bratton, who was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to tourism, particularly the cruise ship industry, and to business generally, in the 2014 Australia Day Honours, pioneered luxury expedition cruising in the Asia Pacific region when she founded market-leading five-star Orion Expedition Cruises in 2004. Mrs Bratton served as Managing Director of the company until early 2013 when she sold her remaining shares in the company.
The high point of a career that has taken her from nationally ranked sportswoman in three fields to the first female founder of a shipping line was her achievement in creating Australasia's only world-class, five-star expedition cruise line rated as a world leader in sustainability and environmental conscience.
In her new Sydney-based role, Mrs Bratton spearheads PONANT's international development, with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region, as both key destinations and source markets.
Future plans for the company include the building of four 184 guest luxury expedition ships, plus a pioneering luxury Icebreaker to complement the existing fleet of new, sister ships L'Austral, Le Boreal, Le Soleal, Le Lyrial and the spectacular sailing ship Le Ponant.