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The first lady of Australian cruising – John Alwyn-Jones interviews Sarina Bratton, AM, Chairman Australasia, Compagnie du Ponant

July 30, 2014 Global Travel Media TV, Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59It is hard to imagine any one person that has had greater impact on Australia’s dynamic cruise industry, than Sarina Bratton.

From the beginning of her career where she worked in tourism, hospitality and the advertising industry, in Australia, Spain, UK and Austria, Sarina became Vice President and General Manager Asia Pacific for Cunard, based in Sydney and reporting to New York, growing the business from $300k in revenue to at its peak $30m across Asia Pacific.

In late 1996, Sarina recommended to Cunard that they enter the Australian market with a four star ship to compete against the three star P&O operation, but Cunard made what appears to be the error of declining the opportunity, resulting in Sarina leaving the company in 1997 to pursue launching a four star cruise ship into the market.

Norwegian Capricorn Lines was launched in 1998, generating revenues of $130m before the major shareholder went through a hostile takeover, with a new business model emerging, with an emphasis on gaming, which Sarina did not believe would be successful in Australia. As a result, Norwegian Capricorn closed its doors over a six month period, with Sarina ensuring passengers, suppliers, staff and crew were not financially disadvantaged.

Not one to sit on her hands, Sarina started started developing another Australia based cruise operation, searching the globe for the best ship possible, which took two years, with Orion acquired in September 2003.

In September 2008 a US private equity firm and Dutch investment vehicle acquired the majority holding in Orion, with Bratton retaining a reduced shareholding.

In 2014, Sarina became the Chairman Australasia for world leading boutique, adventure cruise operator, Marseilles based, Compagnie du Ponant and to hear Sarina’s exciting story and more about the amazing Compagnie du Ponant, click on the video box below: –

A report and interview by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor and Correspondent Global Travel Media and Presenter and Producer Global Travel Media TV

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. mmurri says:

    Great interview but I found the invasive background muic extremely annoying. As a past follower of Orion and disappointed with the attitude of the new ownership, I am looking forward to experiencing the Ponant.

  2. Thank you for your positive comment on the interview. Would you like us to add your details to the Australian PONANT database. Please send me an email and we will keep you up to date with our activities.

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