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New CEO Signals Exciting Chapter for Aurora Expeditions

November 9, 2020 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments Email Email

On the eve of its milestone 30th anniversary in 2021, Australian-owned Aurora Expeditions is delighted to officially welcome Monique Ponfoort as CEO, 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, 7 years in expedition cruising managing the Asia Pacific market, Monique 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, Monique 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,” Monique says. “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 Dr. 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 the Sylvia Earle. Dr. 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,” says Monique.

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.

“Our Health and Safety protocols remain our number one priority, along with ensuring we can provide booking flexibility and confidence for our future expeditioners. We have recently launched our Deposit Protection Scheme in the form of an escrow account to ensure our trade partners and passengers have confidence when booking future voyages with us during this uncertain time,” Monique adds. “I am also delighted that we have joined CLIA’s commission protection program to ensure we continue to support our loyal trade partners over the coming months and years. Now more than ever, we must support each other in the industry.”

“Aurora Expeditions is an impressive, home-grown, Australian business where the team spirit is very much alive and thriving,” concludes Monique. “I see a team that is determined, genuinely caring, has a strong sense of camaraderie, and is ready to continue its journey with the greatest respect for our expeditioners and the extraordinary places we visit.”

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