Mick Fogg, expedition manager Asia Pacific for Ponant Yacht Cruises & Expeditions, says people don’t have to ‘tough it out’ to explore remote parts of the world. ‘We say we are taking you (the customer) straight out of your comfort zone and then returning you to your most comfortable zone. ‘You can be exploring a Borneon rainforest and then return to a five-course meal, a warm shower and luxurious bed.’ He says expedition cruises, importantly, retain their elements of discovery and education. ‘That’s as important as ever. We have 13 naturalists on our ships and they basically cover all of the ‘ologies’. History, anthropology culture, and geology are just some of the areas covered.’
Fogg says one significant way expedition cruising has changed is in its geographical spread. ‘Ten years ago expedition cruising was all about the Polar regions. Now it spreads right across the globe and includes tropical and subtropical destinations like the Indonesian archipelago, Papua New Guinea and the subAntarctic islands south of New Zealand.’ Ponant has also just released the Kimberley for 2020, the fourth season for packages in the West Australian region. ‘Polar is as big as ever, it’s not slowing down, but we are making people aware of the number of destinations we can go to.