Ponant announces arrival of Patrick Augier as the company’s General Secretary as of 1st March 2023

Ponant (Logo)Patrick Augier’s appointment at PONANT supports the company’s ambition to become leader in the high-end expedition cruise sector and one of the global references for responsible tourism.

Seaman, expert and committed, Patrick Augier will be on the Executive Committee and in charge of strategic matters such as newbuilds, R&D, Science and CSR.

Patrick Augier has sailed all the oceans as a nuclear engineer then chief engineer on nuclear attack submarines and captain of ships. He was the last to command the Jeanne d’Arc helicopter carrier. Later his experience and expertise were called upon to conceive and be responsible for France’s maritime policy as advisor to the Prime Minister from 2013 to 2019. As Vice-Admiral, he commanded Marseille’s marine fire department during the health crisis where he introduced many innovative solutions all of which were universally praised.

“My life-long commitment is to protect and promote the sea as a territory,” he likes to emphasise. In his new post, he will be bringing all his expertise and experience of major maritime issues to bear on the Explore to Inspire strategy defined and promoted by Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT.

“PONANT is a unique player in the travel industry. The commitment that defines our values, and is at the heart of our strategy, is to offer customers inspiring, meaningful voyages. I welcome the arrival of Patrick Augier whose exceptional understanding of our sector and maritime issues will help us combine innovation, excellence and respect for the planet to put at the service of our guests,” adds Hervé Gastinel.

Patrick Augier succeeds Charles Gravatte who leaves the company after nine years leading strategic projects including newbuilds and CSR.

Four teams will be attached to Patrick Augier which are responsible for:

R&D and Science
Corporate Social Responsibility
Strategy and Projects
Institutional Relations

A subsidiary of Artémis since 2015, PONANT has scaled up significantly in the last two years. It now has 13 ships, including the company’s historic sailing yacht, Le Ponant and Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s only luxury icebreaker, a hybrid-electric exploration vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

For 35 years, buoyed by its signature idea of the sea, PONANT has been bearing guests away in the footsteps of the great explorers to unusual, exceptional destinations, pursuing a strategy of innovation and excellence that has established its fleet as a symbol of the inimitable French way of life. Small ships, eco-design, slow travel, awakening awareness, and partnering with local players, are the ingredients of tomorrow’s cruise model as embodied by the company.

Artémis is the investment company of the Pinault family. Founded in 1992 by François Pinault, it invests in companies with strong potential and supports them for the long-term at every stage of their development. Controlling shareholder of the luxury group Kering, Artémis also owns Christie’s, the world’s leading auction house, a group of prestigious vineyards that includes Château Latour, Premier Grand Cru Classé, the PONANT cruise company, French magazine Le Point and a broad range of other assets in a variety of markets which are leaders in their field.