Ponant has announced that Navin Sawhney has been named Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ponant USA.

Consultant for Ponant since May 2014, Navin Sawhney brings a strong track record of success to the luxury cruise line with more than 20 years of leadership.

He also held a consulting position at Azamara Club Cruises before Ponant. Prior to that, Sawhney was Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Tauck. Earlier in his career he was Senior Vice President Marketing at Cunard, where he integrated several business acquisitions and rebranded Sea Goddess, Royal Viking Line and NAC under the Cunard banner. He began his career in strategic planning at Holland America Line.

Based in New York, Sawhney will spearhead Ponant’s development in North and South America.

The company announced last December the formation of Ponant USA and launched Ponant, Cultural Cruises and Expeditions, offering high-caliber educational programs aboard its fleet of small cruise ships.

With its recent acquisition of business assets of Travel Dynamics, Ponant plans to become the first luxury cruise line to develop enrichment programs with a focus on cultural voyages and expeditions to all seven continents.

“This is an exciting time for our company. With the formation of Ponant, Cultural Cruises and Expeditions, we are delighted to welcome such a talented individual to our team,” said Hervé Bellaïche, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing of Ponant. “Sawhney has a wealth of experience to draw upon and we look forward to strengthening and broadening our business in The Americas with his appointment.”

“With its modern fleet of luxury small ships, Ponant, Cultural Cruises and Expeditions is uniquely positioned to bring expertly crafted enrichment programs that integrate the cultural programs onboard and ashore, globally.” added Sawhney. “This is a seminal moment for Ponant—with the introduction of our new brand in The Americas, the launch of Le Lyrial in May, 2015, new programs such as our Expedition cruises in Alaska this summer and new tools including our B2B booking engine. This is a compelling time for travel agencies to deepen their relationships with Ponant and offer new experiences to their clients.”