Philippe Videau, one of the founders of French cruise operator Compagnie du Ponant, is launching a new expedition cruise venture with a ship acquired from Silversea Cruises.

Exploris, a Nantes-registered company formed by Videau, has bought the 6,200-gt expedition cruise ship Silver Explorer (built 1989) for an undisclosed sum from the Royal Caribbean luxury cruise subsidiary, according to widespread reports in French media.