Tui has appointed Christopher Hackney as managing director of Marella Cruises and will take up his position on December 1.

Hackney will report to cruise and distribution director Helen Caron.

Richard Sofer vacated Marella’s managing director position last month to become commercial director of parent company Tui UK and Ireland.

Hackney joined Tui on the graduate scheme in 2001 and spent 14 years in the commercial division, holding several product, trading and cruise positions.

Hackney has also worked on the French and Russian Tui businesses.

He joined the cruise division in September 2015 as commercial director where he managed the commercial aspects of launching Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2, as well as delivering two years of record trading results for the cruise business.

Thomson Cruises rebranded as Marella Cruises last month.

Helen Caron, cruise and distribution for Tui UK and Ireland said: “I am delighted that Chris Hackney is to become the new managing director for Marella Cruises at such an exciting time for our business as we establish the Marella brand in the UK& I Cruise market, and launch of our newest ship Marella Explorer in the spring of 2018.

“Our Cruise business is core to the overall growth strategy for the UK&I business and I am confident that under his leadership Marella Cruises will go from strength to strength.”

MoreThomson Cruises to be renamed Marella Cruises