Thames sightseeing operator City Cruises is to run its first Indian-themed evening river cruises this summer following a successful taster event for the trade.

The cruise company invited 85 agents to join a sailing on the river, offering an Indian meal and entertainment, including a sitar player and dancers.

Managing director Kyle Haughton said the decision followed positive trade feedback.

“The trade came to us and said they’d like to sell a curry evening. After great feedback, we will hold our first proper cruises on Thursday evenings this summer on an ad hoc basis, selling them predominantly through the trade.”

Haughton said the cruises would be continually reviewed, and also welcomed more ideas to further improve its portfolio.

City Cruises has introduced jazz cruises and may revive its Elvis‑themed cruise nights.

The expanded product range follows an increase in capacity.

“We now have cruises seven days a week from this month – before it was three days a week – together with upgraded boats, plus we are connecting with more of the trade than ever,” he said.

One of the cruise line’s most popular products is its Showboat cruises that offer four-course meals and easy listening entertainment.

Haughton added: “These are well-established with the inbound market but recently we have been seeing an increasing amount of domestic traffic.

“Agents in the north, for example, are now planning their clients’ London itineraries, rather than just booking the hotel and train.”