The river cruise market is booming in the UK with traditional cruise customers boosting its popularity, according to German-based Peter Deilmann Cruises.

UK managing director Stuart Perl said the river and ocean cruiseline has enjoyed a record year for UK sales and hopes to see a further 15% increase in bookings in 2008.

He said: “River cruising is seeing the [kind of] growth ocean cruising saw about seven years ago. The growth in the overall cruise market has certainly played a part.”

Peter Deilmann has a fleet of eight river-cruising ships and one 500-passenger ocean-liner, Deutschland – which was one of four ships on display at this year’s first UK Cruise Convention.

Perl said the company would offer agents one-to-one training and improve its website as it looks to grow its market in the UK.

“We want to build on the relationships we have with the UK trade and encourage and support agents,” he said.

The company’s ocean and river cruise brochures for 2008 are due out this autumn.