Thomson and First Choice have joined the Association of Cruise Experts, taking the membership up to 3,000 single agencies.

From Friday Thomson and First Choice will feature ACE branding in their shops and have access to its training programmes, resources and events.

ACE director of business development Andy Harmer said: “This is very exciting for us as it means we can do more for members. We are launching seven new online training courses in August in addition to the 12 we have already.

Meanwhile, ACE is preparing for National Cruise Week, which runs from September 7 to 14. Almost 1,000 agencies have pledged to get involved and Harmer hopes the event will beat its US equivalent to become the world’s biggest cruise promotion event.