Former Visit Britain trade sales and marketing manager Claire Hancer has joined Peter Deilmann River & Ocean Cruises as head of sales.

The new role will include the introduction of a new scheme to reward top sales agents, a focus on expanding distribution through group and incentive agencies and the development of strategic sales and marketing relationships with other premium brands.

Hancer, who is well-known in the trade, has previously held jobs at Air France, KLM, Disneyland Resort Paris and Royal Caribbean International. She will report directly into managing director Stuart Perl.

Perl said: “Claire’s appointment underlines our ambition and commitment to continuing the growth of the UK river cruise market and to increase our share of luxury ocean cruise sales in the UK.”

As well as five-star river cruises, the company also has an ocean liner called Deutschland.