The boss of Azamara Club Cruises says he expects the number of travel agent partners it sells through to continue to increase following the launch of Azamara Pursuit.

The line’s president and chief executive Larry Pimentel said 21% more travel agents globally are selling Azamara’s cruises after expanding to a three-ship fleet and admitted he was surprised numbers had increased so quickly after Pursuit’s programme went on sale in May.

“To be candid, I was shocked that it went up so quick,” he told Travel Weekly.

“I expect that figure to rise because it is early days. It is just the beginning.

“As more agents sell us and more passengers come back happy and that word spreads, that number is likely to increase.”

Pimentel predicted that over the coming months, once journalists and passengers had returned from Azamara Pursuit’s sailings, more travel agents would sell the line.

Richard Twynam, the line’s managing director for EMEA, said there was a trend for luxury tour operators, like Kuoni, to add cruise to their product line.

He added that Azamara was currently in discussions with “seven or eight” luxury tour operators, such as Carrier, that do no sell cruise currently.

“We are in discussions with a number of luxury tour operators about how cruise can work for them,” Twynam said.

Pimentel said the launch of Azamara Pursuit is the “most significant moment” to date for the brand.

Pimentel went on to praise co-godmothers Lucy Huxley and Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio for their speeches at the ship’s christening on Tuesday (August 28).

He said: “The speeches were about how travel destroys prejudice – people connect when the know each other, irrespective of race, colour and gender.

“All those things are quite exciting and very much in keeping with the rest of the brand.”