Azamara UK, Ireland and EMEA managing director Richard Twynam is to leave the cruise line.

He had been with the business since January 2014.

Twynam is to be replaced by Patrice Willoughby, who joins as managing director International Business Development, based at the line’s Miami headquarters.

Willoughby will take on responsibility for all of Azamara’s business outside the US and Canada, including UK & Ireland, EMEA, Latin America and Australia.

The line said Willoughby has “extensive experience in the luxury travel, tour operator and cruise business, having spent over three years heading up sales for Cunard, and 15 years developing business and strategies or industry leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso”.

It added that Willoughby is “a passionate explorer, having grown up travelling with her family, but also having lived and worked in London, France, the Middle East and United States”.

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Azamara said Twynam had developed and led the UK & Ireland team to year-on-year sales growth over the last five years, and latterly the brand’s expansion into Europe and the Middle East.

Larry Pimentel, president and chief executive of Azamara, said: “Richard has been a key leader for the business and brand, having led the UK & Ireland market to new heights. We want to thank him for his important contribution to the brand’s growth and awareness. He has been instrumental to our success in these key markets, and we want to thank him for his leadership and ongoing support.”

He added: “We are excited to welcome Patrice to the Azamara family. We have recently expanded our destination portfolio to over 1,700 land programmes, demonstrating our commitment to being leaders in Destination Immersion®. We sought out Patrice to join us as she shares our passion for travel.”

Twynam said: “I have huge admiration and respect for the Azamara business, brand and family. I feel proud and privileged to have been part of the journey, setting up the UK & Ireland team in 2014 and growing revenue by over 80%.

“We won over 35 awards during this time and this is testament to the people within the business and the support that our travel and trade partners gave us. This business and its people will always hold a special place in my heart and I feel confident of future success in handing over the baton to Patrice.”