Carnival UK terminated its agency agreement with Gill’s Cruise Centre on Tuesday afternoon.

The cruise giant’s sales and customer services director Giles Hawke confirmed Carnival had served notice on the agency.

Hawke said: “We have terminated our agency agreement with Gill’s. We made a decision that we needed to do the best thing for our customers and assure their bookings and peace of mind.”

Carnival UK, along with Royal Caribbean and Fred Olsen Cruise Line, moved to take money direct from Gill’s customers two weeks ago as they were concerned at the agency’s level of debt.

Hawke declined to comment when asked how much Carnival UK is owed by Gills. He said other agents could step in to fill the resulting gap in the cruise company’s distribution strategy.

“Gills have a good model and have sold a high number of cruises for us,” Hawke said. “[But] there are other agents who can choose to fill any gap in terms of routes to market if they feel it fits their business model.”

He said he did not have concerns about other agents Carnival works with. “Every business is unique. Well-run, well-managed businesses which operate with good customer service, a focus on the bottom line and offer customers unique reasons to book with them, will continue to thrive and be strong business partners for us.”

Hawke added: “Gills has been a strong family business for many years and this is not a decision we have taken lightly.”