Tui UK & Ireland has appointed Helen Caron as managing director of cruise.

Caron, who is currently director of Ireland, will now be responsible for managing the Thomson Cruises business.

Reporting to Fraser Ellacott, customer operations director, Caron will start her new role on January 2.

Ellacott said: “We have an extremely successful and popular cruise business in the UK, and as the third largest operator it continues to play an extremely important part in our overall strategy. We have been focused on driving a programme of innovation and modernisation forward in the past few years and have developed a successful band strategy.

“I am delighted that I can hand the baton over to Helen who will continue to strengthen this approach and has done a fantastic job of transforming our Irish business.”

Helen started with First Choice retail as commercial manager before becoming head of commercial. During the 2007 merger between Thomson and First Choice, Helen took on the role of head of integration for the distribution side of the business. In 2009, she became commercial and trading director for distribution, responsible for the commercial relationships with the trade.

Before joining Tui, Caron held a number of roles in the cruise industry and with escorted tour operator Page & Moy.