Former Hurtigruten boss Kathryn Beadle has been appointed to run the UK office for river cruise line Uniworld.

Beadle will take up the newly-created role of managing director on November 3.

She will launch the line as a standalone brand for trade sales in the UK, meaning agents will be able to work and book directly with the operator for the first time.

She will also be involved in the river line’s partnership with Titan Travel, whose focus will be on developing consumer sales for the brand.

Uniworld operates 18 ships across Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, Vietnam and Cambodia. Beadle will report into Uniworld’s president and chief executive Guy Young.

Young, who is based in Los Angeles, said: “Kathryn’s pedigree and reputation is well established in the UK and she is extremely well placed to lead our UK operation.

“Her strategic acumen, creativity, drive and in-depth knowledge of the industry will all serve to build Uniworld’s profile as the leading luxury river cruise operator in the UK and provide agents the support needed to successfully sell and market Uniworld to their best clients. We’re delighted to have her on our team.”

Beadle said: “This role represents a fantastic opportunity to establish Uniworld as a stand-alone brand in the UK.

“The river cruise industry as a whole is thriving, and Uniworld is the gold standard in luxury, comfort, service and style, bringing some truly breath-taking product to the market place. With more exciting launches in the pipeline, we’ve got lots of work to do and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

As the former managing director of Norwegian specialist Hurtigruten, where she was responsible for the UK, Australia, Middle East and Asia markets, Beadle helped the line to achieve significant growth in the UK market in particular.

Prior to that she was sales and marketing director at Virgin Holidays.