The announcement of new ship Magellan prompted a record of more than 3,500 bookings being received in a week, Cruise and Maritime Voyages claims.

Head of trade sales, Lisa Jacobs, described trade interest and support as being “remarkable”.

She said: “The introduction of Magellan came as a complete surprise to most travel agents, as it did many of our regular passengers.

“It has enabled us to add Liverpool and Dundee to our range of UK departure ports plus more sailings from Tilbury, Hull and Bristol.

“We will keep our agents informed of any additional help we can provide in terms of opening hours and sales material. ”

Head of marketing, Mike Hall, said: “Magellan is an impressive small to mid-sized ship adding a more contemporary twist to the traditional CMV cruise experience.

“We believe that there are many people who will appreciate the more expansive surroundings and facilities that Magellan offers and appreciate our ‘adult friendly’ operation.

“Our buy one, get one free early booking deals mean that customers can secure the cruise and cabin of their choice at an exceptional fare.

“Feedback from the trade suggests that our pricing policy is encouraging early sales at a time of the year when bookings are otherwise hard to secure.”