Peter Deilmann River and Ocean Cruises has joined marketing consortium the Truly Independent Professional Travel Organisation becoming its 16th member.

The cruise company’s decision comes following the appointment of Claire Hancer as its new head of sales with a focus on developing trade relations.

She said: “We see our membership of TIPTO as a way of fast-tracking this.

“Independent agents are a key target for us and TIPTO’s hugely successful roadshows and its impressive website with its training academy and messaging facility gives us immediate access to and face to face contact with these important partners.

“We are really looking forward to integrating ourselves into all of TIPTO’s activities particularly this year with its very competitive trading conditions.”

TIPTO chairman Graham Balmforth said: “We are delighted to be giving our membership a boost early in 2009 and with such a prestigious name as Peter Deilmann Cruises.

“Their decision underlines the strength of TIPTO and the faith travel companies have in our ability to help them reach the all-important independent agent sector.”