Voyages to Antiquity has reported 38% growth in forward bookings for 2019 cruises.

The same season is ahead 82% from the US, where the single-ship cultural cruise line has installed a new sales team and a restructured Fort Lauderdale office in Florida.

The sales performance follows record passenger numbers achieved for the current 2018 cruise programme.

Managing director Jos Dewing said: “I was unsure if we would be able to match the incredible results in the UK for our 2018 programme but to have smashed them year on year for 2019 forward sales is fantastic.

“Our Oxford office is the most focused and engaged team of sales and service professionals I have ever worked with and whilst we are a small, niche and single ship operator, we seem to have carved out a totally unique place for ourselves in a busy and vibrant industry.

“Our recently promoted head of commercial (global), Michelle Daniels, is also leading an exciting charge in the US.”

To celebrate the latest figures, 17 members of the Oxford office were taken on a private sailing down the River Thames in Oxford.

Dewing added: “I am immensely proud of my team and there is nothing better than finding the time to escape the office together, have some fun and focus on a different vessel for a change.”