German line A-ROSA River Cruises will open a UK registered sales and marketing office in early next year

Lucia Rowe has been promoted to the newly-created role of UK managing director as the company identifies the UK as a key market for growth in its expansion plans.

The new office will be the first international to open outside Germany.

One of Rowe’s first tasks will be to put together a team of on-the-road business development managers, office-based sales executives and a marketing team to work with tour operator partners and agents on a daily basis.

The aims is grow brand awareness and expand the line’s partnership network, plus offer greater trade support and host more educational trips so that as many agents as possible can experience the river cruise offering.

New vessels and the modernisation of some of the existing fleet are also planned as part of the cruise line’s overall growth strategy.

On a global level, management is working closely with its owners Duke Street to finalise its new build strategy for the coming years.

Rowe said: “I’m delighted that we are now committed to further growing the UK market going forward.

“We brought the product into the UK four years ago and it has gone from strength to strength. We will now invest in our own dedicated sales and marketing team who will be both on-the-road and in the office, supporting the trade and promoting all that A-ROSA has to offer.

“The new office and team will mean that we can get behind our trade partners more than ever before. They are of paramount importance to us in the UK market and we look forward to working with them as we grow and develop going forward.”

In addition, having been A-ROSA will look to become accredited by other relevant leading UK industry bodies, having been members of Clia since entering the UK market.

Company chief executive Joerg Eichler said: “Construction of new ships will be instrumental for the growth of A-ROSA River Cruises.

“This year we experienced demand that we couldn’t fulfill so we need to increase our capacity by building new vessels.

“The construction of A-ROSA ALVA is already underway and she will launch on the Douro in May 2019.

“This will be the first of several new additions to the fleet. We also plan the refurbishment and modernisation of some of our existing ships, to ensure our entire fleet meets the expectation of today’s cruisers. The first ship to undergo work will be A-ROSA DONNA this winter.

“Furthermore, we want to continue to be at the forefront of innovation in terms of the multi-generational market on the rivers and will be looking closely at how we develop our ships with this in mind. Sustainability is another area we will be looking at developing going forward.”

Overseeing the fleet expansion and refurbishment will be Matthias Lutter, just appointed to the newly created role of head of construction, based at the head office in Rostock.

Lutter, an experienced specialist in this arena thanks to his most recent role of head of construction at the Neptun Shipyard in Rostock, will take up the in January.

At Neptun Shipyard, Lutter project-managed various new builds including the construction of both A-ROSA SILVA and A-ROSA FLORA in 2012.