Virgin Voyages has recruited two UK sales managers – tripling the size of its team in this country.

Sarah-Jane Walker has joined the new line from Princess Cruises, while Gemma Smith has left Virgin Holidays to take up her role.

Smith will become Virgin Voyages’ sales manager for the UK south region on February 8.

At Virgin Holidays, Smith held a number of roles, including trading delivery manager and retail delivery manager.

In a statement, announcing her appointment, Virgin Voyages said she had been the “driving force” behind Virgin Holidays’ Next partnership which created 24 in-store concessions.

Walker will lead the sales efforts in the north for the yet-to-launch line from March 21.

In her most recent role, Walker was responsible for leading a regional team in the UK and managing travel partner relationships at Princess Cruises.

Virgin Voyages considered more than 200 applicants for the two roles before deciding on Smith and Walker.

Both roles will support travel agents during the end of the wave period and the beginning of the booking season for Virgin Voyages’ inaugural 2020 season.

Travel agents, referred to as First Mates by the line, can begin booking clients through its dedicated online agent platform, FirstMates.com, from February 14.

Shane Riley, director of global sales for Virgin Voyages, said: “We set out to find sales rock stars who can challenge industry norms and provide exceptional support for our First Mates and I think it’s fair to say we have ticked every box with Sarah-Jane and Gemma.

“Their proven track record of success and enchanting personalities made them the perfect fit for us and I cannot wait to welcome them to the Virgin Voyages crew.”

Virgin Voyages is building three ships, which will launch in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Last year, the line revealed plans to build a cruise terminal at PortMiami and confirmed it would add a fourth, €700 million, ship to its planned fleet.