The River Cruise Line has pledged to invite agents on its new 180-passenger charter vessel ahead of its launch next spring.

Arena has been charted from German tour operator 1Avista Reisen by The River Cruise Line for four years and will undergo a revamp in January.

Steve Goodenough, managing director of The River Cruise Line’s parent company Arena Travel, believes he can boost trade sales by inviting agents on board the ship before its launch in April 2020.

Trade sales for the cruise operator dropped from 30% to 20% following its sale to Arena Travel in 2017.

But Goodenough said he has plans to get them back up to where they were previously.

Goodenough said agents which already work with the line and those which showed “strong potential” would be invited to the launch event on March 28.

The River Cruise Line is also running a fam trip for 20 agents in December on either Lady Anne or Serenity.

They will sail on a German Christmas Market voyage on the Rhine.

Goodenough said: “We wanted to be in control of our product and the only way that we could do that was by taking a long-term contract.

“It would be very difficult to be in control by taking a single season charter.

“Internally, all the public areas, lounge and restaurant areas will be re-done – plus a lick of paint.”