Hurtigruten’s general manager has said the UK sales team shake-up announced this week was brought about by the need for the line to “engage better with the trade”.

Two long-standing employees – explorer manager Danny Giles and Maria Ersmarker, national events and sales manager – will leave the company next month following the reshuffle.

Anthony Daniels, the line’s UK general manager, said his team’s current remit is to fill 12 15-day sailings out of Dover in 2021-22 with UK customers

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“It is down to how we need to engage better with the trade,” Daniels said. “The structure that we had we felt that it wasn’t going to get us down that road.

“We are talking about the Dover departures that are departing two years from now, so we’re having to make those changes earlier so we can get those foundations in place now.”

Around 350 bookings have already been made for Hurtigruten’s 2021-22 winter ex-Dover programme since it went on sale last month.

Daniels also revealed Hurtigruten’s fleet will continue to shift towards expedition-focused vessels as the line looks to meet customer demand.

Currently, the line’s fleet is comprised of 11 coastal ships and four expedition vessels and by 2025, there will be seven coastal vessels and 14 expedition ships.

But Daniels said that the ratio between the types of ship will continue to swing in favour of expedition.

“Up until now, in all honesty, it’s currently 70:30 in favour of coastal, even in the next few years it will be 50:50 and future plans I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes 70:30 expedition,” he said.

“You can see the way it is going in terms of [Hurtigruten’s] ship deployment and the itineraries that we are talking about.”