The River Cruise Line is re-branding to Arena River Cruises and preparing to launch an online booking portal for agents.

The line, owned by Ipswich-based Arena Travel, will welcome revamped premium ship Arena (pictured) to its fleet when it launches in Amsterdam on March 31.

Managing director Steve Goodenough hopes to launch the trade portal, which will be found on Arena Travel’s new website –, around the same time as the ship’s launch.

Goodenough said: “With the launch of the Arena, we felt the time was right to bring all the Arena Travel brands under one banner. The River Cruise Line has a very loyal following and we have been delighted with progress since it joined the Arena family three years ago.”

The agent portal will be bookable, have a chat function, ‘meet the team’ section and offer downloadable marketing materials and answer FAQs.

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“We have built this platform to bring us up to date and future-proof us for the next couple of years,” said Goodenough. “Trade sales are a major part of our journey and it is something that we needed to do. It will bring everything together.”

Goodenough said more than 100 agencies would receive visits from the line’s trade sales team over the next couple of weeks, to update agents on the re-brand and trade portal.

He hopes the portal, coupled with the field presence, will increase trade sales to 25% – up from the current 15%.

Last week, Arena Travel launched a new website housing all of its brands including escorted holidays by rail, craft and bridge holidays, art history tours and special interest breaks.

Details of two fam trips on April 25 and April 29 on the line’s new Arena ship, which is based in Amsterdam, are being finalised.