MANCHESTER-BASED Cruise1st, the successful cruise deals brand, has announced a management buyout as it gears up for significant growth and broadens its product range to increase market share.
The buyout will allow the company to grow independently, continuing to offer its customers a streamlined service offering through product, technology and efficiency. Cruise1st already has a 40 per cent repeat customer base.
Cruise1st has grown by 62 per cent so far in 2015, with a 50 per cent growth in its call centres which is expected to double by the end of 2016 as a result of the change in ownership.
“This Management Buyout will allow Cruise1st to become a real force in the market”, says Dan Townsley, CEO of Cruise1st.
“Working with Royal Caribbean over the past seven years has been fantastic and its support has been crucial in the growth of our company. We are confident that the management will allow the business to grow and succeed, supported by our ability to be nimble and expand into new product ranges with more cruise lines.
“With independence, our focus will remain on expanding our product base with the aim of including a world-wide tour operator, more cruises with inclusive tours and a selection of river cruises. We have a clear and strategic five year growth plan, which we intend to meet through efficiency, technology, product, and customer service.
“Our staff are our biggest asset, who support the buyout 100%, and have been instrumental in the growth of the brand. Although we don’t aim to be the biggest, we do aim to be the best.”
Rhian Hughes of international law firm Hill Dickinson, who led the team that advised management, said:
“Cruise1st has had great success in expanding the business internationally. The management team has been particularly successful in taking advantage of the changing demographic of cruise holiday customers with the industry as a whole seeing an increase in bookings from families and young couples.
“Whilst enjoying international successes, Cruise1st has maintained its roots in the North West, and it’s fantastic to see their journey of growth continue.”