Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has confirmed the appointment of its first-ever dedicated river sales manager.

Keith Norman is responsible for a small team aimed at growing sales across all channels to grow the company’s river cruise product, currently operated on Brabant.

Norman said: “I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to grow and build upon the success of our popular Brabant sailings in Europe.

“The new river sales manager role gives Fred Olsen a dedicated resource and focus to ensure that we can extend our presence within the competitive river cruise market.

Longer-term, we would like to grow our river cruise fleet and continue to bring the best of our ocean product to the river cruise market.

“We are already reaping the rewards of our unique Fred Olsen experience on board Brabant, with a guest rating of 4 out of 5 and 2019 sailings more than 50 per cent to target already. I look forward to continuing to promote this growing demand across all sales channels.”

Fred Olsen’s head of sales, Mike Evans, added: “I congratulate Keith on his new appointment, and look forward to working with him to put in place a dedicated team, to support awareness and sales, of our Fred Olsen river product.

“This comes at an important time for our river cruise offer, which has steadily been gaining in popularity. There is an increasing appetite for Fred Olsen’s friendly, more intimate style of river cruising, and Keith has the expertise and enthusiasm to be able take us to the next level.”

Brabant will sail an expanded programme of 33 departures this year, from April to November.