Ipswich-based Arena Travel has purchased ‘The River Cruise Line’ and ‘Diamond Rail’ brands.
The announcement follows the news (16 March) that Diamond Shortbreak Holidays Ltd had ceased trading ‘due to financial difficulties’ on March 15.
The ‘Diamond Holidays’ brand itself is not understood to be part of the deal.
Steve Goodenough, general manager of Arena Travel, who was sales and marketing director with Diamond Holiday Group until June 2015, says he aims to continue to operate as many of the brands’ 5,000 booked holidays as possible in 2017.
“The acquisition was supported by the cruise lines who operate the popular ‘Lady Anne’ and ‘Serenity’ ships that are exclusive to The River Cruise Line. Both will be working closely with Arena with the aim of operating the vast majority of planned sailings for 2017.
“Our aim is to provide the same rail or river cruise holiday on the same date and at the same price to as many of the 5,000 who have booked a holiday for the season ahead as possible. Thanks to the financial protection in place, customers will be covered for any loss of money.
“We’d like to reassure agents and the loyal customers of The River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail Holidays that their bookings will be safe and that we will be working hard to minimise disruption through this period of transition.
“We appreciate that this can be a worrying time, but our intention is to retain and build the River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail brands, and to ensure that their portfolio of river cruises and escorted rail tours continues to operate to the usual high standard.
“Arena Travel has been established for over 40 years and our expertise in special interest holidays means that there’s a great synergy between the brands and customers of both companies. We look forward to an exciting future, developing business with our trade partners, group organisers and individual customers”.
News that Diamond Shortbreak Holidays had ceased trading broke on 16 March. A statement from the company said: “It is with deep regret that Diamond Shortbreak Holidays Ltd, trading as Diamond Holidays, Diamond Rail Holidays and The River Cruise Line, is in the process of going into administration. In total there are just under 7,000 current holiday bookings. All passengers who were due to travel with the company have either already been contacted or will be contacted shortly. As the company is a fully bonded member of ABTA and ATOL monies paid by our customers are protected.”
Diamond Shortbreak Holidays, based in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, had been operating holidays in the UK and Europe for 19 years.
It is reported that the company had 52 UK-based staff members and 26 based overseas.