Arena Travel acquires Diamond Shortbreak brands following collapse

Arena Travel will acquire the River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail Holidays brands from Diamond Shortbreak Holidays.

The deal comes after Market Harborough-based Diamond Shortbreak ceased trading yesterday under financial pressure.

“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,” said Steve Goodenough, managing director of Arena Travel.

“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.

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“Thanks to the financial protection in place, customers will be covered for any loss of money.”

ABTA estimates almost 7,000 forward bookings are protected under its schemes, comprising approximately 16,000 passengers.

Goodenough continued: “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 is 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.”