City Cruises has acquired river sightseeing company York River Boat Cruises Ltd for £2.5 million, opening it up to travel agency bookings.
The acquisition will see the City Cruises brand expand from its current operations in London and Poole to 25 boats in three locations.
York River Boats Cruises will be renamed City Cruises York.
City Cruises has seen an overall increase in revenue of 6% in 2016-17, compared with the previous year.
This rise can be attributed to several factors, the brand said.
A private hire service introduced in 2015 delivered 168 private hires in 2016-17, generating a 17% increase in revenue and the company’s programme of themed cruises has also gone from strength to strength.
Revenue from showboat sailings increased 16%, revenue from afternoon tea cruises increased by 10% and increasing the frequency of its Jazz cruise to every Friday delivered a revenue increase of 117.
The existing York model has a much smaller percentage of trade and internet sales; City Cruises will develop the brand further and allow travel agents to earn commission selling boat trips on the River Ouse.
York Boats currently employs 20 staff, led by general manager Jo Dykes and has five large passenger boats.
Dykes will oversee the company’s transition to become City Cruises York.
The sightseeing cruises will run from two boarding points along the River Ouse, King’s Staith and Lendal Bridge, and will grow to offer a similar schedule to London.
The new cruising options will include the early evening Sundowner as well as Lunch and Dinner Cruises.
York will also operate the Sail with Santa Cruise and Christmas Night Cruises throughout the festive season.
Kyle Haughton, managing director, said: “Our objective is to grow the business beyond London and the new acquisition is a step towards achieving this.
“There are significant opportunities to work with the trade in York and the success we’ve had packaging attractions with cruises is something we want to develop there too.
“We’re increasingly seeing the inbound market expanding into regions outside the capital and we believe that our brand and business model will enhances the traditional boat operator business in York.”