Cunard and P&O Cruises are to operate two separate sales team in a move to “strengthen links with the travel trade and solidify brand distinction”.
As part of the change, due to take place by next summer, a new UK sales director will be appointed for Cunard, while there will also be a “significantly”sized increase to the lines’ overall sales team headcount.
Carnival confirmed that all roles within the existing joint organisation will assume responsibility for P&O Cruises with the exclusion of those dedicated to Cunard.
The current sales force will remain under the leadership of Alex White, Carnival UK’s vice-president of sales until the structural changes are finalised by the middle of 2018.
At that time, White will take up the role of vice-president of sales and distribution for P&O Cruises – reporting into its senior vice-president Paul Ludlow.
A new sales team will be created for Cunard led by David Rousham, who is currently the line’s international development vice-president.
Rousham will assume the expanded role of vice-president of UK sales and international development for Cunard, and will continue to report senior vice-president Simon Palethorpe.
In a letter to agents, White said: “Since establishing our new multi-brand sales team in 2016, together we have enjoyed two record sales years for our brands.
“P&O Cruises will welcome the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market to its fleet in 2020.
“As we enter this period of unprecedented growth it is critical that we recognise the distinct requirements and nature of each brand and offer an appropriate level of individual support to each of our agent partners who will continue to play a vital role for our brands.
“It is for this reason that we are announcing the introduction of individual sales teams for Cunard and P&O Cruises, which collectively represents a significant increase in dedicated resource.”
Rousham added: “This is an evolution of the sales organisation and underpins the need for distinct sales requirements for each of the two brands.
“Getting the right guest on the right brand is vital to meet future sales needs and we are committed to making further investment to meet and grow the new to cruise audience through improved support for our valued trade partners.”