Published on Thursday, October 11, 2007

Virgin Holidays expands cruise business with Fast Track Holidays takeover

Virgin Holidays has acquired cruise specialist Fast Track Holidays for an undisclosed sum.

The operator expects to take at least 10% cruise market share over the next 24 months as a result of the acquisition.

The purchase follows a successful year for the Virgin Holidays cruise programme, and a consequent strategic decision to expedite the company’s growth in the cruise market, a statement said. 

Established in 2000, Fast Track offers a range of cruises both from the UK and from various ports worldwide.  The company will continue to operate from its headquarters in Swindon, where it employs 80 staff, but will trade as part of Virgin Holidays with its name changing later in the year. 

The cruise range will be offered predominantly in a dynamically packaged format, according to Virgin Holidays.  

Stewart Baird, sales and operations Director at Virgin Holidays, and Fast Track managing director Robin Deller will oversee the integration of Fast Track Holidays into the group. Deller will stay with the company as managing director of Virgin Holidays’ cruise offering.

Managing director Amanda Wills said: “We have seen impressive and consistent growth in our cruise programme, and have been assessing companies in the sector that would be suitable for integration into our business. 

“Fast Track fitted our criteria, particularly in terms of its level of specialisation and standing within the cruise sector.  We look forward to bringing this proposition to our Customers and adding the “Virgin touches” to the cruising choices available to them”

by Phil Davies 



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