Published on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

City Cruises buys York operator

River Thames sightseeing operator City Cruises has acquired York River Boats Cruises for £2.5 million.

The purchase will see the City Cruises brand expand from its current operations in London and Poole to 25 boats in three locations across the UK.

York Boats has five large passenger boats and 20 staff, lead by general manager Jo Dykes, who will oversee the company's transition to become City Cruises York.

City Cruises said the York business had a much smaller percentage of trade and internet sales but there are plans to develop the brand and allow travel agents to benefit from earning commission selling boat trips on the River Ouse.

City Cruises managing director Kyle Haughton 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."

The deal comes after last year's £2.4 million refurbishment of the City Alpha and the launch of the third ThamesJet boat.

City Cruises reported an overall increase in revenue of 6% in 2016-17, compared with the previous year.

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