Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has appointed Chris Townson as its UK managing director.

He succeeds Kathryn Beadle who recently announced her retirement from the travel industry following three years in the position establishing Uniworld as the leading luxury river cruise line in the UK market.

Townson’s task will be to maintain the success Uniworld has experienced since launching as a stand-alone brand in the UK, and to continue to develop strong relationships with trade partners.

Reinforcing Uniworld’s commitment to the trade, his role will also include supporting agents to achieve the exceptional profit making opportunities available when selling luxurious all-inclusive Uniworld river cruises as well as increasing brand awareness for Uniworld within the consumer mindset.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection operates a fleet of eighteen ships across Europe, Russia, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, Egypt and India.
Townson will report in to Uniworld’s Los Angeles based chief executive Ellen Bettridge.

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She said: “Chris brings with him a wealth of experience in the river cruise industry.

“His track record in successful business growth, his brand building expertise and his robust and relevant trade relationships will all serve to maintain Uniworld’s profile as the leading luxury river cruise operator in the UK.

“He is very well placed to ensure agents have the support they need to successfully sell and market Uniworld to their clients, and we’re delighted to welcome Chris to lead our UK team.” 

Townson joins from Scenic and Emerald Waterways, where he was managing director for 13 years.

He added: “Uniworld is now well established as the gold standard in luxury river cruising and I’m looking forward to building on the success it has enjoyed since launching as a stand-alone brand.

“U by Uniworld also presents an incredibly exciting challenge.

“It is genuinely a game-changer for the industry so now is the perfect time to be joining the UK team and helping to bring the river cruise experience to a whole new market.”