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Arena Travel has acquired The River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail Holidays brands, from Diamond Shortbreak Holidays after the Market Harborough-based operator ceased trading.

Diamond Shortbreak Holidays, which traded as Diamond Group Travel, had been operating holidays in the UK and Europe for 19 years but ceased trading on 15th March due to what has been reported as “financial difficulties”.

Arena Travel swoops for Diamond Group Travel brands

A further development has seen Arena Travel acquire The River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail Holidays brands. This new development means that only one of the brands – the coach tours operating as Diamond Holidays – will cease trading entirely. For the other two, the acquisition by Arena Travel means that it will be very much business as usual.

Consequently, both The River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail websites have updated their messages, seeking to reassure customers that Arena Travel will continue to offer the holiday they have booked, on the same date, at the same price and, where relevant, sailing on the same ship.

There are a number of steps to be taken to re-confirm holiday bookings with Arena and to start the process of reclaiming all the monies already paid to The River Cruise Line.

Steve Goodenough, managing director of Arena Travel said: “We’d like to reassure group leaders and loyal customers of The River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail Holidays that their bookings will be safe and that we will be working hard to minimise disruption through this period of transition.

“We appreciate that this can be a worrying time, but our intention is to retain and build the River Cruise Line and Diamond Rail brands, and to ensure that their portfolio of river cruises and escorted rail tours continues to operate to the usual high standard.

“Arena Travel has been established for over 40 years and our expertise in special interest holidays means that there is a great synergy between the brands and customers of both companies.  We look forward to an exciting future, developing business with our trade partners, group organisers and individual customers.”

Steve also commented: "The acquisition was supported by the cruise lines who operate the popular Lady Anne and Serenity ships that are exclusive to The River Cruise Line. Both will be working closely with Arena with the aim of operating the vast majority of planned sailings for 2017.

“Our aim is to provide the same rail or river cruise holiday on the same date and at the same price to as many of the 5,000 who have booked a holiday for the season ahead as possible. Thanks to the financial protection in place, customers will be covered for any loss of money.”

What should you do if you have a holiday booked?

Diamond Shortbreak Holidays was a member of ABTA and a release on the ABTA website said that all future bookings with any of the company’s brands have been cancelled and will not be going ahead.

A statement reads: “Whilst this news may be extremely upsetting for you, please be assured if your holiday is booked with Diamond Holidays, Diamond Rail Holidays and The River Cruise Line, we are here to help you to navigate through the process of recovering your money, and/or rebooking your travel arrangements.”

If you made your booking through a travel agent – not directly with Diamond Shortbreak Holidays – then you will need to contact your agent for advice and guidance.

If your holiday included a flight, you need to contact the CAA directly to make a claim for your holiday booking by visiting www.caa.co.uk.

If you have booked another type of holiday with Diamond Shortbreak Holidays Ltd, you can contact ABTA at www.abta.com/diamond for more information.