A NEW business offering "ultra-luxury" cruises is set to open in the borough.

Panache Cruises, created by travel entrepreneur James Cole, aims to become one of the UK’s leading distributors of the affluent experiences.

The new firm will specialise in elite ocean, river, expedition, and yacht-style cruising, and is hoping to partner with operators known for premium voyages.

Mr Cole, who was born and lives in Bolton, has over 20 years of experience in the cruising industry, selling over £1 billion of sea-faring holidays in his career.

He said: “After taking some time out of the industry, I decided that cruise is where my passion lies, and working in the travel industry is where I am happiest.

“Obviously the sector has been significantly impacted by covid-19 and if I can help, in some small way, get it back on its feet when the market returns with the launch of Panache Cruises, I will be happy with that.

"Our recruitment strategy will also look to focus on employing those that have been displaced by other travel companies.”

Dozens of jobs are expected to be created over the coming years once the firm launches in the summer. Panache Cruises has already appointed Priority Recruitment, based in Manchester, to fill all its vacancies, initially looking to hire up to 20 staff.

Positions currently being recruited for cover product development, web development, human resources, customer service, social media, content and sales.

The firm aims to give customers the best experience in the industry with unique customer engagement, stellar customer service and offering inspirational and exhilarating bespoke holidays.

Mr Cole, a former pupil of Parklands High School in Chorley and Runshaw College in Leyland, has held major creative roles at some of the UK's largest cruise brands, including Cruise118, Six Star Cruises and River Voyages.

He added: “The spirit of Panache Cruises will be all about its people – we fundamentally believe that it will be the team at Panache Cruises that will differentiate us as a business and drive our success.

"Our ambition is to ensure we drive a culture that feels excited and motivated by the company’s progression and the career opportunities available, whilst operating in an environment in which they feel valued and engaged.

“In order to establish a highly energised and motivated team from the outset, we will be offering competitive base salaries, incredible commission schemes and eventually a highly rewarding bonus scheme.

"Not only that, but we will send our people around the word on cruise familiarisation trips, provide generous travel discounts and concessions, and all the other important benefits, such as pensions and support hubs."