Sunsail and Stardust, both owned by tour operator First Choice, are to join forces under the Sunsail banner

The world’s biggest charter holiday operation Sunsail, which has a significant share of the charter market in the US and UK, is to merge with its sister operation Stardust Yacht Charters. Stardust claims to be the European market leader. Both Sunsail and Stardust have been owned by First Choice since February 2000 and have, until now, operated as two separate organisations. This merger will be under the brand name Sunsail and will be effective from October 2001.

From the customer’s point of view the move will provide a greater choice of destinations with Cuba, Corsica, French Polynesia now being offered to Sunsail customers and Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and Canada being added to the Stardust range of destinations. The synergies between the companies will also bring, the companies say, higher levels of service and will enable each company to benefit from the other’s experience and range of products and services.

Commenting on the closer connection between Stardust and Sunsail, Andrew Howard, sales and marketing director for both companies, said: “It is a natural progression for us to bring Stardust and Sunsail closer together, we can now offer 1200 yachts in 23 countries with 39 bases. “The benefits to our customers will be considerable, as they can now see the wide range of destinations available in just one brochure. I am confident our many clients will welcome the changes and the greater number of charter options available to them as they go about choosing their next holiday.”