While other river cruise lines simply add features designed to appeal to millennials, Uniworld has boldly staked out the millennial market with a unique new brand called U. With two ships—the A and B—each carrying a maximum of 120 passengers, the brand is aimed at reaching 21- to 45-year-olds with a combination of luxury, casual elegance, customized cuisine, entertainment and shore excursions.
To educate travel agents in the same age group as the target demographic, Uniworld launched a contest (through August 15th) to have agents compete for spots on the sneak-peek cruise sailing a Paris to Paris itinerary in October.
Agents were instructed to create and post a 30-second video to the U by Uniworld Facebook page sharing how they plan to sell U, tagging #I’mGonnaSellU to their post. Uniworld’s internal Advisory Board will vote on the final winners from entries with the most likes on Facebook; winners will be announced August 23rd.
Like all the brands and products under the Travel Corporation banner, U will reflect the taste and personalities of Tollman family members, as for example, in Toni Tollman’s ship designs and Bea Tollman’s famous chicken soup, which will show up on ship menus.
Though U cruises will undoubtedly pamper passengers such luxuries as marble bathrooms and the famed Savoir® of England beds, Uniworld President and CEO Ellen Bettridge points out that U will feature a different version of luxury from that on ships designed for older passengers. There will be no butlers and crew members such as the “U Hosts” will be hand-picked for their ability to interact well with a younger demographic.
The black and white staterooms will be chic and cool and the food will be healthier, with more vegetarian options.
Bettridge says that Uniworld was well positioned to create a brand for youthful travelers, having drawn on the expertise of sister brand Contiki.
When it comes to shore excursions and entertainment, U will shine, with curated programming tailored to various travel preferences and offering “something for everyone”–foodies, culture buffs, adventure seekers, explorers, solo travelers, romantics and night owls.
Foodies might enjoy shopping with the ship’s chef at the local market in Rouen. Adventure seekers can rock climb at 6,500 or whitewater raft—or kayak through UNESCO World Heritage Sites. History buffs may choose a guided tour of World War II sites in Nuremberg, while seekers of cultural experiences may prefer a scavenger hunt in the Louvre. In Paris, independent explorers, may arm themselves with a subway map and tickets and set out to find the wonders of the city on their own.
The key to passenger satisfaction will be “options” and flexibility, threes choice in each destination: to take the including tours; to choose instead the optional “U Time” outings; or to embark on a self-guided tour.
Evening entertainment in particular will reflect the U’s demographic. In Amsterdam, guests may visit a “U Host’s” favorite nightclub. Or groove onboard in the “Silent Disco” by donning headphones to hear one of three different songs playing at the same time. CEO Bettridge promises it will be “a lot of fun!”
And that applies not only to the disco, but also to the cruises offered by Uniworld’s new brand.
For more information, visit the U by Uniworld at https://www.ubyuniworld.com/us/.