U by Uniworld Cancels 2019 France Cruises.
By Anne Kalosh.
U by Uniworld is dropping its 2019 Seine River program on The B and will move the vessel to Central Europe in 2020, joining sister ship The A.
President and CEO Ellen Bettridge said customer demand is “overwhelmingly” for Central Europe, where travelers can experience a new city, and sometimes a new country, each day—unlike on the Seine.
And that’s really the beauty of river cruising for a generation of travelers who are new to the concept, she added.
U by Uniworld was conceived for millennials ages 18 to 40, but by the time sales opened, that was widened to 21 to 45. Then, by the time the distinctively black-hulled, 120-passenger vessels The A and The B entered service in April last year, trips were open to travelers of all ages.
U aims to stand out with youth-oriented programs like mixology classes, silent discos, “painting & wine,” drum circles and sunrise rooftop yoga. Top-deck barbecues, karaoke nights, giant board games and themed parties are other activities.
All these are included in the fare. Extras, for a fee, range from camping up on deck, complete with a nightcap cocktail and breakfast picnic basket, to wine talks and romance packages.
“As a brand, U will always stay true to its ethos as a sexy, fun, never-before-seen cruise experience, but we also want to remain open to consumer trends and feedback,” Bettridge said. “That is how brands move from concepts to success stories.”
In 2020, The B will sail between Brussels and Amsterdam, and Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The A, meanwhile, will cruise between Nuremberg and Vienna, and Vienna and Belgrade. Itinerary details are promised in the coming weeks.
This year, The B had been poised to add a second Seine itinerary, the eight-day “Northern France at a Glance” voyage with stops in Paris, Vernon, Les Andelys, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Rouen and Caudebec-en-Caux. But now this isn’t happening and The B will be out of service in 2019.
2019 fares for The A start at $1,539 for an eight-day sailing. Choices include “Rolling on the Rhine,” “Germany’s Finest,” “The Danube Flow” and “Dashing through the Danube.”
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