It’s not every day that something comes along and completely revolutionizes an entire industry, but in the world of travel, today is one of those days. Cruises, particularly river cruises, have long had a reputation for catering to an older crowd. However, Uniworld is out to shake up that mindset with the launch of U by Uniworld, a Millennial-focused travel experience along the rivers of Europe, which caters to 21-45 year olds. As a child of the 80’s, I’m stoked.
U is set to launch with four itineraries in 2018, cruising to both landmark destinations and lesser-known gems, including Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, Regensburg, Frankfurt and many others. Come the holidays, U will be embarking on two additional Christmas voyages, heading to some of the best Christmas markets in Europe (yes, please!). From a first look at their website, it’s clear that U is unlike any other river cruise on the market today, and for younger travelers, that’s a good thing.
Everything from the choice of daily excursions, to the farm-to-table inspired menus, to the onboard ambiance is tailored to the interests of Millennials. What does that look like? The folks at U say you can anticipate a mix of activities that appeal to different travel personalities: the foodie, the romantic, the culture buff, the adventurer. A street art tour around Paris, biking alongside the ship as it cruises down the scenic Danube, cheese tasting in Amsterdam, and a tour through the oldest brewery in Europe caught my eye. But mainly the cheese tasting. And brews.
When I travel, finding ways to keep up with my fitness routine is always a priority, and it sounds like U thinks the same way. I’d be the first one to arrive every day for their top-deck yoga classes (the views of European landscapes certainly beat the studio wall). And the active adventures they offer, like rock climbing in Bamberg or kayaking on the Main River, speak right to me.
Hungry much? I’ll be the first to admit I don’t hold back when it comes to wining and dining on vacation, which makes U that much more appealing. It sounds like the cruise really places an emphasis on authentic meals that match your destinations, bringing on street food in Amsterdam, sourcing beer and wine from the places you visit, and offering a mix of organic and comfort food options onboard. They are even partnering with VizEat, so you can share a meal in the home of a local host (sometimes even on a rooftop deck, because, of course).
I love venturing into the unknown, but the U ship sounds just as appealing. I can get behind the craft beer sampling, mixology classes, wine and paint lessons, chef’s cooking classes, and silent discos. Oh, and Wi-Fi is included in your cruise fare, so you can bring all of your Facebook friends and Instagram peepers with you. Phew!
In keeping with tradition, sort of, as opposed to the godmothers that Uniworld names each of its ships for, U by Uniworld has given that custom the Millennial treatment. Former Victoria’s Secret model Petra Nemcova was named U’s Guardian Angel, and she will be onboard for the inaugural “sneak peek” sailing on October 7th.
The first public cruises are set to launch in April 2018, and you better believe you will find me on U at some point. As U says, “life’s too short to stay in one place.”
I say that, too. Every day can be an adventure! I’d be happy to get you started in booking one of these early cruises. You know where to find me: Uncharted@StrongTravel.com.