River cruise line Uniworld has just done what was previously unthinkable, launching a new brand for people aged 21 to 45 — U by Uniworld — in a space previously dominated by retirees and empty nesters.
U by Uniworld will begin sailing Europe cruises in April 2018, with two ships on the Rhine, Main, Danube, and Seine rivers. The line has also announced plans for a third ship that will sail on the Mekong, as well as a fourth that will be announced in the future.
This isn't your grandmother's cruise: The ships (renovated 120-passenger vessels from the fleet which have been renamed The A and The B) will have open spaces, a rooftop bar and lounge, a coffee bar, and a gym. Onboard entertainment will be rethought, too: passengers can take mixology classes, wine and painting classes, and cooking classes, and dance to the DJ's music at the disco.
Overnight stops will be added, so instead of an early bedtime, cruisers can expect guides to take them to hotspots on land, whether it’s to a club in Amsterdam or on a midnight stroll through nightlife districts in Paris. And if you're worried this will force you to have a late start in the morning, don't worry: the next day’s excursions start later than a normal river cruise, so passengers can sleep in before the next adventure.
Excursions range from low-key (think: shopping in local markets in Rouen with the ship's chef or biking to WWII sites in Nuremburg) to high- adrenaline rushes: white-water rafting or rock climbing, for example. Passengers can also create their own cocktail with a master distiller in Amsterdam.
This is the first attempt by a river cruise line to offer cruises solely to younger passengers (though families now have options thanks to a Disney partnership with AmaWaterways). To appeal to the younger audience, the price is considerably less than Uniworld’s cruises. A seven-day Seine cruise can run up to $3,500, while prices for U by Uniworld’s eight-day cruises on the Rhine, Main, and Danube start at $1,699 per person and cruises on the Seine start at $1,999. The price includes excursions, gratuities, and food (except lunch, something offered on all other river ships) but doesn’t include port charges or drinks. The line is also offering studio rooms that can accommodate up to three passengers as well as solo rooms, and special room share rates will be offered.