U by Uniworld To Combine 2 Areas Of TravCorp Expertise

Open Jaw

Ellen Bettridge

U by Uniworld Stateroom

U by Uniworld rooftop lounge

The brainchild of Ellen Bettridge, newly installed President of Uniworld, U by Uniworld aims to deliver a double-benefit for the river cruise line: on the micro scale it’s a way to productively keep two older ships on the water, while on the macro side the goal is to open up a whole new market for river cruising.

According to Bettridge, the Uniworld “feel is young and funky while maintaining the luxury touches of Uniworld such as the marble bathrooms and deluxe Savoir of England beds."

U by Uniworld is now available for bookings, targeting 21 to 45-year-olds to experience nine European itineraries beginning in spring 2018.

“Uniworld has always strived to lead innovation in the river cruise industry and we saw a great opportunity with U by Uniworld to reach an entirely new audience,” said Bettridge.

“River cruising is the best and most comfortable way to experience all that Europe has to offer, in an affordable way, and we’re incredibly proud to create a brand that will broaden the interest in this type of experiential travel.”

Brett Tollman, Chief Executive of Uniworld parent The Travel Corporation, says the new brand combines the company’s expertise in river cruising with its long experience in youthful travel through sister brands Contiki and Busabout.

“The official sales launch of U by Uniworld reflects the unwavering determination and drive of The Travel Corporation to continue to innovate in and contribute to the travel & tourism industry. We look forward to seeing this exciting new TTC brand becoming established, successful and growing in the coming years under Ellen’s dynamic leadership.”

With a maximum capacity of 120 travellers, the first two Uby Uniworld ships – The A and The B – will be all black outside and feature a sleek, cool interior design with open communal spaces and rooftop lounges.

Uniworld says The A and The B will serve as “a fully-equipped waterfront contemporary hotel, taxi, bar, restaurant, café, nightclub and yoga studio, all in one.”

The line’s onboard programming will include Wine & Paint Classes, where passengers can sip on a glass of local wine while painting the scenery before them; Mixology Classes taught by master bartenders onboard; and Chef’s Table Cooking Classes, a tasty way to experience the culinary riches of each destination.

Uniworld says onshore experiences are designed for those with a passion for exploration and a taste for authenticity, allowing ample time for passengers to meet locals, discover restaurants and bars in each city and enjoy both independent discovery and guided excursions.

Guests will have the option to explore in one of three ways—included excursions and activities, optional “U Time” outings, or a self-guided tour of the cities. When nighttime falls, “U Hosts” will be on hand to bring guests the local hotspots and hidden gems in each city.

Experiences range from visiting a U Host’s favourite nightclub in Amsterdam to wandering along the banks of the Seine on a midnight stroll in Paris. There will be DJs onboard both ships as well as other nighttime entertainment for fun.

The A and The B offer three room categories—Studio, Balcony and Suites—all with river views. Suites featuring French balconies and a living room area are perfect for honeymooners and those celebrating a special occasion. Balcony rooms are ideal for pairs, and groups of friends travelling together can enjoy Studio rooms that can accommodate up to three passengers. Solo travellers can take advantage of single rooms or special room share rates.

Eight-day itineraries on The A start at US$1,699, including gratuities but not port charges.

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