Saturday,  April 20, 2019  10:44 am

Uniworld's CEO explains why agents should target millennial travellers


Uniworld's CEO explains why agents should target millennial travellers
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

This article has been updated at 8:00 a.m. (Jan. 29,2019).


U by Uniworld sees the value in selling cruise product to millennial travellers.

Following a successful inaugural season, the brand is shaking things up a bit, and will be moving The B to Central Europe for the 2020 season, to accompany its sister ship, The A. New itineraries will soon follow, but the main reason for moving the ship's route has a lot to do with promoting destinations that a younger generation (the demographic U by Uniworld is after) seems to prefer, partly due to cost, but also, the experiences that lie in wait.

PAX spoke with Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, to learn more about The B's future operations in Europe, as moving to Central Europe means the ship will no longer sail down the Seine river.

Wellness on the river 

The itinerary for The A will remain as is for 2019, spending time in popular cities such as Budapest, Amsterdam, Vienna, Cologne and Frankfurt, but for 2020, U by Uniworld will add four brand new itineraries for both ships, allowing the company to bring our guests to even more Central European hot spots, like Brussels and Belgrade.

Bettridge says that there are a series of trends that remain popular for river cruising in 2019 that a younger demographic particularly enjoys:

Wellness travel: in 2019 U by Uniworld launched a dedicated wellness cruise on one of the Uniworld ships along the Ganges in India with onboard yoga classes and meditation sessions led by a yoga guru, healthy cooking classes, and more.

Active travel: Getting outside and off the ship to spend time in-destination is important to the younger cruise crowd.

U by Uniworld offers its clients the following on every itinerary:

  • Onboard fitness centres, 
  • Certified onboard wellness instructor
  • TRX training
  • Rooftop yoga classes
  • A special “travelling lite” organic menu
  • Hiking, biking, and kayaking excursions

Millennials: the secret cruise market

Forget what you've been told about "cash-strapped" millennials. While they might not be able to buy a house, they're more than happy to spend their money elsewhere, and that includes on luxury, one-of-a-kind vacation experiences, such as river cruising.

"The millennial generation is growing into an age where they have more demanding positions at work, they are starting families, and they have less time to plan their own travel," Bettridge revealed. "They are increasingly looking to travel advisors for the convenience and expertise they provide in planning the unique, authentic experiences that this age group is looking for."

Social media is one of the best ways to connect with the younger cruise crowd. Bettridge says travel advisors who are fully available via email, Instagram and Facebook have a better shot at securing the business of younger travellers because "the conversation with younger cruisers needs to start virtually."

"The rivers that run through Central Europe allow us to bring our U by Uniworld guests to a variety of lesser-known destinations that provide culturally immersive experiences," Bettridge said. "Our itineraries in Central Europe allow travellers to visit multiple cities and countries throughout their trip with ease and convenience."

More information on The B's new itineraries will come in the following weeks.

For more information on U by Uniworld, click here



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