U by Uniworld confident millennial-only cruises will be a success

U by Uniworld confident millennial-only cruises will be a success

Uniworld has urged British travel agents to sell its U by Uniworld sailings after admitting bookings were “light” in the UK.

Ellen Bettridge, president and chief executive of Uniworld, revealed to nearly 300 delegates at Clia’s River Cruise Conference in Amsterdam how detailed research had persuaded the luxury cruise line to target the millennial cruise passenger.

Passengers, aged between 21 and 45, will have an onboard brunch from 9.30am rather than have an early breakfast from 7am following U by Uniworld research into how millennials eat.

The vessels, called The A and The B, have a capacity of 120 passengers and feature a “sleek” interior design with open communal spaces and rooftop lounges.

Other features include a gym, rooftop yoga classes as well as a large fleet of bicycles for passengers to use.

She said: “I think that the word has just got out about the product. I think this is an incredible opportunity. Bookings have been light [from the UK].

“I think there are lot of people watching us and seeing if this is going to work or if it is not going to work.

“I have got two ships doing this and to make this work I need 7,000 passengers next year which is not that many, so I think this is going to be pretty easy to make this a success.”

After her keynote speech she told Travel Weekly she was “not surprised” that UK bookings were slow.

She added: “Things are just getting started, so I am not surprised that they are light. We are rocking and rolling now.”

Uniworld last week announced that it had taken eight of its U by Uniworld sailings off general sale and will offer places to agents of all ages to inform them about the product.

“The biggest question I have had is ‘I need to see this product, I need to understand this product to sell it’,” Bettridge said, adding: “Last week we opened up these eight sailings to agents, so take your chance and go for it.”

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