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“We’re excited about the evolution of this incredible brand”: U River Cruises

“We’re excited about the evolution of this incredible brand”: U River Cruises

Monday, March 11, 2019

TORONTO — U by Uniworld is now U River Cruises and according to CEO Ellen Bettridge, the decision to take sister brand Uniworld out of the line’s name was a deliberate one.

The distinction between U and Uniworld, and the different onboard experiences each river cruise line offers, was behind the decision to drop Uniworld from the U name, says Bettridge.

“U is a very different experience from Uniworld, and we wanted the name to reflect that difference,” said Bettridge. “It’s about clarity of brand.”

She adds: “U is a distinct product designed for a new generation of river cruisers. It’s active, with a cool onboard vibe, fun nightlife and a casual crowd who enjoys farm-to-table dining as much as mountain biking. We’re excited about the evolution of this incredible brand.”

U River Cruises has had its share of u-turns since it debuted in October 2017 with The B, followed by The A in spring 2018.

Originally targeted at Millennials, with a 21 – 45 age restriction and everything from mixology classes to silent disco parties to sunrise yoga, in March 2018 the line announced it was dropping the age restriction and opening up U sailings to adults of all ages. The move was applauded by the trade, especially given the high demand for river cruise product.

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Millennials may be the most coveted demographic for future growth but Baby Boomers are still the most-travelled, with the most disposable income. And it’s the Baby Boomers who propelled river cruising from a niche product to mainstream big business seemingly overnight.

Another change came in January 2019, when the line announced that The B was ceasing operations on the Seine, with an eye to resuming sailings in 2020 with new itineraries in Central Europe.

In 2020 The B will sail from Brussels to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Frankfurt, while The A will sail from Nuremberg to Vienna and Vienna to Belgrade.

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