These are exciting times for Uniworld. In addition to exciting promotions and ship renovations, the company has been making headlines around the world for launching the industry’s very first river cruise line for millennials. Called U by Uniworld, the new venture is designed exclusively for 21-45-year-olds, is comprised of two innovative ships called The B and The A, and will sail Europe’s top rivers this year. We sat down with Michelle Palma, Vice President, Field Sales – North America of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection to talk about U by Uniworld, how sales are going, and what else we can expect from the company in 2018.
1. Have there been any last-minute updates to The B and The A since the company announced the new cruise line last year? What kind of preparations are being done ahead of their inaugural sailings?
The full renovations on U by Uniworld’s The B ship took place last year as she had her first sailing in the fall of 2017. It is now time for U by Uniworld’s The A ship to make her debut in Amsterdam in just a few short weeks. The excitement is building as the finishing touches are made to the décor onboard!
2. How have bookings been? And which itinerary is proving to be the most popular so far?
The response from our trade partners has been overwhelming with so much excitement surrounding U by Uniworld – a new, fun, innovative concept in river cruising. A few months ago, we introduced our new UToo departures that saw us waive the age restriction on eight sailings and open it up exclusively to our trade partners to sell, and that’s when we saw a significant spike in business. On these eight departures, we invited our travel agent partners to experience it first hand with incredible TA rates as well as a special offer to bring their clients, friends and family with them as well. The itineraries on the A have proven to be the most popular so far.
3. A third ship has been announced for Asia. Is there a launch date and/or ship name yet? And how will this ship AND itineraries differ from Europe ones?
We don’t have any details on a third ship as of yet, but we are definitely exploring new opportunities!
4. U by Uniworld was recently featured on ABC’s hit reality show ‘The Bachelor’. Did you notice any uptick in web activity/bookings immediately after?
We were thrilled to be featured on The Bachelor, which has a tremendous following across North America. The show featured incredible coverage of The B during her time in Paris, which delivered a solid boost in sales. We leveraged the opportunity to share the show with our agency partners by hosting ‘Bachelor Viewing’ parties across North America to watch the episode live. The coverage garnered from the show has enabled us to introduce this new brand to an entirely new audience and we have now introduced a new package that can be pre-booked for guests called ‘U Get the Rose Romance Package’ that includes a bottle of rose (or other red wine) in stateroom at check-in, a romantic rose-petal turn down service, breakfast in bed, an exclusive night experience for two at the Eiffel Tower, a romantic movie on the Roof Deck and one night of camping on the Roof Deck, under the starts in a cozy tent for two.
5. Aside from U by Uniworld, what else is new with Uniworld in 2018?
Due to popular demand, we’ve extended our ‘Our Best Offer Ever’ campaign until March 31, 2018 where clients can save between $1,520 to $12,720 per couple on select 2018 Europe and Russia voyages. This is a fantastic offer for clients to finally sail some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers that cannot be missed!
For clients who’ve always wanted to explore India, we’re also offering up to $3,000 off select 2018 departures on our ‘India’s Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges’ voyage – until March 31, 2018. Clients can delve deep into India’s vibrant culture with visits to legendary landmarks, religious sites and small villages lining the Ganges that few get to travel to each year on an unforgettable experience made possible only by a Uniworld voyage and land excursion.
Finally, we are excited to launch our newest Super Ship, the S.S. Beatrice, this spring! Once the River Beatrice, we’ve made an extensive bow-to-stern renovation. She will debut a fresh, sleek look with a graceful bow, redesigned lounge and an elegant grand staircase. Additional dining venues will include a private space to replace the Captain’s Lounge and Library. Two new Royal Suites measuring 375 square feet and an additional Owner’s Suite have been created. We’ll also be adding several connecting rooms, which are ideal for families traveling together.
For more information go to uniworld.com.