October 10, 2017
(11:40 a.m. EDT) -- The first cruise line for 21 to 45 years olds, U by Uniworld, launched over the weekend with its maiden cruise along Paris’ Seine River on October 7.
During the sailing, Uniworld's President & CEO, Ellen Bettridge, revealed the line's expansion plans with the launch of two more river ships -- one dedicated to sailings on the Mekong River in Asia. Plans for the fourth ship will be revealed in the future, the line said, with no launch dates confirmed at this time.
Bettridge said: "There has been such tremendous interest for The B and The A and we’re excited to bring this innovative concept to more destinations."
Passengers on the special preview of The B included top influencers with a combined reach of nearly 10 million, as well as lifestyle media, travel agents and contest winners.
Inaugural events included a drum circle creating a spiritual energy onboard, sabering champagne on the top deck, a dance party and a renaming ceremony where biodegradable lanterns were released to symbolise letting go of The B’s previous incarnation as Uniworld’s River Baroness. The ceremony was led by the ship’s ‘Guardian Angel’ Petra Nemcova, supermodel and philanthropist.
During the remainder of the journey, passengers will experience yoga, a silent disco, impressionist painting and wine classes, a treasure hunt at the Louvre, a secret tour of Versailles and a Paris City Roofs tour. To see photos, follow the hashtag #TravelforU on social media.
The B is the only ship on the river with an all-matte black exterior. It has two rooftop venues, a spa, mixologists, international DJs, communal tables for dining, farm-to-table cuisine, and organic BeeKind amenities in all rooms. The ship uses WhatsApp and email for internal communication with its 120 passengers, instead of the traditional paper daily itineraries on cruise ships. Bar and restaurant menus are displayed on screens. The cruise line is also creating an app, which will connect travellers before, during and after their trips together, ready to debut in March 2018 ahead of the first bookable European cruises along the Rhine, Main, Danube and Seine Rivers.
“We’re thrilled to make history with the launch of U by Uniworld and introduce a whole new generation to river cruising,” said Bettridge. “It’s very exciting to see this vision come to life and to have such influential, well-travelled young people onboard to experience it for the first time.”
--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor