Although their names — The A and The B — couldn’t be more generic, these brainchild river cruise vessels of U by Uniworld couldn’t be more robust. With the introduction of these two vessels, parent company Uniworld has initiated a foray into the upward potential of river cruising specifically geared for millennials.
This growing demographic has demonstrated that they expect more than creative cuisine, destinations, luxury, and entertainment. They want an engaging cruise experience … and they are not alone. Due to an unexpected response, the company’s initial approach directed at a defined age bracket has morphed into a more age-inclusive objective.
Millennial River Cruises
I unashamedly admit that I’ve graduated from that group of under 40s (and 50s) and openly embrace the George Bernard Shaw quote, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Calling on Uniworld’s undisputed profile as a premier river cruise operation, this strategic vision tinkers with the requisite components for upscale cruising, replacing traditional opulence with a hip ambiance and out-of-the-box thinking.
Shoving the traditional playbook aside, these vessels sport a strikingly distinct black exterior and an unabashed sleek and chic interior decor. The aesthetic design goes far beyond contemporary and delves into an artsy Miami/South Beach vibe. A quirky polish tweaked with inventive modernity results in a bold challenge to stereotypical river cruising. Of course, you have a gym, a spa, and a small shop as well, but visualize the hotel manager in a black hoodie with all staff in fitted black T-shirts and the stage is set for something veering off-piste. Wi-Fi is not only complimentary but encouraged as announcements and the daily program are posted on WhatsApp, with guests mingling instinctively while tethered to their smartphones.
The focus on this fresh approach carries over to dining, with set breakfast and lunch times being replaced by an open seating brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The extended hours of the buffet-style presentation allow bleary-eyed, late-night revelers to sleep in without missing out on an abundant display of delectables. Dinners reflecting a regional new age twist are served in the animated bistro-influenced dining room, with menus displayed on overhead monitors.
River-view or balconied suites, although cozy in size, proffer sufficient elegance, while the curiously contrived triple rooms provide further evidence of a playful appeal aimed at the free-spirited segment of cruise travelers. The indoor lounge serves as a convivial rendezvous for cocktails and late-night socializing while the outside upper deck’s trendy Ice Bar is an epic spot for nighttime chilling under the stars.
The A List
The ever-evolving itineraries of The A sail comprehensive journeys along varying segments of the stimulating Danube, Elbe, and Rhine rivers. Grasping an opportunity to experience the colorful….
By Steve Leland
Photo: U by Uniworld