A cruise for Generation Z? That’s the plan at one line

Aug 12, 2020

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Big news, Generation Z members: You now have your very own cruises.

River line U by Uniworld this week announced plans for the cruise industry’s first Generation Z-focused sailings to start in 2021.

The seven-night trips, to take place on European rivers, will be specifically aimed at teens and their parents with special activities such as onboard karaoke contests, foosball tournaments, camping on ship rooftops and trivia nights.

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Generation Z is made up of today’s teenagers plus people in their young 20s.

U by Uniworld also said it would launch its first foodie-themed cruise.

“We’re introducing these unconventional experiences that align with our traveller’s playful and adventurous energy and will bring even more value to our sailings than before”, U by Uniworld president and CEO Ellen Bettridge said in a statement.

U by Uniworld’s new Generation Z-focused sailings will kick off in 10 July 2021 in Amsterdam with a seven-night sailing around the Netherlands and Belgium. Other itineraries will follow the Rhine southward from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, Germany, and the Danube through Germany and Austria.

(Photo courtesy of U by Uniworld)
U by Uniworld vessels have sleek, matte black exteriors. (Photo courtesy of U by Uniworld)

To be called GenZ On U, the program will include six sailings in all for 2021. The trips will take place on the line’s two vessels, The A and The B. Each holds 120 passengers.

U by Uniword said teens will have a designated lounge on board the vessels to hang out. Additional onboard activities will include projector movie nights on ship rooftops and onboard pretzel demonstrations.

During port stops, excursion options will include family-focused activities such as a culture and food bike tour through the neighbourhoods of Antwerp, Belgium; kayaking through the canals of Ghent, Belgium; and yoga in Austria’s vineyard-lined Wachau Valley.

Unveiled in 2018 by longtime river cruise operator Uniworld, U by Uniworld has built its business around drawing a younger crowd than is typical for river cruising, particularly millennials.

U by Uniworld’s ships boast sleek, matte black exteriors; onboard mixologists and DJs; deck-top yoga; and communal tables for dining. Accommodations include studio bedrooms, some of which hold up to three people.

In 2019, its second year in operation, the line targeted millennials with such theme sailings as drag queen cruises and tattoo fan cruises. U by Uniworld hasn’t been operating this year due to the coronavirus pandemic but is hoping to restart operations later this year.

(Photo courtesy U by Uniworld)
A communal table for dining on a U by Uniworld ship. (Photo courtesy U by Uniworld)

Initially, U by Uniworld focused its marketing almost exclusively on millennials, the segment of the population currently in their 20s and 30s. When it launched, it only was open to passengers under the age of 45. But the line has since relaxed that age limit and draws nonmillennials, too.

U by Uniworld is one of two new cruise lines that are aggressively targeting a younger crowd. Startup brand Virgin Voyages also is going after a younger demographic with everything from tattoo parlours on its first ship, Scarlet Lady, to drag-queen brunches and a colourful karaoke lounge.

Scarlet Lady had been scheduled to begin sailings out of PortMiami in March, but the line’s inaugural voyages have been postponed until October due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlike U by Uniworld, Virgin Voyages is not allowing younger children on board. To ensure a proper party vibe, it’ll be a kid-free travel zone, with a minimum age to sail of 18.

Related: The 8 most exciting new cruise ships of the year 

U by Uniworld this week also announced that its ships would be more all-inclusive for 2021. Beer and wine will be included with lunch and dinner for the first time. So will airport transfers to and from ships.

U by Uniworld already includes meals, excursions, Wi-Fi and gratuities in its base fare.

Fares for 2021 sailings will start at $2,799 per person, based on double occupancy.

Featured image courtesy of U by Uniworld

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