Think river cruises are just for retirees? Think again. Uniworld cruises for young adults are here to revolutionize the way millennials experience Europe.
U River Cruises by Uniworld offers week-long cruises for young adults along Europe’s riverways. Their itineraries are made specifically for a younger audience and include fun theme nights in stylish lounges, active day excursions like hiking and biking, and nightly pub crawls in Europe’s hottest bars.
Read on to find out more about these new Uniworld cruises for young adults.
U By Uniworld River Cruises for Young People
In an effort to appeal to the next generation of river cruisers, Uniworld created a new addition to their river cruise line, U by Uniworld. The aim was to attract active millennials who were interested in exploring Europe to its fullest.
Uniworld refitted and completely renovated two of their older ships (called the River Baroness and the River Ambassador) and gave them both a sleek, contemporary new look inside and out. Painted black with trendy, brightly colored furniture and modern art inside, both ships got a new name with their new look: The A and The B.
U by Uniworld debuted in October 2017. The A offered week-long expeditions along the Danube, Main, and Rhine, while The B offered roundtrip routes from Paris along the Seine.
Functioning as a kind of aquatic hostel, the vibe aboard was much more casual than ordinary river cruises. The crew wore regular clothes and nautical terms were replaced with everyday jargon in order to make first-time cruisers feel right at home.
DJ booths and lounges featured nightly social activities like a welcome party, rooftop cocktail hour, game nights, and live music. Daytime excursions didn’t start until later in the day. Meals were served buffet style and dining areas featured large communal tables to encourage passengers to get to know each other.
An age limit of 21-45 years was originally in place, but Uniworld removed that restriction in early 2018, welcoming passengers of all ages whether they were young or young at heart.
U River Cruises
Then, in 2019, U by Uniworld went through another major transition. They wanted to further distinguish themselves from the Uniworld associated with an older crowd, so they were renamed U River Cruises and announced two summertime theme cruises aboard The A in August of that year. The B joined The A in Central Europe in 2020. Now The A and The B offer week-long cruises between May and October. The A departs from Amsterdam or Frankfurt, while the B sails from Vienna.
Nowadays, U River Cruises is one of the few cruise companies for young adults. Even though age restrictions have gone, there are a lot of ways U River Cruises is distinct from other Uniworld offerings.
U River Cruises Tours and Activities
Daily excursions on these Uniworld cruises for young adults are more active and immersive. Bike tours, culinary classes, pub crawls, tastings, and the like replace typical walking tours, and modern tech like QuietVox devices are used so you can hear your guide. Excursions also offer some degree of flexibility, so travelers don’t need to feel tethered to the ship or limited by excursion schedules.
Some tours are included in the cost of your ticket, but many come at an additional cost. Complimentary bikes are available for travelers who are keen to do some of their own exploring.
U River Cruises Ships
The A and The B are outfitted to appeal to a social, active crowd. Each one can hold a maximum of 120 passengers and consists of 4 cabin types: studios, balconies, studio triples, and suites.
During the day while the ship is sailing, passengers can take part in fun daytime activities like wine and painting, mixology classes, and yoga, or just sit back and relax in the ship’s many lounges and decks. There’s also a gym and a spa on board.
Meals are served in the ship’s only restaurant, a large dining room called The Dine. Breakfast or brunch is served buffet style and lasts well into the afternoon. Dinners are served buffet style or family style, with large platters of various dishes brought out to share at your table. Local dishes as well as international favorites are offered, and dietary accommodations can be made.
Breakfast and dinner are covered in the cost of your ticket, but since most of your afternoons will be spent off-ship, lunch is not included. However, small snacks can be purchased. Dinner is usually followed by a walk to a nearby pub or bar. There are also nightly events like parties and silent discos held on board.
The U Lounge is the main bar where you can get beer, wine, and craft cocktails, and is where most of the DJ events are held. On the Sun Deck, you’ll find lots of comfortable seating and the stylish Ice Bar. Because of noise ordinances, not many parties are held on the sundeck, but it’s a nice area to gather and socialize with other passengers in the fresh evening air.
U River Cruise Cabins
The cabins are small but well laid out, and come with Uniworld’s signature Savoir beds and plush, cozy blankets. There are outlets everywhere, Bluetooth-enabled speaker systems, climate controls, and a surprising amount of storage space.
All cabins are designed to accommodate at least two people. If you’re traveling alone you can take advantage of the U River Cruise room share program for solo travelers, but be forewarned that the beds are really close together and can’t be moved, and you won’t meet your roommate until the first day of the cruise.
There isn’t much difference between the Studio and Balcony cabins, other than the Balcony cabins feature a French balcony to open the space up a bit. Both come with twin beds, a small but attractive bathroom, a TV, and a window.
Triple studio rooms feature 3 pod-style beds that come with privacy screens, a picture window, and a bathroom. Each pod has its own storage space, outlets, USB ports, headphone jacks, and mini TV.
Finally, each ship has 4 suites that come with a large French balcony, a separate sitting area and workspace, and a large bathroom with a heated towel rack. Guests who book a suite will also enjoy an in-room espresso machine, a complimentary mini-bar, and complimentary laundry services.
Uniworld Cruises for Young Adults Cost
So, how much are these Uniworld river cruises for millennials? Most younger travelers don’t consider river cruises due to their high cost, but U River Cruises has more affordable tickets compared to Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and other cruise lines.
River cruises on The B start at $3300 for a balcony cabin and $5300 for a suite. The itinerary will take passengers from Belgrade, Serbia into Hungary and Slovakia before arriving in Vienna. The A cruises are similarly priced, with the exception of some weeks in June and September, when balcony cabins can cost as much as $3500 and suites up to $5500. The A cruises traverse the Netherlands before crossing into Belgium. Passengers will disembark in Brussels.
Included in the cost of your ticket are breakfast and dinner; complimentary coffee, tea and water, plus juice at breakfast; gratuities; one excursion at every port; bike use; wellness classes; and Wi-Fi.
U River Cruises’ price point might be its only downside. Tickets certainly aren’t cheap and don’t include the cost of airfare, which is probably why most passengers are slightly older (early-30s to mid-40s) than U River Cruises’ target demographic.
However, U River Cruises is still a young brand. The pandemic put a stop to operations shortly after the relaunch, before they had a chance to really get off the ground. We can’t wait to see how Uniworld’s cruises for young adults develop in the coming years.
Would you take a U River Cruise? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re interested in more traditional river cruises, we have plenty of other articles like Viking vs. AmaWaterways, AmaWaterways or Avalon, Uniworld vs. Avalon, and Uniworld vs. Tauck. Or, consider talking to a river cruise specialist, who can help you find the perfect cruise line and itinerary for you.
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central American, South America and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.