A rethink of the meaning of the word “millennial” prompted U by Uniworld to open up the product up to older travellers.
When Uniworld first announced the innovative and hip new offering last year, it was strictly aimed at millennials – or travellers aged between 21 and 45.
Speaking to KarryOn about why the change came about, managing director Fiona Dalton explained that the term “millennial” doesn’t necessarily refer to a demographic but a “psychographic”.
“We’ve had a lot of people contact us who are 46, 47 and 48 who are saying that they have a millennial mindset and that’s the kind of travel that they want to do,” she said.
“There’s only so many times you can have that conversation until you say that actually, this is the future of this experience.”
Dalton doesn’t expect the older market for the product to be huge, but it will cater to those who feel the product will suit them better than a traditional Uniworld river cruise.
Those will be the travellers lured by new features such as the silent disco, mixology classes, staying up late and sleeping in late, she explained.
The decision was made just over a week ago, at a company meeting in Germany.
“We came to realise at the end of some very constructive conversations that this wasn’t about a number, it was about a mindset,” Dalton said.
“From our perspective, we wanted to respond to that and we think the time to do that is now rather than 6 months after we set sail.”
U by Uniworld will officially take to the water on April 14, with vessel The A currently making its way to Amsterdam.
As with any new product, it takes time to gain traction in the market, Dalton stressed.
“But what we’re seeing is that as the European summer months approach, this is really starting to build momentum,” she said.
She reported a “fantastic” February in terms of sales and expected interest to grow further once the vessels are operational.
“We think with this change that we’ve made in the last week, especially as this is something that can appeal to all adult travellers over 18, well that’s very exciting for us and for the agent community,” she said.
No travellers already booked with the cruise line have been put off by the changes, Dalton added.
“We’ve been working with every single person that’s booked with us up to this point to explain the changes we made last week and I’m really excited to say that we haven’t lost a single booking as a result of these changes,” she said.
Nothing about the new U by Uniworld product or marketing strategy will change as a result of its decision to open the product up to older travellers, Dalton confirmed.
Do you like the look of the new U by Uniworld experience? Do you think Millennials will care?
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