It’s been nearly a week since disembarking from the inaugural U by Uniworld cruise through France, but I’m still feeling lucky for having had the chance to be a part of travel history.

In case you haven’t heard, U by Uniworld is a new brand launched by The Travel Corporation (TTC) that’s dedicated to introducing a whole generation of younger travellers to the joys of river cruising in Europe. Yep, cruising ain’t just for older folks anymore!

Whilst onboard the 4-night cruise along the Seine in France, KarryOn got to sit down with Brett Tollman, CEO of TTC, to talk about this total game changer of a product that’s aimed at the 21 to 45-yeard old demographic – basically your millennials.

READ the first ever review of the inaugural sailing here.


Brett Tollman, TTC Chief Executive Officer.

Why did you decide to launch this product?

The first reason is that we did a survey about a year ago with our Contiki guests on whether young people would be interested in doing a river cruise. And 96 percent said yes.

The second reason is that I’m a strong believer that travelling in this way is a wonderful way to see the world. You only have to unpack once, you get to sail through incredible scenery seamlessly and effortlessly from one destination to another, being that the cities of Europe were all built around rivers.

So basically there were two reasons: young people were obviously interested in it and there was an opportunity to cater to this market; and we know that river cruising is an incredible way to have a holiday through our cruises with Uniworld.


L to R: Ellen Bettridge, Uniworld Chief Executive Officer with Brett Tollman, TTC Chief Executive Officer.

What have you changed from what a Uniworld traditional cruise would be like to what you have now?

Everything! We have later starts in the morning. We have different entertainment onboard, such as DJs and silent discos. The experiences on-shore are different too.

For example we’ve got mountain climbing, bungee jumping, kayaking. We’ve changed out menus too, with vegan and gluten free options now available to our guests.

But despite all of these changes, I think that regardless of whether you’re 21 or 70, the overall experience in what you’re looking for in a holiday is the same: you want good quality, great service, and the ability to customise the experience to what you want.


Executive team on the rooftop of The B.

How do you hope to overcome the association that cruise holidays have with younger travellers?

It’s never easy, obviously. We work very closely with travel agents around the world, and the more of them we can get onboard to see and experience what’s it’s like – and the more they tell their clients about their experiences – the better.

We also believe in transparency and getting feedback from our guests and using that feedback to improve our products.

It’s a long road when you build a new brand in any industry, and it takes time to prove yourself. But we’re confident in U by Uniworld and it’s ability to meet the needs and expectations of millennials.

*U by Uniworld will begin sailing in April 2018. And we’re totally excited!

READ: Why U by Uniworld is a total game changer for millennials

READ: U by Uniworld’s ship receives a guardian angel

READ: U by Uniworld launches in Sydney with a night in Europe

Are you looking forward to sending your millennial clients to Europe with U by Uniworld?