Arrivals & Departures Craft beer, yoga and vegan food: New river cruises for younger travellers

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

A silent disco, mixology classes, and — of course — free wi-fi are among the amenities on European voyages from Uniworld's new river cruises for travellers aged 21 to 45.

Australians have taken to the "unpack-once" convenience of river cruising in ever-increasing numbers in recent years, and now Uniworld is aiming to bring river voyages to a younger audience with its new U by Uniworld brand.

Aimed at travellers aged 21 to 45, the brand will start off with two ships, dubbed the A and the B. Each will have communal spaces and rooftop lounges, and are described as "a fully equipped waterfront contemporary hotel, taxi, bar, restaurant, cafe, nightclub and yoga studio, all in one".

The three room categories — Studio, Balcony and Suites — will all have river views. Suites will have French balconies and a living room area, while the Studios will accommodate up to three people. There are single rooms and special room share rates for solo travellers. 

On board, there will be Wine and Paint classes, combining a glass of local wine with painting the scenery, along with mixology, cooking and yoga sessions. There'll also be a silent disco, free morning yoga, food including vegetarian, vegan and healthy choices, and drinks including craft beers and cocktails.

Passengers will have a number of options for exploring on shore, among them included guided excursions and activities such as an evening bike ride along the Danube, a canal cruise in Amsterdam, vineyard hikes, castle visits and so on. 

There's also the ability to explore independently, and to join optional "U Time" outings ranging from rock climbing in Switzerland to cheese tasting in the Netherlands to a street-art walking tour in Paris. In the evenings, there are outings with "U Hosts", such as a night out in Amsterdam.

Bookings are open for the brand's first European itineraries, which begin in April 2018. They'll include four eight-day itineraries on the Rhine, Main, Danube and Seine rivers, along with three Super Cruise options combining two or more itineraries into a longer journey, plus two five-day holiday cruises for Christmas and New Year.

Among the options are an eight-day Rolling on the Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, which visits Haarlem, Cologne, Bonn, Koblenz and Rudesheim, and an eight-day Seine Experience, which cruises round-trip from Paris to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Rouen, Honfleur and Vernon. 

The A will cruise on Rhine, Main and Danube, with prices for an eight-night voyage from $2499 per person twin share. The B will cruise on the Seine, with prices from $2999.   

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