By Fran Golden
Floating down the Danube has never been a millennial’s dream vacation … until now.
The standard river cruise goes something like this: You’re on a convivial ship with fewer than 200 passengers seeing the sights of inland Europe while enjoying nice digs, good food, organized group tours, wine and beer with meals, and free Wi-Fi. Much is preplanned and prepaid. All good, if you’re happy to travel at a slow pace with the senior set.
That relaxed river-cruising model is headed out the porthole, though. New on the scene are bold new adventure-themed itineraries: guided runs through Amsterdam, biking around Bavarian castles, dancing to celebrity DJs, and kayaking down the Seine. As for the nice digs, good food, and copious wine and beer? They’re staying put, of course.
Leading the charge is U by Uniworld, which makes its debut next year with Danube and Rhine itineraries that go heavy on adventure.
“If I had a crystal ball, I would predict right now that we’re probably going to end up with people between the ages of 27 and 35,” says Ellen Bettridge, chief executive officer of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Inc. Her argument: visiting four countries in one week is the perfect lure for young professionals who are hungry to see the world. “They are seeking that vacation to have an opportunity to hang out with new people, new cultures.”
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