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August 13, 2017

In struggling market, cruise lines cater to millennials with authentic cuisine, craft beer, free Wi-Fi

Travel Millennials
cruises U by Uniworld/Facebook

Mixology classes are available onboard the U for Uniworld cruises.

Cruises have a bit of a reputation for catering to an older crowd in awe of all-inclusive meals and minimal effort to “see” a country from perhaps the most touristy perspective possible. The stereotype has been alive for about as long cruises have taken to the sea, but today Millennials are most of the blame for showing little interest in cruises.

Though high-end luxury cruises like the $20,000 around-the-world Princess Cruise has attracted young people (and surprise drug smugglers) for its Instagram-worthy destinations, the price tag alone precludes most.

As the industry struggles to appeal to younger customers, cruise lines are making new efforts to cater to the interests of Millennials. Statistically, Millennials are repeatedly reported to value experiences above other aspects of life, and it looks like more cruise lines are taking note.

One of the latest, U by Uniworld, will start its first voyages in 2018, offering different European vacations targeted specifically for passengers between the ages of 21 and 45.

“U by Uniworld is a new take on experiential travel, with cruises designed for those with a passion for exploring and a taste for authentic adventures,” the Uniworld site reads. “We at U have always believed that travel should be relaxing, exhilarating, convenient, and tailored to your interests -- all at the same time.”

What are some of the perks that come from catering to a younger crowd? Ship offerings include morning yoga, local DJs that host silent rooftop lounge discos, two bars where you can take a mixology class, craft beer samples, wine and paint nights, chef’s cooking classes, and -- perhaps the rarest of all -- free Wifi included with your ticket onboard.

U by Uniworld also seems to value authentic meals that match your destination as well.

"If your ideal vacation includes a glass (or three) of local rosé and an Instagram-worthy meal, you've come to the right place," the U by Uniworld site reads.

"Our onboard dining features fresh culinary options, made from locally sourced ingredients. Or hop off the ship and head to a famed local restaurant or local home, thanks to our VizEat partnership. Many of our excursions have a culinary theme and take you to vineyards and breweries, on bar crawls and to local cafés."

The experience also comes all the way down to how the ships are designed, mingling boutique hotel designs with yacht and resort-style features.

Right now U by Uniworld's destinations include cruises around France, Budapest, Germany, and other European areas. The first cruises start as early as April 2018 and prices begin at about $1000 per person.

No word yet if there's avocado toast on board.