They said it was going to be different. U by Uniworld, billed as the first line for millennials, has announced new itineraries featuring drag queens and a tattoo artist.
In move which appears to be designed to distance the cool brand from piano men and visits to Black Forest cake factories, U in Drag will feature Jiggly Caliente, Darienne Lake and Phi Phi O’har – who regularly feature on the top-rated US TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In what promises to be a raucous river extravaganza, there will be a karaoke night, drag makeup lessons and an exclusive bar crawl at one of the ship ports with the drag queens.
“Tattoo on U” sets sail in August with celebrity tattoo artists Steven Tefft, winner of Season 2 of the show “Ink Master;” Reese Hilburn, seen on Spike TV’s “Tattoo Nightmares Miami”; Bobby Moss and his wife, tattoo model Heather Moss; and tattoo expert Paul Gambino.
Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge said the special cruises from Frankfurt to Regensburg are just “the beginning for our themed concepts onboard U.”
“The themes coincide with everything our U brand stands for, which is encouraging our guests to completely let go, be confidently themselves and meet new like-minded travellers along the way,” she said.
As well as the chance to get inked by a celebrity, guests will be able to take a tattoo parlor crawl in one of the ports and brunch Q&As about tattooing.
The move follows Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages announcing a tattoo parlours on their new ships, to be launched next year.
Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady also features a resident drag queen.
U by Uniworld launched in 2018 with two back-painted ships, the A and B. Its original ship, the B, will be taken out of service for the 2019 season and redeployed from the Seine to more popular routes in Central Europe, which raised the question: is the line’s core brand position viable?
Age restrictions have already been dropped as Uniworld, a popular luxury cruise line, wrestled to make the idea of a super-cool river cruise brand resonate with its target demographic.
But whatever else, this latest venture certainly puts U by Uniworld in a class of its own.