European river cruising has been one of
the fastest-growing travel niches in recent years, and Uniworld was
at the front of the pack in introducing the style of travel to the
U.S. market. Today's Uniworld, now a part of the Travel Corp., is
aiming some of its river cruise programs at another hot travel
trend: family travel.
read these days talks about family travel as a growth segment,"
said Guy Young, president of Uniworld. "The cruise lines have been
targeting family travel for a long time. In the last few years,
tour operators are jumping into the market. But nobody in river
cruising is doing it. We're just addressing a segment of the
industry we were not serving up to now."
series is called the Grand River Family Program, and it is being
launched with two itineraries designed to accommodate the needs of
young travelers as well as to help adults travel more comfortably
and enjoyably with children.
"We have had
families traveling with us, but we didn't cater to them," said
Young. "We want to make sure we're not alienating our core market,
so we're offering the family itineraries only on select
will have special game rooms, onboard activities and shore
excursions. The excursions will be tailored
to cater to the interests of the diverse age groups in
itineraries also introduce a special pricing program, with all
meals and entertainment onboard and shore excursions included in
the rate. The company is launching the program with two
Castles Along the
Rhine Grand River Cruise is a nine-day trip between Amsterdam and
Basel, Switzerland. Besides enjoying the landscapes and cityscapes
unfolding along the riverside, parents will have the opportunity to
show their children castles like the ones that inspired the design
of Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle.
The trip includes
a mini-train ride to Siegfried's Mechanical Museum, which houses
one of the largest collection of self-playing musical
There is also a
trip to the Speyer Technical Museum, home to a walk-in Boeing 747,
a U9 German submarine and plenty of fire engines, locomotives,
airplanes and helicopters.
The second of the
family itineraries is a nine-day Paris and Normandy Grand River
Cruise. The cruise sails the Seine from Paris through the
countryside of northern France to the beaches of Normandy and back
The trip includes
guided tours through Auvers Sur Oise, Honfleur, Rouen and Giverny
during which historical references are made to Van Gogh, Cezanne,
Monet and others.
includes a tour of the beaches of Normandy, where the D-Day
invasion took place during World War II. Other highlights include
an onboard Van Gogh painting workshop and a hike to the stronghold
of Richard the Lionheart, Chateau Gaillard.
itineraries include a number of onboard activities designed for
families, such as tours of the ships, meeting the captain, dessert
cooking demonstrations and language classes.
The cruise price
for either itinerary is $1,898 per person, double. Guests ages 8 to
18 pay half when accompanied by an adult.
For more on the
cruise line, visit www.uniworld.com.
To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].