Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is upping its advertising game with a
campaign across four television networks and a December blitz on
JetBlue for its hipper, casual sister brand, U River Cruises.
Although Uniworld last year joined the growing number of lines
following Viking into the world of television when it became the
founding corporate underwriter of "Amanpour & Company" on PBS, it
made its first foray across multiple networks last month with ads on
CNN, BBC, Smithsonian and Sundance.
CEO Ellen Bettridge said the response was incredible, and the company will renew the campaign after the holidays.
"We are going to come back strong in January, February and March," she said.
Uniworld will advertise its two U ships, The A and The B, on JetBlue
during the month of December. The ads will be on every JetBlue screen
next month, "every one of them. Millions and millions of eyeballs," she
River companies have been slowly but steadily entering the television
advertising market since Viking had such success with its ads on the
popular television series "Downton Abbey."
"They did a great job of introducing river cruising (to the American
market)," Bettridge said. "Now it's our turn to introduce luxury river
"Travel agents would tell me over and over, 'I sell Viking because
people come in and ask for it,'" she added. "I need to make sure
customers understand what luxury river cruising is, and I want them to
ask for it."
Avalon Waterways was the first river cruise company to follow Viking
when it launched a television ad campaign in 2015 with a six-week run on
HGTV, the Travel Channel, CNN and BBC America. And American Cruise
Lines now regularly advertises on news networks.
In recent years other lines have begun partnering with specific
televisions shows both for ads and in sponsoring cruises featured by
food, wine and travel television hosts.