Following feedback from both cruise agents and customers, Cunard has recently announced that it intends to offer its Getaway fares to solo passengers.
Originally, when the line introduced its Vantage and Getaway fares last July, solo cruisers were unable to obtain Getaway fares, but they will now be made available on departures from September 1 onwards.
Cunard’s Getaway fare is designed to offer passengers the best possible service with the lowest possible fare, on the proviso that they pay in full when they book and take a pre-allocated stateroom. By way of example, a Getaway fare on Cunard’s Grand Mediterranean Idyll cruise starts at £1,899, while Vantage fares start at £3,059. Vantage fares offer more flexibility in terms of accommodation and booking.
The issue received the most attention when it was raised on the BBC TV consumer programme Your Money Their Tricks, in which a past passenger with the line, when interviewed, said that it become too expensive to cruise solo with Cunard.
Elaborating on the decision, a Cunard spokesman said: “In response to feedback as we moved into the summer 2013 late season, we took the decision to make Getaway fares available to single passengers along with a single supplement … We have always valued single passengers and many travel with us, but the understandable economics mean that single passengers often pay a supplement when occupying a room designed for two people.”
The debate concerning the cost of solo cruising is an on-going one in the industry and though there are single cabins available on a number of cruise ships and most lines offer discounted rates, solo cruisers still find themselves paying a supplement to cover the cost of double occupancy rooms.
By Simon Brotherton