We’ve been hearing plenty of negative stories recently about cruise lines cancelling voyages or changing itineraries – resulting in a lot of unhappy passengers. So it was nice to see this letter in the Sydney Morning Herald travel section last weekend from Julie and Kerry Sibraa in New South Wales.

“I have to give a huge shout out to The Great Escape Charter Company. Last year we booked a one-week trip on The Great Escape Charter Company for their northern Kimberley Western Australia cruise.

Unfortunately, the day before we were due to join the boat (we were in Broome), I had a call from my dad’s doctor suggesting I come home as dad had become seriously ill (he died a month later).

The Great Escape staff were lovely, very sympathetic and helpful, but obviously all of the cancellation rules had to apply. We got back a small portion of the cost of the trip through travel insurance but were considerably out of pocket. The Great Escape stayed in contact with us until our insurance negotiations were finalised and gave an undertaking that should they ever have a last-minute cancellation on one of their cruises they would contact us.

We thought this was decent but really didn’t expect much. Well, over a year later, we received an email saying they’d had a cancellation on a southern Kimberley Cruise in 10 days time and would we like to take the berth. All they asked us to pay was the money we’d got back from travel insurance.

We accepted and went on the trip – one of the best holidays ever. This is a truly great Australian company with a fantastic product.”

The Great Escape Charter Company had no legal obligation to give the Sibraa’s a berth on this cruise. The cancellation policy clearly states that there will be no refunds for all cancellations within eight weeks of departure and, with just 14 guests onboard each cruise, it would be nearly impossible for the company to offer more flexible terms.

Here at Cruise Passenger we applaud the actions of The Great Escape Charter Company – it’s fantastic to see a small, local business go above and beyond to satisfy its customers. Do you have any stories of a cruise company going out of its way to provide exceptional service?