Cunard Line, the Anglo-American cruise company, has eased back on its long standing reputation for strict dress code at evening events, by introducing a new ‘elegant casual’ option.
Previously, the company held a tradition of two evening wear options – ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ – aboard its ships. Starting this year before the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria begin their voyages this sailing season in April and May, a third option will be available, with the new codes now being ‘formal’, ‘semi-formal’ and ‘elegant casual’.
Evenings where formal dress is required will now be down to three times a week on Transatlantic cruises, and twice a week on cruises around Scandinavia and in the Mediterranean. In place will be four or five informal evenings where ties are no longer required, although jackets remain so. Guests can opt out of formal dress entirely, although formal areas of the ship will be out of bounds. They will instead have access to the ships’ main buffet restaurants and the Winter Garden and Garden Lounge bars.
The decision comes as a result of research carried out among passengers, which suggested ‘smart casual’ to be most favoured dress code, but also a desire to see formal nights maintained.
Peter Shanks, Cunard’s President and Managing Director, said that although there was a growing trend towards the casual, ‘Dressing up heightens anticipation and brings an extra special sense of occasion to an evening at sea. Our passengers tell us it makes all the difference to their enjoyment of a big night out on board.’