Important Reasons Why You Need Cruise Travel Insurance

Jun 7, 2023 | CRUISE TIPS | 0 comments

cruise travel insurance guide


Cruise Travel Insurance Introduction

Going on a cruise can be an exciting adventure, but it is important to remember that unexpected things can happen. That is why it is crucial to have travel insurance when going on a cruise.

Travel insurance covers various potential issues that may arise during your trip. For example, travel insurance can cover medical expenses if you become ill or injured while on the cruise. Additionally, if you miss your cruise due to a flight delay or cancellation, travel insurance can cover the costs of rebooking your trip.

Another reason why travel insurance is essential for a cruise is trip interruption coverage. This means that if you have to unexpectedly end your trip early due to an emergency, travel insurance can provide coverage for the expenses you may incur.

Furthermore, travel insurance can cover lost or stolen luggage, which is especially important when cruising. With so many people on board and so much activity going on, it is easy for luggage to be misplaced or stolen. Travel insurance can provide peace of mind, knowing you will be reimbursed for lost or stolen items.

In this article we cover all your options when it comes to cruise travel insurance.

Do I Really Need Cruise Travel Insurance ?

Most cruise lines insist that guests purchase a travel insurance policy. Most cruise lines have this as a mandatory requirement and part of their booking conditions and may well ask for confirmation before boarding.

Travel Insurance Policies may be checked online or sometimes at the port and are required for all guests regardless of nationality, cruise location or any other factor.

There are enormous differences in travel insurance policies based on many factors, so shopping around and finding the right policy to suit your needs and budget is essential.

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Why You Need Travel Insurance for a Cruise

If you are cruising close to home, you may consider that cruise travel insurance is unnecessary. Wrong!

The primary reason you need travel insurance for a cruise is because of the high costs of medical care on cruise ships and the risk of needing to be repatriated to land. It is well known that medical expenses on a cruise ship are incredibly costly.

If you were on a cruise and had an accident or medical emergy and the ship needed to be diverted, the costs can run in hundreds of thousands of Dollars. Without cruise travel insurance, the guest would be liable for this cost, and unless you were extremely wealthy, this could result in bankruptcy.

If you are from a country with a national health service or a health insurance policy in a country like the USA, it is unlikely that coverage and support will extend to you whilst on a cruise. It may be possible but unlikely, so you will not be covered.

The other reasons you need travel insurance include: cancellation cover, loss or damage to your luggage, missed port cover, missed departure, cruise interruption and cabin confinement cover.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Cruise Ship Gratuities

What if You Don’t Have Travel Insurance For a Cruise?

Suppose you take a cruise without having suitable travel insurance. In that case, you are at high risk of losing your deposit or your total cruise fare, plus a bill for substantial medical expenses, or even being unable to return to your home country, and much more.

If you fall ill or get injured during the cruise, you must bear all the medical expenses, which can be extremely costly. Similarly, if the cruise gets cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, you may not be able to get a refund for the money you have spent on the trip. Moreover, if you miss your flight or the ship’s departure due to unavoidable circumstances, you may have to pay a significant amount to book another.

Without travel insurance, you may also face challenges in case of lost or delayed baggage, theft, or any other unforeseen situation during the cruise. Therefore, purchasing travel insurance before embarking on a cruise is essential to ensure that you are protected financially and can enjoy your trip without any stress or worries.

cruise travel insurance

What Does Cruise Travel Insurance Cover?

Cruise travel insurance varies from provider to provider, but some basic items should be included in every cruise travel insurance policy.

By purchasing cruise travel insurance, you can protect yourself and your investment in your vacation. Most cruise travel insurance policies include trip cancellation or interruption coverage, medical expenses, emergency evacuation, baggage loss or delay, and even accidental death or dismemberment.

It’s important to carefully review the policy, understand what is covered, and any exclusions or limitations.

Some of the most essential inclusions are as follows:


Most cruise travel insurance policies cover cancellations, but there is usually a limit to how much the insurance company will pay out. Some cruises can far exceed the upper limit for cancellation cover, so it is essential to understand this and, if necessary, increase your policy limits.

Cruise travel insurance cancellation cover typically includes reimbursement for non-refundable expenses such as cruise fares, flights, and hotels. Some policies may also cover additional costs such as pre-paid excursions, meals, and other activities. It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of your policy to understand what is covered and any exclusions. With the right coverage, you can enjoy your cruise vacation knowing that you’re protected in case of unexpected events.

Lost or Damaged Luggage

It’s easy to assume that your luggage will arrive safely at your destination, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If your luggage is lost or damaged in transit or during your cruise, it can be a major inconvenience and financial burden.

That’s why investing in travel insurance, which includes coverage for lost or damaged luggage, is a good idea. With this type of coverage, you can rest easy knowing that you can replace your belongings without breaking the bank if the worst happens.

Cabin Confinement

Many cruise travel insurance policies will include ‘cabin confinement’ cover, whereby guests would receive a set amount of money per day if confined to their cabins due to illness.

Any illness would need to be certified by the ship’s doctor on board in medical centre and is designed to make up for any loss of enjoyment.

This element of insurance can also offer specific benefits for cabin confinement situations, such as coverage for emergency medical evacuations and trip interruption due to a cabin confinement-related event. Be sure to read the policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not, as well as any exclusions or limitations that may apply.

Port Cancellation

Missed or cancelled cruise ports insurance cover is an essential aspect of any travel insurance policy when taking a cruise ship vacation. This coverage ensures that you are adequately compensated in the event that your cruise ship misses a port of call due to unforeseen circumstances.

This type of insurance cover offers reimbursement for any expenses incurred due to the missed port, such as prepaid excursion fees or hotel accommodations at the port. This option may be an extra cost item, so it is worth checking with your insurance company.

Common reasons for itinerary changes/cancellations include:

  • No space in the Port
  • Weather (lousy weather may cause a cruise ship to skip a port or substitute another)
  • Political Unrest

Medical Expenses

Many cruise travel insurance policies include medical coverage, which is crucial for an unexpected illness or injury while on board or during shore excursions.

Medical expenses coverage may include emergency medical treatment, hospital stays, and even medical evacuation back to the traveller’s home country. It is essential to carefully review the terms and conditions of the policy to understand what is and is not covered, as well as any exclusions or limitations. Always declare any pre-existing medical conditions, as failure to do so may invalidate your policy.

Having adequate medical coverage can provide peace of mind and ensure that travellers are not left with significant medical bills in the event of an emergency.

Your travel insurance company normally pays your medical expenses directly, but in some situations, you may be required to pay the costs and then claim them back after the cruise.

What Are The Main Types of Cruise Travel Insurance?

Annual Policies

An annual policy is usually the preferred option for guests who cruise frequently.

It’s important to remember that if you do select this type of policy, you will need to confirm cruise cover is included and select all the countries that you will be visiting.

It is a good idea to select a worldwide cover with no exclusions as you may not know in advance where you plan to travel to. If you purchased an annual policy for Europe and then booked a trip to South America or Australia, you would not be covered.

Single-Trip Policies

This is probably the most common form of cruise travel insurance. For guests who only travel once or twice a year a one-trip policy is usually the best option.

When buying a single-trip policy you will be asked to confirm your travel dates, and which countries you will be visiting. Make sure you get the dates right plus ALL destinations.

This is the most common form of travel insurance.

Credit Cards

Some credit cards include travel insurance coverage as part of their overall offering. These can have limitations to the amounts payable in the event of a claim. These limits can normally be increased by paying a policy excess charge. 


In conclusion, travel insurance is a must-have when going on a cruise. It provides coverage for various potential issues that may arise during your trip and can provide peace of mind knowing that you are protected. Don’t risk going on a cruise without travel insurance – it’s simply not worth it.

Always use comparison sites to compare costs and see what is and is not included in the policy by search for the best travel insurance for cruises. Also, experienced cruisers are advised to search for the best cruise travel insurance for seniors as some companies specialise in this area.

Related: Awe Inspiring Quotes for Lovers of the Sea


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Mike & Anita

Welcome all cruise enthusiasts!
We’re Mike & Anita, your spirited guides to cruising the high seas (and Rivers), and we’ve clocked in over 600 days at sea.

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A passionate cruiser and photographer with more than 600 days at sea, and just a few, but growing number of Luxury River Cruises. Our expereince as hotel inspectors for a prestigous French brand help us uncover all the good things about luxury cruising. All-Inclusive Food and Wine Cruises always attract our attention!
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