Please select at least 1 country or destination.
Please select a valid departure and return date.
Please input traveller age(s) from 0 to 120.

Please Note - If you are cruising around Australia you need to select Pacific.
With Regions, variances can apply for Bali, Indonesia, Japan and Middle East.
You are not required to enter stop-over countries if your stop-over is less than 48 hours.

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Cruise Travel Insurance Guide

19 June, 2019 By Crystal Moran

Oh Buoy! It’s easy to sea why more and more Australians are choosing cruising holidays every year!Having cruise insurance can protect your possessions on board; provide cancellation cover if the weather or port authorities cause you to miss a pre-paid tour; and offer 24/7 emergency medical assistance, covering medical costs should you or your travelling companion become sick or injured.

But do I have to include every destination on my insurance? What if I'm cruising in Australian waters? Or on a river? And what does cruising cover? There's so much to consider - but don't worry, we know a think or two about cruising...

Is Cruising Automatically Covered?

Depending upon your insurer, you may have to select Cruise Cover as an add-on to your travel insurance policy, while some insurers automatically cover you whilst on a cruise, provided you have selected an international policy. When getting a quote with us, if you have the cruise button selected, it will be automatically included in the price you see.

What If I'm Cruising In Domestic Waters?

Did you know that once your ship leaves port, even if you're cruising Australian waters, you’re no longer covered for hospital or medical expenses by Medicare or your usual private health care provider.

So to make sure you’re covered on an Australian cruise select ‘Pacific as your destination.

What If I'm Going On A River Cruise?

River cruising is a popular tour option in many regions, including Europe and China. Each insurer has different rules about whether you need cruise insurance when cruising on a river, or if you're only cruising for a couple of days. We've compiled their rules in our river cruise insurance table. 

Don’t Get Hit With Titanic Medical Expenses

Health care costs on board a ship (or outside of the country) are very expensive. Hospital bills can be as much as $5,000 per day. Treatments, consultations and medications on board a ship are charged at private rates. Don't base your insurance decision on the assumption of 'it won't happen to me'. The unexpected does happen and the right cruise travel insurance can provide you with peace of mind.

Cruise Adventure Activities

With the ocean air in your face it’s easy to get into adventure mode. If you think you may join in on the adventure shore activities or sports (such as scuba diving or parasailing) or even some of the on-board activities like zip-lining or rock-climbing make sure you check your chosen policy covers the. We've compiled a list of which insurers cover adventure activities.

What's Covered With Cruise Insurance?

A cruise policy will cover you from ship to shore – giving you peace of mind should the worst happen. Events covered by cruise insurance include:

  • Medical expenses: Cruise liners have doctors on board, but these are private. If you get a bout of sea sickness (or worse) expect to get a very expensive bill afterwards for any treatment you might need.
  • Medical evacuation: If your condition is too serious to be treated on board, you may need to be evacuated to the nearest – which could cost thousands!
  • Delays: Bad weather, strikes, or even civil unrest could lead to a delay in your plans.
  • Cancellations: Things happen. Life happens. If your flight is cancelled due to bad weather and you miss your cruise, or you have a close family emergency and can no longer go on your cruise the right insurance can give you peace of mind.
  • Luggage and personal items: Most people pack a schmick camera to take pics of all those amazing views. You can rest assured that your valuables are covered with the right travel insurance.

What’s Not Covered With Cruise Insurance?

Like all travel insurance policies, some things just aren’t covered. Most cruise polices wont cover you for the following:

  • Being a tad tipsy: We know the unlimited supply of alcohol and treats is hard to say no to, however if you’re under the influence of alcohol and drop your clutch bag overboard, or slip on the deck you might find your insurer is less sympathetic than usual.
  • Lack of enjoyment: If your trip wasn’t as sunny as you’d hoped, travel insurance won’t cover you just because it rained and you didn’t have a good time.
  • Risky business: Perhaps your cruise liner has a zip-line going across the desk, or a surf machine? Check with your insurer before you leave home because some adventurous activities aren’t covered.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: normally conditions that exist before your holiday aren’t covered, but to be sure check your policy wording for a full list.
  • Some cancellations: If the cruise company cancels your pre-booked trip then it’s there responsibility to book you on another one, or offer a refund. Travel insurance doesn’t offer compensation when you’re already due reimbursement from the cruise carrier.
  • Cruise company collapse: Many insurers have general exclusions to do with travel company insolvency, so if you think your cruise company is a bit crafty, consider an insurance policy that covers insolvency.

Watch Out For Cruise Companies Cancellation Terms

It’s a good idea to check your cruise company’s cancellation policy and terms and conditions should the worst happen and your cruise is cancelled.

For example P&O allow you to have a full refund if the cancellation is made 181 days or more from the departure date. If the cancellation is made:

  • 180 – 76 days, then the deposit amount is charged
  • 75 – 43 days, then 25% of the total fare is charged
  • 42 – 15 days, then 50% of the total fare is charged
  • 14 days or less, then 100% of the total fare is charged

Living The Dream With Multiple Destinations

So you’re going big and cruising to different locations, well you’ll need to make sure you select the right region based on your specific cruise destinations. Generally:

  • Pacific: New Zealand, Bali, South West Pacific and Norfolk Island. (Also pick Pacific for Domestic cruises around Australia too!)
  • Asia: Asia (Excluding Russia and Japan)
  • Europe: Europe, Russia and the United Kingdom
  • Worldwide: All destinations (including, Japan, USA, Canada, Africa, and the Middle East

Claiming On Your Cruise Travel Insurance 

Before you raise the anchor, it’s vital to read the policy wording (PDS) to ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered with that particular policy. And if there’s something you don’t understand you can contact the trip cover company directly. To see what the claims process is like, why not check out a few of the thousands of real customer travel insurance reviews.

Not All Bargains Are Created Equal

Smart travellers will always spend time doing a cruise travel insurance comparison. Our site compares a platoon of reputable travel insurers with policies that cover you whilst on a cruise.

And don't forget, comparing online with us will give you the same competitive price as buying direct – but without the legwork of shopping around.

Contributor Crystal Moran

Crystal Moran

With a research and journalism background, and certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice, Crystal is passionate about investigating customers’ tricky travel questions and helping them find the answers they’re looking for. A writer and filmmaker whose favourite trips have been to film festivals in Cuba and South Korea, and campervanning around the USA, she loves getting to know new people and seeing a glimpse of the world through their eyes.

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