Cruise Travel Insurance

Cruise Ship Insurance

Avoid financial disaster at sea with cruise insurance for international or domestic trips

It’s no secret Australians love to take cruise trips. In fact, in 2014 alone, there were over 1 million cruise passengers leaving Australian shores. But, like any trip, things can go wrong and if they do it sure can be expensive to deal with. The daily cost of receiving medical treatment on board a cruise is as much as $5,000 alone, yikes!

Cruise travel insurance provides protection for a whole range of offshore mishaps including:

  • You need offshore medical assistance or evacuation (even within Australian waters)
  • You miss your cruise
  • Your cruise is delayed due to bad weather
  • Shore excursions you have already paid for are cancelled

Take a look at out guide to cruise travel insurance and compare policies below to find the right option for your voyage.

Which travel insurance brands cover cruise trips?

Provider Product Product Details Apply
InsureandGo Cruise Travel Insurance

Missed cruise departure cover up to $50,000

Unlimited medical cover including emergencies

Up to $8,000 in personal belongings and lost luggage cover

Up to $3,000 for resumption of journey

Get quoteMore info
Virgin Money Cruise Pack

Unlimited medical cover while cruising

Unlimited evacuation cover

$500 cabin confinement cover

$1,000 pre-paid shore excursion cancellation cover

Get quoteMore info
Go Insurance Cruise Insurance Extension

$2,500 pre-paid excursions cover

$500 missed shore visits

$2,000 missed port connection

$2,500 cabin confinement

Get quoteMore info
Fast Cover Cruise Insurance Extension

Unlimited overseas medical expenses cover

Up to $7,500 luggage and personal effects cover

Unlimited cancellation fees and lost deposits cover

Cruise cover available as an additional option

Get quoteMore info
Provider Product Product Details Apply
1Cover International Cruise Must purchase Plan A (selecting Geographical Region 4 - Pacific) if taking a domestic cruise in Australian waters in order to be covered for emergency medical assistance and emergency medical and hospital expenses. Get quoteMore info
AIG International Cruise Travellers on domestic cruises may take the Bronze plan in order to receive overseas medical cover. Travellers in the South Pacific region should purchase the Bronze Plan. Get quoteMore info
AMEX Travel Insurance International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. Cover will be based on your chosen geographical region. Get quoteMore info
Budget Direct Travel Insurance International Cruise Must purchase Comprehensive, Essential, Last Minute or Annual Multi-Trip Policy if you are taking a domestic cruise and want cover for medical expenses. Get quoteMore info Travel Insurance International Cruise Covered provided you state each of the countries you are visiting on your cruise. For cruises only to Australian ports, you must specify "Australia Cruise" as your destination when purchasing cover in order to be covered for any on-board or overseas medical expenses. Get quoteMore info
Citibank Travel Insurance International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy provided the correct destination is selected. Get quoteMore info
Columbus Direct International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy provided the correct destination is selected. Get quoteMore info
CoverMore International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. You must purchase international cover if you are taking a cruise in Australian waters and want cover for medical expenses. Get quoteMore info
Easy Travel Insurance International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. If travelling on a cruise in domestic waters, medical expenses will only be covered under an international policy. Get quoteMore info
iTrek International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. Get quoteMore info
MultiTrip Travel Insurance International Cruise Covered, provided the correct destination is selected. International cover must be purchased in order to be covered for medical losses for cruises in Australian waters. Get quoteMore info
Simply Travel Insurance International Cruise If you are travelling on a domestic cruise in Australian waters, you must purchase Plan A (selecting region - Pacific) in order to be covered for emergency medical and hospital expenses. Get quoteMore info
Southern Cross International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. Get quoteMore info
STA Travel Insurance International Cruise For cruises in Australian waters, you must purchase international cover to be covered for medical expenses. Get quoteMore info
Tick Travel Insurance International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. In order to be covered for emergency medical and hospital expenses travellers should select the Pacific region for cruises in Australian territorial waters. Get quoteMore info
Travel Insurance Direct International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. Get quoteMore info
Woolworths Travel Insurance International Cruise If visiting overseas countries on your cruise, you must list every country you are visiting when purchasing cover. If your cruise trip is within Australian waters, you must select "Australian Cruise" as your destination to ensure you are covered for emergency medical and hospital expenses. Get quoteMore info
Worldcare Travel Insurance International Cruise You must state all countries outside of Region 2 Pacific you are stopping at for longer that 48 hours. You must select Plan A for cruises within Domestic Waters in order to be covered for emergency medical and hospital expenses. Get quoteMore info
youGo International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. International cover must be selected in order to be covered for overseas medical and dental expenses in Australian waters. Get quoteMore info
Zuji International Cruise Covered automatically under international policy, provided the correct destination is selected. Get quoteMore info
Travel Insuranz International Cruise You must select the area of travel as "South Pacific" to ensure you are covered for emergency medical and hospital expenses if taking a cruise within Australian ports. Get quoteMore info
Travel Insurance Saver International Cruise The Australian plan will provide cover for any medical, hospital, ambulance or dental expenses incurred onboard a cruise ship in Australian waters. Get quoteMore info

Is cruise travel insurance different to regular travel insurance?

While most international travel insurance policies will automatically cover cruise trips, there are some policies that offer additional cover for cruise related losses. Some providers will require you to buy a "Cruise Pack" to be covered for cruise trips. The cruise pack can provide extra cover for:

  • Medical expenses if you become sick or injured. Accidents do happen, and dealing with a medical emergency when you’re a long way from a hospital can be a nightmare. Cruise travel insurance covers expensive medical expenses while on the ship or at a land-based medical facility.
  • Emergency evacuation to a land-based medical facility. If you’re struck down by a serious illness or injury while travelling such as a heart attack or stroke, your cruise travel insurance policy will cover medical evacuation by road or air to the nearest appropriate medical facility. This could even include transport back home to Australia.
  • If you miss your cruise. You will be covered for additional expenses if you miss your cruise due to reasons such as a car accident on the way to the port or delayed flights.
  • If shore excursions are cancelled. You can enjoy reimbursements for shore excursions that are cancelled or interrupted by the cruise liner.
  • If your cruise is delayed. You can be covered for delays if your commencing or returning journey has been delayed for unforeseen reasons.
  • You're confined to your cabin. You can receive a daily allowance (usually $50 - $100) if you are confined to your cabin for medical reasons.
  • Your trip is interrupted. What happens if you’re halfway into your cruise around the South Pacific when the ship develops a critical mechanical problem and the trip is cancelled? Cruise travel insurance covers you in situations like these and you’ll be able to recoup your out-of-pocket expenses.
  • You need to cancel your trip. If something happens and you are forced to cancel your holiday before it even begins – things like illness, accidents and job loss – travel insurance can cover your non-refundable trip costs so you don’t end up out of pocket.
  • Your baggage is lost or delayed. What happens if an airline misplaces or loses your luggage, leaving you to board the ship with only the clothes on your back? Travel insurance can make sure your bags make it to the next port, or cover the loss if your bags are gone for good.
  • Your formal cruise attire is lost or damaged. This will provide cover for replacement or hire costs if your formal wear is stolen, damaged or lost. Cover will only be provided if the attire was intended to be worn on the cruise.
  • Your cruise liner goes bankrupt. If one of the travel providers you’ve booked your holiday through goes bankrupt, some policies will cover you. Make sure to read the fine print; don’t assume this feature will be included in your policy.

Cost of Cruise Insurance

*Price shown is for Virgin Money Comprehensive Cover for 10-day trip in Pacific region for 55 year old traveller with standard excess applied

Back to top

Why is it worth getting?

Any holiday can bring with it unforeseen losses but cruise holidays particularly bring to surface some expensive reasons to take out cover. In fact, Cruise Travel reportedly accounted for some of the largest travel insurance claims of 2015. Consider these points:

  • You won't be covered by health insurance in Australian waters. You will not be covered for emergency medical expenses if you are injured or become ill while travelling in Australian waters.
  • Medical expenses incurred on cruises can be extremely expensive. The price of receiving treatment in a medical facility while on a cruise can be extremely high, often up to $5,000 a day. Fast Cover recently reported a 2015 payout of $190,000 for 72 year old Sydney women on South America cruise following a spinal injury.
  • Emergencies. If you suffer a severe medical condition at sea and need to be evacuated to a medical facility, the bill may end up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Cruise holidays can be subject to cancellations. Travelling at sea can mean that you are subject to unexpected changes to itinerary if the weather turns ugly. Cruise travel cover can ensure you are reimbursed for any cancellations.
  • What if you miss the boat? Missed planes, bad traffic and bad weather among other events may lead to you being late to the port. Ensure you are covered if you have to cancel your cruise or you miss the departure. You will also be reimbursed for the cost of transportation to your cruise lines first port of call.
  • Travel insurance policies from cruise lines are generally more restrictive. Some cruise lines offer their own insurance policies but beware these are usually far more restrictive in the events that will be covered.
  • You may need to leave the cruise for emergencies back home. Your two weeks into a six-week cruise in the middle of the pacific and receive word your father has passed away. Cruise travel insurance will cover the costs of your return home from the next port of call and the unused portion of your cruise trip that you had to cut short.

What if I'm only taking a short trip and staying in Australian waters?

Even if you are only taking a trip for say 2-3 days and staying in Australian waters, you will only be covered by Medicare for medical losses that occur while cruising between ports if there is a Medicare-eligible doctor on board. An international policy under the Pacific region should cover you for these losses. NOTE: Cruise lines are not required to have Medicare-eligible doctors on board.

What region do I choose if I'm taking a cruise in Australian waters and I'm not covered under a domestic policy for medical losses?

Most providers will offer the Pacific Region - this will usually include New Zealand, Bali, the South West Pacific and Norfolk Region. If you spend longer than the specific period of time outside of Australian waters, you will need to select the cover option that gives you the right cover. The table above lists the recommended regions to select for cruises in Australian waters to ensure you are covered for emergency medical expenses.

Learn more about getting cover for cruises in Australian waters

Am I also covered for flights and time spent before, during or after my cruise?

Yes, your cruise policy works much the same as any other travel insurance policy. You are covered for the regions listed on your policy for the dates that you have selected. This means you will be covered for:

  • Flights overseas to the country in which you will board the cruise.
  • Days leading up to the cruise departure in that destination.
  • Days following in your "drop-off" destination.
Back to top

Cruise Travel Insurance Q and A with FastCover CEO Dean Van Es

FastCover CEO Dean Van Es sheds some light on the importance of having travel insurance in place for your cruise trip.

Dean Van Es

  • Q. Fast Cover recently reported that cruise-related travel insurance claims were some of the largest paid in 2015. Why are expenses for cruise mishaps so significant?
    • A. When you go on a cruise, even just along the coast of Australia, you will probably not be covered by Medicare. It is likely you’ll see a doctor that is not registered with Medicare and you’ll pay for medical attention and treatment at private rates, the same as you would when overseas. Hospitalisation can cost $5000 on board each day and repatriation is even more costly. Plus medical costs on the ship are usually priced in US dollars.
  • Q. Does cruise travel present unique risks to travellers? What are these?
    • A. Anecdotally I would say cruises present a higher chance of injuring yourself by falling over while on board. Many of our highest travel insurance claim pay-outs were connected to older travellers who slipped or fell over and were injured.
  • Q. What types of expenses/events can cruise travel insurance cover?
    • A. Travel insurance for a cruise can provide cover for unexpected cancellations, emergency medical treatment as well as for your luggage. One of the most important elements for cruise travel insurance is cover for emergency assistance. Travel insurance can provide cover for the costs of you being air-lifted to a hospital for treatment.
  • Q. Do some cruise lines require travellers to take out travel insurance?
    • A. Many cruise lines recommend that you take out travel insurance and some offer travel insurance on their websites. I am not aware of any cruises that make it compulsory for you to have travel insurance.
  • Q. If a traveller is just taking a cruise in Australian waters, will they be covered by their health insurance?
    • A. Most likely travellers in Australian waters will not be covered by Medicare or their private health insurance. Doctors on board are not required to be registered with Medicare.
  • Q. What assistance can be provided to a traveller that has a medical emergency while offshore?
    • A. Most cruises are very well equipped to deal with various medical emergencies effectively, from broken bones and seasickness to illnesses such as pneumonia. Travellers should contact their relevant overseas emergency assistance team if they need medical attention. Fast Cover gives travellers 24/7 access to Allianz Global Assistance, for example. They can promptly work with hospital staff to have you offloaded at the nearest hospital and repatriated if it is required.
  • Q. Are travellers also covered for excursions to shore?
    • A. Travellers are provided with cover when they are on land with Fast Cover’s cruise travel insurance policies.
  • Q. What are some general exclusions that travellers should be aware of?
    • A. It is always best to read the general exclusions that apply to your travel insurance policy. Travellers should be aware that not all pre-existing medical conditions will be covered by their policy, so it is best to check with your insurer. Similarly, not all activities are automatically covered. You will also not be covered if you have drunk an excessive amount of alcohol.
  • Q. What steps can travellers take to best prepare for their cruise to keep safe on their trip away?
    • A. Getting travel insurance is of course one way to protect yourself against huge medical expenses or cancellation costs. People who experience seasickness should also get treated or prescribed medication before they step on board.
  • Q. When is the ideal time to buy cover?
    • A. As you have paid for any part of your trip.
  • Q. What are the benefits of paying extra for a comprehensive policy? How much difference is there really?
    • A. It depends on which policy you’re talking about as there is a lot of variance. Generally Comprehensive policies have higher limits and provide more benefits. At minimum good comprehensive policy should have unlimited medical, unlimited cancellation, luggage cover, alternative transport cover, travel delays cover plus personal liability cover.

What won't my cruise policy cover?

When shopping for cruise travel insurance, it’s vital that you read the fine print first to make sure you know exactly what you will be covered for. The following are generally not covered by cruise travel insurance policies:

  • Incidents related to drugs or alcohol. Don’t expect the insurance company to come to your rescue if you’ve done something reckless while under the influence of drugs or alcohol on your trip.
  • Claims while docked in an Australian port. Some providers will not cover you for incidents that have occurred while you have been booked in an Australian port for more than 48 hours.
  • Claims in countries advised against travel. Most providers will exclude claims that have occurred in countries that have had travel warnings issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
  • Certain adventure activities. If you want to indulge in high-octane pursuits like BASE-jumping, skydiving and hang gliding, feel free — just be aware that most policies don’t cover these activities. Always check your policy to see exactly what activities are covered.
  • Certain pre-existing medical conditions. These may be excluded, unless you’ve made a specific arrangement with the insurer. See the list below for conditions that won't usually be automatically covered.
  • Luggage left unattended. You will not be covered for lost or stolen luggage and personal items if you leave your luggage unattended.
  • Other common exclusions. Acts of civil unrest, war or terrorism that disrupt your holiday are usually not covered by travel insurance policies.
Back to top

Can I get cruise travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?

You will need to let your insurer know of any pre-existing conditions that you have. If you have a medical condition:

  • It may be covered automatically
  • You may be required to provide more information to the insurer about the condition
  • You may be charged a higher premium to have the condition covered
  • It may be excluded from your policy

How your condition is treated may vary between insurers, so always read the product disclosure statement (PDS) and call your insurer if you’re not sure.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

  • Ongoing medical or dental condition that you are aware of or are aware of the symptoms
  • Medical or dental condition currently being treated
  • Conditions that you take prescribed medication for
  • Conditions that you have undertaken surgery for
  • Conditions that have required you to see a medical specialist
  • Pregnancy

What conditions generally won’t be covered?

  • If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. In some cases, an insurer will stipulate that the policyholder have a prognosis of, for example, more than 24 months to live.
  • If you have AIDS or HIV
  • If the claim is in relation to a condition for which you sought treatment and were hospitalised or had to be taken into the hospital emergency ward.
  • If the condition was symptomatic. This means that you will not be covered if you were aware of symptoms even if you did not go to a doctor, had gone to a doctor who was investigating the illness or you were awaiting a specialist's opinion
  • If you have undergone surgery for the condition in a timeframe as specified by your insurer.
  • If you have been diagnosed with, suffer from or received treatment for a cardiovascular condition. These conditions may include angina, a pacemaker, TIA and congestive heart failure.
  • If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure in conjunction with diabetes or cardiovascular disease
  • If you suffer a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
  • If you suffer from diabetes and you have been diagnosed in the 12 months prior to travel. If you have Type 1 diabetes and are over the age of 50. You will also not be covered for diabetes related injuries that result in kidney, nerve, eye or vascular complications. You will not be covered if you have diabetes and a cardiovascular disease.
  • If you suffer from a sexually transmitted disease
  • If you suffer from any type of cancer or secondary cancer.
  • If you suffer from recurring or chronic pain.

Can I get cruise ship insurance if I am pregnant?

Terms and conditions from insurance providers around pregnancy can vary, so it's important to read the fine print before signing away. There are some insurers that will cover women up to 26th week of pregnancy, with a number of insurers offering cover until the 32nd week of pregnancy. If you are expecting, you can still purchase cover after the maximum gestation limit, but you will not be covered for losses related to the pregnancy. Some common exclusions applied for pregnancy include:

  • Complications that arise out of the pregnancy
  • Trip goes longer than the period of pregnancy permitted on policy schedule
  • Childbirth or healthcare of newborn child

Learn more about travel insurance for pregnant women

Back to top

Case study: Banged-up aboard

Cruise Ship Broken Ankle

Judy was travelling with her partner, John on a two-month cruise when she slipped down a set of stairs while walking on the cruise deck and broke her ankle. The closest Australian port with a medical facility was more than two days travel away, so Judy was forced to recover in the cruise ship's medical quarters until she was able to be transported off the cruise.

Judy was shocked to find that the daily cost of treatment on the cruise liner was over $5,000, a day and being in open waters between domestic ports meant that Judy was not covered under Medicare or private health insurance. Luckily, Judy had taken out travel insurance before commencing her journey and was reimbursed for the treatment on the cruise ship and transportation to the nearest medical facility.

Back to top

Can I get cover for a cruise if I'm an Australian expat working overseas?

Unfortunately, most insurers will require for your trip to start and finish in Australia in order for cover to apply. There are some providers that offer "already overseas travel insurance" , but most of those policies will require for your journey to end in Australia. If you’re an Australian expat currently living overseas and looking to take a cruise that does not start or end in Australia, there are still some options available to you:

  • Find a specialist insurer willing to provide cover even though you are already overseas
  • Take out cover with the cruise ship provider (conditions on providing cover to foreigners may vary between providers
  • Take out cover with a travel insurance provider based in the country you are boarding the cruise from

Expat living overseas? Find out what travel insurance options are available

Back to top

How am I covered for cancellation by the cruise company and travel insurance?

When will the cruise company cover me for cancellation?

All cruise companies have terms and conditions in place around when you will be covered for cancellation. This will vary between insurers, but here’s an example from P and O cruises;

Days prior to departure of cruise ship cancellation is madeCancellation charge applied
181 days or moreFull refund provided
180 - 76 daysDeposit amount charged
75 - 43 days25% of total fare charged
42 - 15 days50% of total fare charged
14 days or less100% of total fare charged

When will travel insurance cover me for cancellation charges from the cruise company?

Conditions will vary between insurers, although you will generally be covered if you have to cancel your trip due to:

  • The unforeseeable death, injury or illness of yourself, a relative, business associate or travelling companions.
  • Jury duty.
  • Your duty to stay in Australia due to emergency as a member of armed forces, police, fire, ambulance or nursing.
  • You are made redundant and were unaware you were going to be made redundant when booking your trip.
  • You have to stay in Australia due to natural disaster at your home or business on the day you leave.
  • Your doctor advises you are unfit to travel due to a medical condition that has surfaced after you have booked your trip.
  • Cancellation due to medical reasons of a friend or family member. You will not be covered if you have to cancel your trip because a relative or travelling companion suffers a pre-existing medical condition.
  • Bad weather and unexpected circumstances. While conditions will vary, cruise companies generally require a minimum number of guests for shore excursions, so those excursions may be cancelled if that number is not met. Shore excursions may also be cancelled due to bad weather. In this case, the cruise company will usually pay a full refund.
  • What if I decide to cancel my shore excursion? This this will vary between insurers. Generally, if you give 72 hours’ notice, a full refund will be provided by the cruise company. Cancellations within 72 hours may mean that a portion of the charge must still be paid to the cruise company.
Back to top

What policy do I need if the cruise stops in multiple destinations?

The region you should choose for your policy will depend on where you are travelling to on the cruise. You will need to select the appropriate region for your cruise based on the destinations you are travelling to. Selecting the domestic cover option will not be enough as you will not be covered by Medicare or private health care on the cruise ship. Most insurers will recommend you select Pacific as your region if taking a cruise in Australian waters in order to be covered for Emergency Medical Expenses.

  • Worldwide: All destinations (including, Japan, USA, Canada, Africa, and the Middle East)
  • Europe: Europe, Russia and the United Kingdom
  • Asia: Asia (Excluding Russia and Japan)
  • Pacific: New Zealand, Bali, South West Pacific and Norfolk Island

You will be covered automatically for stopovers up to 48 hours. If you’re in a region for longer than 48 hours, you must ensure it’s also listed on your policy.

Am I covered for the flights and accommodation for the days before I leave the port?

This will depend on policy you choose and the period of cover you have selected on your insurance. Provided you extend travel cover period for the days before your cruise also, you will be covered for losses that occur prior to your cruise trip commencing that you are eligible to claim for. This may include;

  • Cancellation of connecting flights to the destination that your cruise departs from
  • Cancellation of accommodation booked for nights prior to your cruise departure
  • Loss, theft or damage to your belongings in the period leading up to departure

The actual cover provided for losses incurred prior to the cruise in Australia may vary between insurers, so it's best to check your product disclosure statement (PDS) before travelling to know exactly what your cover includes.

Back to top

How much does cruise travel insurance cost?

If you are taking a cruise for longer than a weekend, the cost of a basic policy usually falls between 5 and 9% of the cost of the cruise trip. That said, prices vary between providers and will be dependent on a number of different factors including;

  • Whether you get a policy with cruise-cover extension
  • Your age
  • The destination you are travelling to
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions you may have
  • The duration of your trip
  • The type of policy and features chosen. Policy add-ons and features like upgraded coverage limits can affect the price
  • The number of people covered under the policy
  • The total cost of your trip
  • The activities you will be participating in while travelling

To get an idea of what you may pay for cover, consider the example quotes for a 10-day cruise from Insureandgo in the table below;

RegionNew Zealand, Pacific and BaliNew Zealand, Pacific and BaliNew Zealand, Pacific and BaliNew Zealand, Pacific and Bali
Trip Duration10 days10 days10 days10 days
Cover TypeComprehensiveComprehensiveBasicBasic
Age of Traveller55755575

 *Prices accurate March 2015 and are subject to change

Learn more about what impacts the cost of travel insurance

Back to top

How do I choose between policies?

  • Is cruise travel automatically covered or offered as additional cover? Some providers will offer cruise cover automatically while others will charge an additional premium. Find out exactly what you are covered for and make sure the price matches the quality of cover.
  • What region do you need to choose? Yes, it may be boring to the point of being physically painful, but take the time to read the PDS thoroughly. Don’t be sucked in by the marketing slogans and flashy websites; read the policy booklet and examine what is covered. You’ll likely be visiting multiple countries on a cruise, so check that your policy will cover you at every destination.
  • What won't you be covered for? “But I didn’t know it wasn’t covered” is an excuse that won’t fly with your insurer. If you’re an adventure junkie, does your policy cover things like skydiving and bungee jumping? If you’re planning on hiring a scooter or a motorbike at one of the ports you stop at, will this be included in your coverage? Also make sure to check the medical coverage closely when determining what is excluded from your policy. Sort this out first and you won’t get caught out later.
  • Are you covered for emergency medical expenses and evacuation? Look for a policy with a high coverage limit on your medical care. You want to make sure your hospital bills are covered so you can get the best possible care. It also makes sense to look for a policy that covers emergency evacuation.
  • How much will you be charged for a claim? Travel insurance excess charges can vary greatly between insurers with some providers charging as much as $500 per claim. Know exactly what you will be charged and if there is the option to remove the charge.
  • How have other people’s experiences been dealing with the cruise line? Hit the online forums to see what other people have to say about their experiences with cruise travel insurance. Read product reviews and utilise comparison websites like

More Tips on Comparing Travel Insurance Policies

Back to top


Purchasing cover for your cruise

  • Q. Do I really need cruise travel insurance?
  • A. Yes. The old saying that “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel” rings true for cruise travel. Travel insurance will save you money, time and a whole lot of stress should your best-laid holiday plans fall apart, and cruise travel insurance is specifically tailored to cover common problems that may occur on cruising holidays.
  • Q. What do travel insurance companies recognise as a cruise?
  • A. A cruise is travel on sea, ocean or river by a boat, commercial ship or any other vessel.
  • Q. What happens if the cruise company reschedules my trip?
  • A. Contact your insurance provider to adjust the dates of your policy.
  • Q. What happens if I miss the departure of the cruise?
  • A. Most policies will cover you for missed departure and pay for any necessary additional accommodation and travel expenses if you miss the departure of your cruise for reasons outside of your control.
  • Q. Am I covered if I lose my luggage or it is stolen before I board the cruise?
  • A. You will generally be covered for a period of 72 hours for loss of luggage from the time that you leave your residence to the time that you board your cruise. Conditions for when you will be covered may vary between insurers.
  • Q. What sorts of things does cruise travel insurance cover?
  • A. Cruise travel insurance policies will typically cover things like:
  • Your medical expenses if you fall ill or are injured while travelling
  • Emergency evacuation if you need to be transported to hospital
  • Trip interruption and delay due to things like missed connecting flights
  • Trip cancellation due to factors like illness or job loss
  • Baggage delay and/or loss
  • Q. What if I have specialist needs?
  • A. The best thing to do is to read the fine print and speak to your insurer. Some policies won’t cover things like adventure activities or if you are pregnant, so you may need to look into adding additional coverage to make sure you’re protected.
  • Q. When should I buy cruise travel insurance?
  • A. Your best bet is to take out cover as soon as you have booked and paid for all or part of your trip. This way, you are covered if you are forced to cancel the trip or if the travel company or airline goes broke, allowing you to recoup your prepaid costs and deposits.  Learn more about when to book travel insurance.
  • Q. Will I be covered for scuba diving/snorkelling and other sports on my cruise?
  • A. Most travel insurance companies will provide automatic cover for a range of activities including:
  • Waterskiing
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Scuba diving
  • Rowing
  • Jetskiing

Most insurers will not provide automatic cover for open-water sailing. If you plan on doing this on your trip you may be required to take out additional cover.

  • Q. I'm taking an international cruise and stopping in multiple countries? Do I need cover for each location?
  • A. Travel insurance provides automatic cover for stopovers up to 48 hours. If your cruise stops in different regions for longer than 48 hours, you will need to ensure that region is also covered on your policy.
  • Q. Can I get cruise travel insurance for a one-way cruise?
  • A. It will depend on the policy that you choose. There are a number of travel insurance policies that offer cover for one-trips while others will require your journey to end in Australia. You can compare one-way travel insurance options here.
  • Q. Do I need cruise travel insurance if I'm taking a trip on my own boat?
  • A. No. You can take out international single-trip or annual multi-trip cover. You will not be covered for the additional losses faced by passengers on commercial vessels.
  • Q. I'm heading away on a long overseas trip...Will I be covered for my cruise?
  • A. If you’re heading overseas for an extended period of time, check whether or not you’ll be covered for cruise travel. Many insurers do not cover cruise travel as a standard option on their single-trip or annual multi-trip policies, which is why it’s important to check before you head overseas.
  • Q. Will I be covered for Norovirus on my cruise?
  • A. Norovirus is an extremely common cause of virus that causes gastroenteritis. The close proximity of cruise ships has lead to a number of outbreaks in recent years. In December of 2015 182 passengers aboard the Explorer of the seas cruise line docked in Sydney fell ill of the virus. In the event you suffer Norovirus, travel insurance will cover you provided you are forced to cancel your trip before you board or cut your trip short.

Find out more about travel insurance for extended stays overseas

Cruise travel Insurance claims

  • Q. What do I do if I get sick or injured on board?
  • A. Notify a member of crew immediately and seek appropriate medical attention via the cruise ship’s medical facility. If necessary, you may be transported to the nearest land-based medical facility. It’s best to inform your insurer as soon as possible about your condition and find out exactly what evidence may be required in order for your claim to be approved. You will probably be required to obtain documentation from a representative of the crew. Most insurers will cover you for costs incurred while you are confined to the cruise ship’s medical facility or your cabin until you reach the nearest port.
  • Q. What if my condition means that I have to be repatriated?
  • A. Most insurers will cover you for medical repatriation from your cruise ship if necessary. If possible, inform your insurer of your situation and try to find out what information will be required from you for your claim to be successful.
  • Q. Will I be paid for additional costs if my condition requires me to be confined to my cabin?
  • A. If the nature of your injury or illness means that you are confined to your cabin for a number of days, most insurers will cover the necessary additional costs to a maximum daily limit.
  • Q. How do I actually make a claim?
  • Contact your insurer by phone, email or online chat
  • Obtain a claim form from the insurer’s website
  • Complete the claim form and sent it to the insurer online or by mail with any necessary documentation
  • Provide any additional information insurer may require to verify your claim
  • Await for response from insurer
Back to top

Handy cruise travel tips

  • Find out what region your cruise will be heading to.
  • Determine what the correct region is to select for your travel insurance.
  • Compare different policy options and make sure the price matches the cover provided.
  • Get a clear understanding of the schedule of your ship - know when you will be departing so you don't get left behind at port!
  • Know the ships emergency procedures.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the departure terminal.
  • Register your trip with SmartTraveller.
  • Let someone back home know about your travel plans.
  • Print out a copy of your itinerary and policy document.
  • Make sure you cover any expensive items in your insurance policy.
Back to top

Who can apply for cover? Maximum age?

How old can I be to take out cruise cover? Can I get cover if I am over 65?

Age limits may vary between providers, but cover is generally available to anyone up to 100 years of age. That said, travellers over the age of 50 are usually required to pay a higher premium. Travellers over the age of 70 will usually be required to complete a manual pre-existing medical condition form before being approved for cover. If you are under the age of 18, your guardian may be able to purchase cover on your behalf.

Can I take out cover if I am already overseas?

Some Australian insurers will offer cover to Australians who that are already overseas. There are some key points to be aware of if you are considering this option:

  • Some providers will require your trip to end in Australia
  • There is usually a waiting period of around 5 days applied for claims related to injury or illness
  • Excess may not be able to be removed

Ready to purchase cover for your cruise?

If you are gearing up for your next cruise holiday and you’re not quite sure what policy to apply for, you can compare policies from the providers featured in the table at the top of the page and receive a preliminary quote. Once you’ve found a policy suitable for your situation and you’re happy with the price, you can purchase your cover securely online in a matter of minutes. Before rushing to your wallet to hand over your card details, recommends you take the time to read through the product disclosure statement to ensure you’re happy with the terms and conditions.
Compare quotes for cruise travel insurance and purchase cover securely

*$30 price is based on a 2 day cruise for 1 adult aged 25 years of age in with cover for New Zealand, Pacific and Bali

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

40 Responses to Cruise Travel Insurance

  1. Default Gravatar
    Lesley | February 5, 2016

    I am doing a Royal Caribbean cruise to New Caledonia in October. Will travel insurance cover a trip to the ship Doctor if say I get sea sick. I have heard that a visit to the Doctor on board can be very expensive even if it is for something small.

    • Staff
      Richard | February 9, 2016

      Hi Lesley,

      Thanks for your question. It will depend on the policy. If you head to the top of the page, you will be able to review the cruise packs offered by the travel insurance brands in our panel.

      I hope this was helpful,

  2. Default Gravatar
    Penny | January 12, 2016

    Doing a P&O Pacific Islands cruise on the Pacific Dawn in August 2016 with my adult daughter.
    Hubby [not going on cruise] has kidney disease requiring dialysis at the P A Hospital and is on the transplant wait list.

    I need to find insurance that will cover the total cost of the cruise for both my daughter and I should the phone call come saying a kidney is available. Obviously neither my daughter or I will be able to go on the cruise should my husband be admitted to the P A Hospital for a new kidney.

    Obviously the likelihood of this happening is extraordinarily unlikely but I don’t want to get caught out.
    I would appreciate it if you can help with policies that would cover for such a situation.

    Many thanks

    • Staff
      Richard | January 13, 2016

      Hi Penny,

      Thanks for your question. You may have trouble finding travel insurance that will cover you for cancellation for your husbands condition as it is pre-existing.

      I hope this was helpful,

  3. Default Gravatar
    Rhonda | November 24, 2015

    Hi am looking for insurance for 13 day cruise from melbourne to New Zealand. That covers everything

    • Staff
      Richard | November 25, 2015

      Hi Rhonda,

      Thanks for your question. is a comparison service and not an insurer and we are not permitted to make product recommendations. However, if you select the Brands That Cover Cruise Trips tab at the top of the page, it lists the providers in our panel that offer cruise cover and the conditions for domestic travel.

      I hope this was helpful,

  4. Default Gravatar
    Lyn | August 14, 2015

    We are flying to Sydney from Melbourne and staying in Sydney for a night before we cruise. Does cruise insurance cover the flight and hotel stay.

    • Staff
      Richard | August 17, 2015

      Hi Lyn,

      Thanks for your question. is a comparison a service and not an insurer. Every policy is different, which means it’ll depend on the policy you have chosen as to whether or not you’ll be covered for your flights and hotel stay. Generally, if you have taken out a comprehensive policy, this will cover things like cancellation, delays and additional expenses.

      I hope this was helpful,

  5. Default Gravatar
    Gillian | July 3, 2015

    we are looking at a 23 day cruise that includes a flight to Sydney then cruising to 6 islands including Hawaii then cruising to Seattle. 1 night in Seattle. Flying from Seattle to Honolulu. 1 night in Honolulu and flying back to Melbourne. My husband had a heart attack in 2000. He is fine now but is taking medication. I have a torn ligament in my left knee but don’t need any ongoing treatment. What sort of policy should we purchase?

    • Staff
      Richard | July 4, 2015

      Hi Gillian,

      Thank you for your question. is a comparison service and not an insurer, and we are not permitted to provide personalised advice.

      When it comes to pre-existing conditions, it can be tricky to get cover. However, InsureandGo claim to consider all conditions and they also offer a cruise policy. CoverMore may also be able to help as they assess medical conditions prior to travel issuing travel insurance.

      These are just two providers from our panel that may be able to help and there may be other insures out there who are suitable to your needs.

      I hope this was helpful,

  6. Default Gravatar
    Jo | June 6, 2015

    Hi. Do any policies cover natural disasters such as cyclone, or if you are confined to your cabin due to severe weather?

    • Staff
      Richard | June 9, 2015

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for your question. It depends on the situation and the policy. Many policies cover you if your trip is interrupted by a natural disaster and will pay a benefit for cancellation.

      I hope this was helpful,

  7. Default Gravatar
    Leanne | May 30, 2015

    I am going on a cruise with my mother(78yo) my son (15yo) and his mate (15yo), Can we get a family policy?

    • Staff
      Richard | June 1, 2015

      Hi Leanne,

      Thanks for your question. It will depend on the insurer but generally your family can be include your spouse, your legally recognised de facto, your children and your grandchildren.

      I hope this was helpful,

  8. Default Gravatar
    janice | May 23, 2015

    I am going on a cruise from Sydney. ports are
    Airlie beach
    Lombok (lumbar),
    Bali (Genoa)
    Singapore. one day in Singapore then fly back to Sydney.
    I’m not sure what region i need.
    could you please advise me.
    Thank you

    • Staff
      Richard | May 25, 2015

      Hi Janice,

      Thanks for your question. The region you’ll need to select will depend on the insurer. As you’ll be travelling to Asia, it’s likely that that will be the region you’ll need to select.

      I hope this was helpful,

  9. Default Gravatar
    Anna | March 27, 2015

    I am taking a shore excursion(Husky dogs sledge ride)in Alaska . Does the cruise travel insurance cover that? Or is it consider a winter sport activity and need an extra cover?
    Thanks and regards, Anna

    • Staff
      Richard | March 27, 2015

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for you question. Unfortunately, is a comparison service and not an insurer. What is and isn’t covered by your cruise travel insurance depends on the insurer. You need to make sure the policy covers the region you are travelling to and dog sledging (you’d be surprised how many policy include this cover at no extra cost e.g. 1Cover and Cover-More).

      I hope this was helpful,

  10. Default Gravatar
    | March 18, 2015

    Cruise to Bali.
    Return 30/12/2015
    Age 81

    • Staff
      Richard | March 18, 2015

      Hi May,

      Thanks for your query. Unfortunately, is a comparison service and not an insurer. If you would like to compare insurers in our panel, you can either compare the options available at the top of the page or enter you travel details into the travel form on the home page.

      I hope this was helpful,

Ask a question