Cruise travel insurance

Cruise travel insurance can be a real lifesaver, and you can get it for as little as $1.78/day*.

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If you're going on a cruise, getting cruise travel insurance is a smart decision. Most importantly, you'll get cover for unexpected onboard medical costs and emergency evacuation. To be extra safe, you can also get cover for things like missed port departures, cancelled pre-paid shore excursions and even your formal attire.

Do I need domestic cruise travel insurance?

Definitely. You need to get travel insurance if your cruising in Australian waters so that you get medical cover and evacuation expenses. Even though you're Australia, Medicare is not usually accepted onboard.
Medical care on board a cruise ship can get really expensive. Avoid the financial strain by getting the right cover.

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  • You can filter your results to customise your cover!
  • You can choose from Basic, Standard or Comprehensive Cover

What are the benefits of cruise travel insurance?

Most international policies will cover onboard medical expenses and emergency evacuation from the ship. If you decide to take out extra cover for your cruise, here are some typical benefits that can be included.

  • Onboard medical expenses
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Cruise delay
  • Missed ports
  • Cancelled pre-paid shore excursions
  • Missed cruise departure
  • Cabin confinement
  • Formal cruise attire
  • Marine rescue diversion

Domestic cruise travel insurance

Getting cover for your cruise in Australia is easy as long as you know what to look out for. Cruise providers insist you have enough medical cover with your travel insurance before you can board the ship. Since medical cover is not usually included in domestic travel insurance policies, you need to get an international policy instead.

Medicare will only cover you for medical assistance if;

  • You are cruising between domestic ports. Even if your ship is in Australian waters, you're not eligible if the ship departed from an international port.
  • If you are treated by a Medicare-approved doctor. Not all cruise-liners will have Medicare-approved doctors available onboard.

When cruising domestically, most insurers will prompt you to select the Pacific Region - this will usually include New Zealand, Bali, the South West Pacific and Norfolk Region. If you're still unsure what region to select for your domestic cruise, check out your insurers product disclosure statement (PDS) for confirmation.

Case Study:

We spoke with Craig Morison, the Chief Operating Officer for Fast Cover, and he revealed just how often cruise insurance has been utilised by Fast Cover customers.

In 2016, Carol and Vincent, a couple in their seventies from Brisbane, were getting ready to depart on a worldwide cruise. Unfortunately, in the week before they were meant to depart, Carol fell over in their yard and broke her ankle, which meant they would have to cancel their holiday. Because they had taken out a travel insurance policy that covered cancellation, for which they'd paid less than $800, they were able to be reimbursed for more than $20,000 worth of lost deposits.

How to find the best cruise travel insurance

The best cruise travel insurance is a policy that most suited to your individual needs. It's not just one specific policy. To help you find the best cruise travel insurance, follow these simple steps;

1. Choose a Single Trip or Annual Multi-trip policy. Think about all the trips you'll be taking over the next 12 months, if there are 2 or more, you might find that getting an annual policy will save you money and time.
2. Choose a suitable level of cover. Most insurers will offer standard or comprehensive cover at the very least. Standard policies will have less cover than comprehensive ones. Here, you want to think about if you want to take a walk on the wild side or prefer peace-of-mind.
3. Compare brands. Some brands include cruise cover at no extra cost while others might charge a small fee for cover. Comparing brands helps you decide which features will be most beneficial to you.
4. Choose a brand you trust. If you've never bought cruise travel insurance, look at forums for reviews. Just be careful, since reviews are written by the general public and are heavily influenced by negative outcomes.
5. Buy your cruise travel insurance as early as possible. Most insurers will cover your cancellation fees if you have to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances, so it pays to buy early.

Find the best cruise cover for you

Cheap cruise travel insurance

If you're traveling on a budget and need an affordable policy, getting cheap cruise travel insurance is possible but you might have to sacrifice a few benefits. The most important thing is to have cover for medical treatments and emergency evacuation, anything on top of that is a bonus.

The table below shows how the cheapest policies usually cover medical and emergency assistance only on cruises. It also shows the price difference between the cheapest, and paying a bit more money to get a policy that has more features for your cruise.
This table was priced on the 22nd September 2019 and is based on a 30 year old going on a South Pacific cruise for 14 days, with a standard excess of $200.

TickInsure4lessFast Cover
Policy typeBasic Medical Only Basic
Onboard medical assistance
Emergency evacuation
Cruise delay
Missed port
Pre-paid shore excursions
Missed cruise departure
Lost, stolen or damaged baggage
Cabin confinement/ loss of enjoyment
Formal cruise attire lost, stolen or damaged
Formal cruise attire delayed
Marine rescue diversion
Price $24.15$36.34$39.99

If you're only after medical and emergency assistance onboard, then our cheaper policies could be suitable for your trip. If you want value then it could be worth comparing your options and spending the extra dollars for way more coverage.

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Why get cruise cover?

In 2017, we conducted a survey to find out the number one fear that would stop Australians taking a cruise holiday. The survey uncovered eleven reasons why Aussies avoid going on cruises and interestingly enough, travel insurance would actually cover the majority of the reasons such as getting sick onboard or needing to be evacuated from the ship.

Cast away your fears and get cruise travel insurance for peace-of-mind.

1Getting food poisoning or gastro37%
2Big storms34%
4Getting sick or injured and having to be airlifted to hospital22%
5The ship sinking/running ashore22%
6Not being able to get off the boat16%
8Lost/stolen luggage12%
9Hitting an iceberg12%
10Falling overboard11%
11The cruise leaving without me8%
Source: survey, May 2017

Questions about travel insurance for a cruise

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*$1.78/day is based on a 35 year old traveling on a cruise for 14 days to the South Pacific Islands. Quoted on 23rd May 2019.
Picture: GettyImages

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