Cruise travel insurance

Compare travel insurance for your cruise with policies starting from £12.90*

  • Insurance with cover for the extras you need

  • Find cover for cabin confinement, missed port and more

  • Compare some policies with covid cover

*The cheapest price for a 30 year old travelling on a cruise for 1 week in Europe, with no pre-existing medical conditions. data - February 2024.

What is cruise travel insurance?

Cruise travel insurance offers cover that’s tailored to your cruise, whether it’s an ocean cruise or a river cruise.

When you buy cruise insurance you’ll still get standard travel insurance, plus, you'll get extra cover for your cruise, including:

  • Missed port departures
  • Cruise cabin confinement
  • Unused excursions
  • Cruise itinerary changes
  • Cruise interruption

You can usually buy cruise cover on its own, as an add-on to a standard policy or even as annual multi-trip travel insurance with cruise cover.

You should buy cruise insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday. This means you're covered if you need to cancel your trip before you depart, for example if you fall ill before travelling.

You can buy cruise travel insurance after you've booked your holiday right up until your departure date. But there’s also often a period after booking when you can't claim – often 24 hours – so it's best not to leave it to the last minute to buy.

When getting your quote, make sure to select 'cruise cover' in the extras section:  

Cruise insurance selection

We compare quotes from up to 43 travel insurance companies to find you our best deals

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What does cruise insurance cover?

Cruise insurance covers you against unexpected costs and emergencies that can happen while at sea, including:


What’s usually covered

  • Cabin confinement: If you fall ill, the medical officer on board might require you to stay in your room to avoid making other passengers ill. If you're covered for this you'll get a payout from your insurance.
  • Personal belongings, money and baggage: This covers you if your items are stolen, accidentally lost or damaged.
  • Cancellations: If you have to cancel your trip in an emergency, this should cover the cost of any pre-paid travel, accommodation, and unused excursions.
  • Missed departure: This cover offers some compensation if you miss your departure because there are strikes, your car breaks down or your train is cancelled.
  • Cruise interruption: If you become ill and need to go to land for treatment, you’ll be able to claim for your travel expenses to allow you to rejoin the cruise.
  • Unused excursions: If you miss an excursion because of an accident, injury or illness, you should be able to claim for the activity cost.
  • Missed port cover: If your ship leaves without you due to reasons beyond your control, your travel and accommodation costs should be covered until you can rejoin the cruise. For example, if you’ve been delayed by bad weather or an accident on the road.
  • Medical cover is extremely important, especially if you’re hundreds of miles away from the mainland and need medical assistance. This may cover emergency airlift to hospital if needed.

What’s usually not covered

  • Claims related to pre-existing health conditions if you didn't declare them when you bought your insurance
  • Delays or cancellations due to bad weather
  • Cancellations made by the cruise provider
  • Incidents that happen when under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Excursions or sports that aren't covered by your policy
  • If you’re taking a cruise in the UK that’s happening within a certain distance of your home

Does cruise insurance cover Covid-19?

Some cruise travel insurance policies include:

  • Emergency medical cover: To cover your medical care if you become ill with coronavirus while on your cruise.
  • Cancellation cover: Policies can also cover you if you have to cancel your trip due to Covid-19. Cancellations usually apply if you’re diagnosed with coronavirus 14 days before your cruise ship sets sail, or if you’re denied boarding due to having Covid-19 symptoms. Policies may also cover trip cancellation within 14 days of departure due to a close relative being hospitalised or dying from Covid-19.
  • Curtailment cover: Policies might also include cover in case you have to cut your trip short due to Covid-19.

If you travel against Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice, your cruise travel insurance won't cover you. Always read the latest FCDO advice before you travel and keep tabs on any government updates to the international cruise ship travel guidelines.

Some cruise operators require certain levels of insurance, including cover relating to Covid-19. Check your policy wording so you know your insurance meets the cruise operator’s criteria.

Taking a cruise with a pre-existing medical condition

Usually, yes. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you could still get cruise insurance. Just select your condition(s) on our quote form.

Pre-existing medical conditions include things like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Heart and respiratory problems

Your insurance could cost more if the insurer thinks you're more likely to need medical treatment while on holiday due to your pre-existing condition.

Some insurers may not offer cruise travel insurance if you have a serious medical condition, especially if you’re undergoing treatment or waiting for an operation.

If you can’t find suitable cover, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has set up a directory of insurers who cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions through their brand MoneyHelper.

You can find the directory of insurers on the MoneyHelper website or you can phone MaPS for free impartial advice on 0800 138 7777.

You should always tell the truth about pre-existing medical conditions when you get a cruise insurance quote. If you don’t, you could invalidate your cover, and if you need to claim it could be rejected.

What our travel insurance expert says

"Some travel insurance policies include cruise cover as standard, but many don’t as it’s a more expensive extra that not every traveller needs. If you’re comparing prices for your cruise trip, make sure you tick the box to include cruise cover in your quote. That way you’ll only see policies that include the cover you need."
Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at
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Choosing the right cover for your cruise holiday

Here are our top tips for choosing the right policy for your needs:

  • Make sure all the cruise destination points are covered. You can buy cruise insurance that covers worldwide travel or specific areas. Check the FCDO for any advice against travel to certain areas, as you won't be covered if the government advises against visiting certain countries.
  • Check you’re covered for any sports or activities you intend to do both on and offshore as part of your trip.
  • Compare policy cover levels for cabin confinement to make sure you’re happy with the amount you’d be entitled to if you had to stay in your cabin.
  • Check the conditions for missed port departure cover – you might not be covered by your insurance if you miss your boat due to a private excursion, for example.
  • Get comprehensive medical cover that includes emergency helicopter transfers, cover for your journey home if you can’t return on your cruise ship, and medical costs like hospital fees.
  • Check the policy limits for baggage cover, especially if you’re planning to take more luggage than you would if you were taking a flight.
  • Consider how many cruises you take in a year. If you take more than 1, annual multi-trip travel insurance with cruise cover could be an option. It covers cruises anywhere in the world and is often cheaper than buying standalone policies for each cruise you go on. It’s important to compare prices to be sure you’re getting the best value, though. Sometimes annual insurance can be more expensive –for example, if you have pre-existing medical conditions.

Compare cruise travel insurance quotes

How do I get a quote for cruise travel insurance?

Getting a quote for cruise insurance only takes a few minutes:

  • Select 'get a quote' and fill in the quote for with your details. We'll need to know your personal details, and details of travellers who need cover on the policy.
  • What type of cover you want - single trip, annual or backpacker travel insurance.
  • What country you're travelling to and when you're going.
  • Any additional cover you want. It's important to select 'cruise cover' here.
  • You’ll see a list of insurers who can give you the cover you want, and you can compare prices before deciding which one is most appropriate for your needs.
Cruise insurance selection


How much does Cruise insurance cost?

Cruise insurance starts from £12.90*. The cost of your cruise insurance policy depends on:

  • Where you’re travelling: The more countries you visit, the higher the insurance risk of something going wrong. Similarly, if you're travelling to somewhere dangerous or remote, the price may be higher as it costs an insurer more to pay out a claim.
  • How long you’re away for: Longer trips might cost more due to an increased likelihood of incidents happening in that extended time.
  • How many people are covered on the policy: If you’re travelling with other people, try getting a quote for a group or family policy. Doing this can sometimes save you money overall, as it can with standard travel insurance.
  • If anyone has a pre-existing medical condition: If one person on a family policy has a pre-existing medical condition, they may increase the overall insurance price for the whole family. So it’s also worth getting quotes for individual policies and comparing that against a group one.
  • The age of those travelling: Older travelers might have higher prices due to an increased likelihood of medical issues.

Cruise cover is usually more expensive than other types of travel insurance due to there being fewer amenities available while you’re at sea. While many ships have medics and basic equipment on board, this won't be enough if you need to go to hospital or leave the boat in an emergency.

These extra considerations mean more risk, so you'll pay more for this cover compared to a standard travel policy.

When comparing quotes, you’ll see policies with airlift options, in case you need to go to hospital but are far from the mainland. You’ll also see cover for things like abandoning your trip due to extreme weather. These extras all help determine your policy cost.

Private healthcare systems can mean the cost of medical treatment is much higher in some countries. This is also taken into consideration in the cost of your policy. For example, it's a lot more expensive to seek medical treatment in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean than it is in France, for example.

Travelling with a pre-existing medical condition can also increase the cost of your travel insurance. But it’s important that you declare it when getting your quote to be sure it’s covered when you travel.

Do I need a EHIC or GHIC for a cruise?

It’s not mandatory to have a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for a cruise, but it might be useful.

The card gives you access to medical treatment in many European countries at the same cost as a local would pay. This can dramatically reduce your medical bills if you do need treatment. It's not a substitute for insurance but it can lower your costs. But it doesn't cover all European countries so check which are included before your trip.

The GHIC was introduced to replace the EHIC when the UK left the EU , but if you have a valid EHIC you can continue using it until it expires. You can apply for a GHIC through the NHS website for free up to 6 months before your EHIC expires.

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Page last reviewed: 16 February 2024

Reviewed by: Matthew Harwood’s Travel Insurance solution is provided by is a trading style of Investment Discounts On-Line Ltd and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office; Investment Discounts On-Line Ltd, One Coleman Street, London, EC2R 5AA. Registered in England no: 04231834. is part of the Legal & General group.

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