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Do you need special travel insurance for a cruise?

Author: Harriet Mallinson

Published on:

Updated on:

Travel insurance for cruise holidays is vital to ensure you get the right cover should anything go wrong - but do you need special travel insurance for a cruise?

Travel insurance for cruises is not always a given when you buy a policy for your holiday and it's vital you check what cover your insurance is granting you.

However, picking the best travel insurance for cruises can prove a bit of a minefield and many holidaymakers can often be left feeling a bit lost.

World of Cruising spoke to expert Neil Wright, managing director at Cedar Tree travel insurance, to shed some light on travel insurance cruise cover.

So, we've got you covered, whether you want to know about special travel insurance for a cruise, buying cruise insurance after booking, what cruise insurance covers and, most importantly, is cruise insurance necessary?

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Do you need special travel insurance for a cruise?

It depends on your travel insurance policy. Some insurers exclude cruises unless a ‘cruise extension’ is added on, so make sure you check the small print or check with your insurer before travelling.

"The good news is," said Neil, "there are policies out there which automatically cover a cruise holiday, with set additional benefits, as part of ‘normal’ cover.

"Policies underwritten by AXA, for example, Cedar Tree and CoverForYou are comprehensive ones to try."

- READ MORE: Find your ideal cruise with our handy Cruise Finder tool -

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Travel insurance cruise cover: Some insurers exclude cruises unless a ‘cruise extension’ is added on. Credit: Shutterstock

Can you buy cruise insurance after booking?

Cruise insurance can be bought after you book your trip. However, it's best to buy your travel insurance for a cruise holiday at the time of booking.

"That way you are covered for things which might go wrong before you even step on the ship," Neil explained.

"This is particularly valuable for cruise holidays, as these are often booked well in advance of travel, so you’ll be covered for cancellation."

- READ MORE: Why doesn't travel insurance cover cruises? -

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Travel insurance cruiser cover: it's best to buy your travel insurance for a cruise holiday at the time of booking. Credit: Shutterstock

What does cruise insurance cover?

Cruise insurance covers the particular activities and risks that come with a cruise holiday.

"A cruise add-on covers you for a variety of scenarios you might find yourself in once on the cruise," elaborated Neil.

"These include claims for unused excursions, missed port and confinement to cabin (this one will depend on the level of cover), as well as increased baggage allowance and single item cover.

- READ MORE: Three major mistakes to avoid making when cruising -

How much does cruise insurance cost?

The cost of cruise ship travel insurance varies depending on the policy you buy - but certainly doesn't break the bank.

For instance, based on Cedar Tree policy pricing and looking at a 55-year-old traveller, cover for Europe would cost between £20-£30, Worldwide (excluding the USA) would come to £30-£50 and Worldwide (including the USA) approximately £40-£80.

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Travel insurance cruise cover: Cruise insurance covers the particular activities and risks that come with a cruise holiday. Credit: Shutterstock

Is cruise insurance necessary?

Yes, you always need travel insurance if going away on holiday to benefit from protection should anything go wrong.

Cruise only travel insurance won't cut the mustard - it's key to have full protection - but you might not always need the cruise add-on if that's included in your policy.

- READ MORE: Can I get travel insurance if I don’t have a Covid vaccine? -

Neil explained: "Most cruise companies will not let you board unless you are covered, nor should you travel anywhere without it, as the costs of a medical emergency can be horrific, even for the wealthy!

"With insurers that already cover cruises as part of their standard policies, you’ll automatically be covered for medical needs and emergencies such as evacuation and cancellation.

"So, in this instance, you don’t necessarily also need to purchase a cruise add-on - that’s an additional benefit."

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