Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

Originally posted: 26th Sep 2023

A cruise holiday is an exciting prospect: visiting all those amazing destinations and relaxing on a wonderful ship with a collection of incredible amenities. The last thing anyone wants to think about is insurance. However, travel insurance can provide peace of mind and make sure that you can relax on your holiday.

Have you been asking yourself, ‘do I need cruise cover on my travel insurance?’ or are you unsure if you need to purchase specialist cruise holiday insurance? If so, you are in the right place as we are here to answer all your questions about travel insurance for cruises. Read on for all the details and helpful information.

What is cruise travel insurance for pre-exisiting medical conditions?

Cruise travel insurance with medical conditions is an additional cover for cruise holidays - and it can be added to a single trip or annual multi-trip policy if required. 

When you are planning to embark on a cruise, we can search over 30 specialist medical travel insurance providers to help you find the perfect policy that not only includes cover for pre-existing medical conditions but also specifically insures you against specific cruise-related issues that you wouldn’t normally get protection for with standard cover.

It’s all fairly self-explanatory, but if you’re curious to get fully up to speed with all things concerned with cruise travel insurance - you’ve certainly come to the right place!

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Do I need specialist cruise travel insurance?

Standard travel insurance is not a legal requirement, and neither is cruise travel insurance. However, you will find that some cruise ships and UK travel agents require you to have adequate cover before you can board your cruise. Making sure that you have suitable cruise insurance in place is the best way to ensure that your holiday gets off to a smooth start.

Whether you’re taking a short cruise around the UK, treating yourself to a Caribbean adventure or perhaps even a luxury worldwide cruise, the cost of your holiday is unlikely to be cheap.

So, for starters - you will probably require a higher level of cancellation and curtailment (which means having to end your trip early) cover to ensure the cost of your holiday and any pre-paid excursions can be recouped in the event of being unable to travel.

You will also want adequate medical and personal liability cover to ensure you're not out of pocket in the event of you requiring medical treatment which forces the cruise ship to dock or for you to be airlifted to the nearest hospital.

When comparing cruise ship travel insurance quotes, it’s important to check the level of cover offered is enough to fully protect you.

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What does cruise-specific travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance for cruises includes all the regular benefits of standard travel insurance but also some important items that are specific to a cruise holiday. They are things you won’t want to miss out on, giving you peace of mind should the worst happen. For example, you can be covered for:

  • Missed port departure
  • Cabin confinement for medical reasons
  • Airlifting from the cruise ship should you need to be hospitalised
  • Cruise interruption
  • Change of itinerary
  • Cover of unused excursions
  • Cruise cancellation

Whereas standard travel insurance only provides for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost or stolen luggage
  • Holiday cancellation

As a result, you can see why having cruise-specific travel insurance would be very helpful.

What are the different levels of cruise travel insurance cover?

Broadly speaking, coverage can vary - and the level you choose might normally be dictated by the cost of your cruise.

Therefore, when comparing quotes, please pay careful attention to the level of cancellation cover provided, especially as the last thing you want to do is underinsure your cruise. 

Don't be tempted to select a policy that offers a lower level of cover than what your cruise is costing, because this could invalidate your policy altogether.

The cover limits on a policy are per insured person, so for example, if there are two of you travelling on the policy and the total of your cruise is costing £3,000, then you would need a policy that provides a minimum cancellation cover up to £1,500 per person.

Optional extras

In addition to cruise cover, there are also other optional extras you could add to your policy. 

Gadget cover is there for all your electronic devices, and if you’re swapping the ship for a pair of ski boots at any point during your cruise - you might want to consider winter sports cover, too.

Can I get cruise insurance if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes - for those with pre-existing medical conditions, having travel insurance for your cruise is definitely advised. Should you become ill or need treatment during your trip, cruise travel insurance will mean that you are covered.

You just need to declare your pre-existing conditions when applying for your insurance. You’ll also be asked a few questions to get a better understanding of the nature of your condition. This helps travel insurance providers work out the type of medical coverage you’ll need. Here at Medical Travel Compared, we can compare the best quotes that cover any conditions you have been diagnosed with.

How many days can cruise travel insurance cover me for?

You can typically be covered for up to 45 days with single trip cover – perfect for the vast majority of cruises. Some providers will even cover up to 94 days but either way, whether you are heading on a short cruise around the Med or are looking for world cruise travel insurance, you should be just fine.

If you are planning multiple trips throughout the year, you can also be covered via annual multi-trip insurance. While there will be a maximum number of days you are covered for each trip, it’s a great option to consider for frequent travellers.

How much does cruise insurance cost?

The price of cruise insurance will depend on a number of different factors that are unique to your own situation. For example, the cost will change depending on the destinations you are visiting, the length of the cruise, your pre-existing medical conditions, and your age.

Comparing the prices of cruise travel insurance is a good idea as different providers will quote you different prices. They are all competing with each other so take the time to shop around for the best price.

Is travel insurance more expensive for a cruise?

Cruise insurance does tend to be more expensive than standard travel insurance. This is because the cost of medical expenses, should you become ill at sea, are normally higher, thus resulting in a more expensive policy. Just think about it, a regular ambulance can take you from the hotel to the hospital but on a cruise ship, a much more expensive helicopter will have to be used.

Further still, travel insurance is more expensive for a cruise holiday because it covers more than a standard travel policy. As you can claim for things that will only take place on a cruise, such as missed port or cabin confinement, the insurance premium will be naturally higher.

You can reduce the cost of your cruise insurance by choosing a policy that covers fewer items, only opting for one that covers the essentials of medical expenses but, of course, the peace of mind you get from full cover might be something you will miss.

Medical Travel Compared Cruise Sunset

Is there cruise travel insurance with COVID cover?

Yes, you can purchase cruise travel insurance with COVID cover. When you compare cruise travel insurance with us, we will only show you quotes that will cover emergency medical expenses and repatriation to the UK if you catch COVID while on holiday. Some insurance providers will also be able to provide cancellation cover should you contract the virus before you are due to depart.

What is the best cruise travel insurance to get?

The best cruise insurance in the UK is a policy that will cover you for cruise-specific eventualities, such as cabin confinement and missed ports of call, as well as any pre-existing medical conditions. Other factors to consider are the amount of money you are covered for, how much the excess is, and, of course, the price of the policy itself.

In order to help you determine the best UK cruise insurance, our comparison tool will provide you with a selection of quotes to choose from. Take your time and make sure that everything you want is covered.

How do I buy cruise travel insurance?

The best way to buy cruise travel insurance is by comparing the different options that are currently available. This is easy to do with us here at Medical Travel Compared. With our quick online comparison tool, you can compare quotes in no time at all.

  • Click the 'Get a quote' button to get started.
  • Choose ‘single trip’ or ‘annual trip’ travel insurance and add ‘cruise cover’ when applying.
  • Select all the countries that you will be travelling to on your cruise.
  • Let us know when you are going and when you are coming back.
  • Decide how many people you want to be covered.
  • Provide a few personal details, such as any pre-existing medical conditions.

Once you have filled in the form, you can start browsing the quotes and decide which policy is right for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to add each country that you are visiting. If you are on a flight stopover this will include any countries where you leave the airport. If you are on a cruise it includes any countries where your ship will be docking at.

No. We can search for travel insurance quotes for all ages. However, the number of annual multi-trip quotes for older travellers may be limited due to age restrictions imposed by the providers that we search. If you are unable to get an annual trip quote, try a single trip quote instead.

If you have to cancel your cruise, your insurance provider may be able to cover the cost of your pre-booked excursions and this will usually be up to a certain amount. We'll show you whether this is covered before you buy your policy.

Single trip cover usually can cover you for up to 45 days, but a few providers may be able to cover you for up to 94 days. If you are getting annual trip cover, there will be a maximum number of days that you are covered for any one trip, but we'll let you know what this is for your quote!

A pre-existing condition is a diagnosed medical condition that existed before taking out a policy. We'll ask a series of questions about the medical history for you and any travellers on your quote. If you answer yes to any of these, you will need to tell us about the traveller's conditions. This could be a condition that a traveller has now or has had in the past. If you are not sure what conditions you need to declare, we have online support available to help you 24/7!

You can send your question to our team, or visit our Cruise Cover help centre.

* Price is based on one traveller aged 61, with no medical conditions and is travelling to Spain for seven nights with cruise cover. The price is correct as of April 2024. Prices may vary according to your individual requirements.

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If we're unable to help you find cover for a pre-existing medical condition, the Money Helper Directory has listings of companies that may be able to assist you. Further details can be found on their website.

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