Whether you’re embarking on a cruise holiday for the first time or you’re a regular on the seven seas, buying the right cruise travel insurance is vital to protect you before you set sail, while you’re on board and when you dock at overseas destinations.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, holidaymakers took 1.7 million cruises in 2022, up from 479,000 in 2021, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
While more and more people are choosing cruising as an ideal getaway, it’s no longer just the dream holiday experience of the ‘silver sailors’ seeking out the high seas in their retirement.
Its appeal is widening, with 27% of those who set sail travelling in a party consisting of three or more generations, bringing down the average age of passengers to 55.8 years of age.
This supports data from ABTA – The Travel Association – which reveals the biggest growth in the cruise market over the last five years has been among young families. Half of this group have now gone on a cruise, compared to just one third in 2018.
Further, two thirds of young families say they’re interested in going on a cruise in the future, the highest of any life stage or age group.
However, no matter your age or stage of life, if you plan on taking a cruise, it’s important to take out appropriate cruise travel insurance to protect you and your companions both on land and sea.
Plain sailing when it comes to cruise travel insurance
You may not know your port from your starboard, but knowing you’ve got the right cruise cover is like having a life jacket when you’re out on the deep, blue sea.
In fact, some cruise companies, such as P&O Cruises and TUI’s Marella fleet, won’t let you set foot on deck unless you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy which covers the full length of your cruise holiday, plus all the destinations you’re visiting.
Other cruise companies will have certain terms and conditions requiring minimum levels of cover, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Now, while some travel insurers include cruise insurance as standard, others don’t, which means it is an added extra to cover the special sea-faring nature of your trip.
Financial information and ratings business Defaqto reveals that, of the 1,051 annual products it tracks, 115 policies will not cover a cruise trip. Of the 1,060 single trip products it monitors, 5% do not cover a cruise trip so they won’t cover loss, damage, cost or expense suffered on sea-going cruise ships.
Cruise travel insurance covers elements which are often unique to such trips, such as cabin confinement, unused excursions or shore experiences, itinerary changes, missed port departures and the all-important evening wear.
Therefore, as well as spending time and energy planning your cruise itinerary, it’s captain’s orders to get your cruise travel insurance sorted as soon as you’ve booked your trip.
This will ensure you’re covered for cancellation in the run-up to your cruise if a medical situation prevents you from sailing into the sunset.
Award-winning travel insurance from Post Office
Post Office won the Best Travel Insurance Provider category at the YourMoney.com Personal Finance Awards 2023 for the third year in a row.
It provides single and annual multi-trip cover options. Plus, for an additional premium, cruise passengers can upgrade their insurance to include cruise cover for a single applicant, couples or families. Post Office requires sea-faring passengers to take out the extra cruise cover to ensure they’re adequately protected on land and sea.
As part of the cruise cover upgrade for a sea or river voyage of more than three days, passengers can choose between three varying levels of cover: Economy, Standard or Premier cruise travel insurance, based on budgets and needs.
The cruise cover includes:
- Missed departure and missed connection – If you miss pre-booked transport due to a delay or cancellation of public transport from industrial action, bad weather, a mechanical fault (including bird strikes), shortage of crew, vehicle accident, break down, flight diversion or lost or stolen travel documents (outside of the UK)
- Missed port – For instance, if the liner is unable to dock and you’re unable to disembark and visit planned destinations due to adverse weather or timetable restrictions
- Cruise interruption – Covers additional expenses you pay to re-join your cruise if, for example, you temporarily disembark for hospital treatment on dry land
- Evening dress hire – The cost of evening attire that is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed during a trip after a deduction is made for wear, tear and loss of value
- Cabin confinement and unused excursions – Gives you a set monetary amount for each 24-hour period you’re confined to your cabin following confirmation from the ship’s medical officer
- Increased personal belongings – On top of the standard personal baggage limit.
Post Office cruise cover also protects you in the event of a Covid-19 diagnosis. If you test positive for coronavirus before you depart, you will be able to make a claim.
As with any insurance policy, be honest and transparent about any pre-existing medical conditions you have, and make sure to consider all activities you’ll be undertaking both on board the ship and when you’re anchored at an overseas port.