International Cruise Travel Insurance

Sailing international waters? Find the best cruise travel insurance by comparing with Savvy.

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, updated on September 4th, 2023       

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Whether you’re cruising the Amalfi Coast or sailing through the Alaskan glaciers, international cruises can let you soak up some of the world’s most picturesque locales. If you’re chasing travel insurance to protect you while at sea, Savvy can help.

Comparing with us allows you to weigh up the pros and cons of each policy and find one that’s tailor-made for your next international cruise, so start the process with Savvy and find the best policy today.

What does international cruise travel insurance cover?

Anything can happen when you’re cruising international waters. Being confined to your cabin, slipping and falling on the deck or being struck down with an illness on board are all common mishaps passengers can encounter while onboard multi-night cruises. That’s why having international cruise travel insurance can give you peace of mind that you’ll be protected if something goes awry while you’re at sea.

Some of the common benefits of overseas travel insurance include:

  • Medical coverage: Whether you suffer a bout of food poisoning or take a tumble onboard, your travel insurance can cover the cost of any medical treatment you require while aboard your cruise ship, as long as it’s covered under your policy. A visit to the onboard medico can cost you anywhere up to $200 or more, even for a bout of seasickness, so having cover will reduce any out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Cruise-specific cover: Cruise travel insurance has your back if you’re confined to your cabin due to illness or injury, miss your vessel embarkation or a planned excursion via a port stop is cancelled due to mechanical or weather complications.
  • Evacuation and repatriation: If you suffer a severe medical episode aboard your multi-night cruise liner, you may need to abandon ship via a helicopter. Depending on the part of the world you’re travelling, the cost of this can start anywhere from $100,000. Thankfully, your insurer can foot the bill if you need to be evacuated and repatriated in Australia, including if you die onboard your ship and your remains are to be returned home.
  • Around-the-clock assistance: Many insurance companies offer 24/7 customer service, no matter where you are in the world. This allows you to make a claim or seek assistance day or night if you’re embroiled in an emergency.
  • Cancellation: Having to cancel your trip due to a family emergency or serious illness can be stressful. However, most comprehensive policies protect any pre-paid bookings such as flights and other bookings if you can no longer travel.
  • Delays: Delays and disruptions are part and parcel of travelling nowadays. Luckily, most insurance companies will cover the cost of accommodation, meals and basics such as clothes or toiletries if your flight or ship is delayed by more than 24 hours.
  • Luggage and personal items: Losing your worldly possessions onboard your cruise ship can be a stressful and worrying situation when you’re on a trip of a lifetime. However, most insurers will cover the cost of replacing or repairing any lost, stolen or damaged luggage and personal items up to a set limit (often up to $15,000).
  • Special event transport: If your embarkation is held up because your connecting ride or flight is delayed, your insurance company will cover the cost of getting you onboard in the nick of time.
  • COVID-19-related events: Many insurance providers will cover you for any treatment you require that relates to COVID-19. However, only a select few cruise policies cover you in the event your travel plans are cancelled or delayed due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

One of the highlights of cruises is the onboard activities and shore excursions you can take part in. Whether it be a spot of scuba diving, kayaking or quad biking through some dunes, it’s important to make sure you have the best cruise travel insurance to cover these types of activities. Many providers require you to pay a little extra to get additional coverage for these, as they’re deemed ‘high-risk’ by many insurance companies.

How do I compare international cruise travel insurance policies?

Comparing cruise cover is the best way to find a policy which is tailor-made for your next boat trip. Doing your homework with Savvy takes the guesswork out of your decision-making process, allowing you to make an educated call on which policy is best for you. When you’re shopping around for the best deal, make sure you consider the following factors:

Types of coverage

Most insurers give you the option between basic and comprehensive coverage options. Basic policies cover you for the bare essentials, such as medical treatment and personal liability, while comprehensive tend to be more expensive but afford you a wider range of benefits (such as those listed above). The costs and features of these can vary, so it’s important to compare before you settle on a particular provider.

Types of policies

Travel insurance companies often offer a suite of products tailored to different types of travellers, such as annual, one-way and single-trip policies. Depending on the type of holiday you’re planning and how frequently you travel, it’s a good idea to compare to make sure you get a policy which is most suited to you.

Inclusions and exclusions

It’s essential to compare the inclusions and exclusions between providers, as they tend to vary across the market. For example, some insurers cover you if you’re confined to your cabin due to illness, while others don’t. It’s also a good idea to read and compare the Product Disclosure Statements to make certain you get the cover you need.


Travel insurance excesses differ across the board, so it’s in your best interests to compare these with us before you settle on a preferred insurer. Standard excesses range from $100 to $250, with some insurers not making you pay anything if you do need to claim on your policy.


Cruise travel insurance policies come with claim limits, which tend to change depending on the provider you choose. For example, if you're confined to your cabin due to illness, some insurers let you claim $75 per day, while others may up this to $150. Comparing allows you to find a set of limits which are suitable for you.

Age limits

It’s wise to check out the age limits on various policies if you’re chasing cruise coverage as a senior. Some providers don’t allow those over the age of 65 to take out travel insurance, while others set no maximum limit or make the cut-off 99 or even 130 years old. It’s best to compare to ensure you get the coverage which is right for your stage of life.

How can I save money on my international cruise travel insurance?

Having a little extra spending money while you’re onboard your international cruise can’t hurt. Whether you’re up for a spot of shopping or just want a few more cocktails at the onboard bars, saving on your travel insurance can leave you with more spending money when you’re ready to set sail.

  • Choose a higher excess: many insurance companies allow you to increase your excess in exchange for paying a reduced premium. This can save you a tidy sum when you’re purchasing your travel insurance, but it’s important to make sure your excess is manageable for you if you do need to make a claim.
  • Handpick your destinations: you’ll get the option of insuring yourself for specific countries you’re visiting or getting worldwide protection. For example, if you’re travelling to Singapore for a cruise but are stopping over in Jakarta, you can opt for coverage for those two destinations. Handpicking the regions your cruise is taking you through can be cheaper than opting for worldwide coverage, which is otherwise more convenient.
  • Compare with Savvy: if you asked just about anybody for their travel insurance saving tips, shopping around would be at the top of their list. Getting a few quotes from different providers and comparing them with us should make it easier to find a policy that best suits your next holiday, which you can do right here with us today.
  • Consider how often you travel: planning on cruising outside Australian waters a few times over the next 12 months? Taking out an annual cruise travel insurance policy can cover you for several trips outside of the country which is cheaper than purchasing individual policies. Make sure you compare these, however, as the individual trip limits tend to vary between 15 and 90 days depending on who you choose to purchase through.

Types of travel insurance

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Common international cruise travel insurance questions

Am I required to take out cruise travel insurance?

Travel insurance isn’t mandatory on cruise ships; however, many international and domestic cruise companies make it a condition of boarding that you have some level of travel insurance. Even basic travel insurance covers you for a range of medical-related expenses when you’re cruising in foreign or Australian waters.

Do I need international travel insurance for all countries I visit?

This depends on the requirements of the specific country you are visiting. Cuba, Argentina and certain countries in Europe require you to have travel insurance before you step foot on their soil. Insurance companies give you the option of worldwide coverage which covers you for a large number of countries, so you don’t have to worry about not being covered. It’s crucial to avoid finding yourself in a situation where you aren’t covered.

Can I get international cruise travel insurance if I’m over 80?

Yes – however, many insurance companies charge you a higher premium if you’re an octogenarian. For example, if you’re travelling to Hawaii for a cruise and need travel insurance, your premium could be as much as ten times higher than someone aged in their 30s or 40s.

Can I get overseas cruise travel insurance if I have a heart condition?

Yes – many travel insurers will provide you coverage for a heart condition for an extra fee. This type of pre-existing condition is among the more serious health issues insurers generally make you pay a little extra to cover for your holiday. The types of heart conditions insurers may cover include:

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Angina
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Prior operations
How do I make a claim while I’m at sea?

Making an insurance claim at sea is simple if you do it online. Once you’ve checked with your Product Disclosure Statement that what you’re claiming for is covered, you can generally fill out an online claim form through your insurer’s website. This includes sharing any supporting documents (such as a medical certificate), details of the incident and your bank details for payment of your claim.

Can I include children under my travel insurance policy?

Yes – many international and domestic travel insurance policies allow you to roll your dependent children into your existing policy. However, your children normally must be under 20 (or 25 in some cases), not working full-time and must be spending the entirety of the holiday with you.

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We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.

Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.