News story

Keeping illness at bay on cruises

PHE and NaTHNaC publish a factsheet advising how to stay healthy and safe when on a cruise.


With the festive season fast approaching and the drop in temperatures, many people look forward to winter sun holidays, including cruises. Public Health England (PHE) and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) have published a health and safety factsheet for UK travellers planning a cruise this winter.

Top tips

Before your trip:

  • see your GP, nurse, or travel clinic well in advance of your cruise
  • make sure you have adequate travel health insurance

While on board:

  • eat and drink sensibly: follow good food and water hygiene and drink plenty of water in hot conditions
  • wash your hands frequently
  • be safe: watch out for accidents, slips and trips
  • be SunSmart: protect your skin from the sun

After your trip;

  • on your return if you feel unwell, see your GP immediately

Dr Jane Jones, a travel health expert at PHE, said:

Holidays should be an enjoyable break from the normal routine of life, and to ensure a trip is free from health troubles all travellers need to be aware of potential health risks and take sensible precautions to stay well. Pre-travel medical advice should ideally be sought from a GP or a travel clinic at least 6 weeks before travel, but it is never too late to seek advice, even for last minute holidays.

Dipti Patel, joint director at NaTHNaC, which is commissioned by PHE, said:

We strongly advise travellers to discuss their particular travel health requirements with their GP or travel clinic to ensure they are adequately protected, including being up to date with routine vaccinations, as well as any additional ones that may be appropriate. Travellers can refer to NaTHNaC’s website for general travel health advice and for country specific information.

A winter break can be relaxing, exciting, fun and a tonic against the long cold months before spring; it is no wonder that they are so popular. But, no matter where you’re going, how old you are or what type of activities you want to get involved in, there’s one thing you absolutely must do before you head off: get appropriate travel health advice to keep your holidays both happy and healthy.

Published 12 December 2014