Cruise ship travel

Guidance for British people about cruise ship holidays, with specific advice for people aged 70 and over and people with health conditions.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises British nationals aged 70 and over and those with pre-existing health conditions against cruise ship travel at this time.

This is based on the government Chief Medical Officer’s advice. It follows a number of cruise ships around the world being locked down due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks on board.

If you are aged 70 and over, or if you have underlying health conditions, an outbreak on board could put you at a higher risk of severe disease. This could lead to hospitalisation in another country, and potential disruption to medical care for any underlying conditions.

Underlying health conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • chronic respiratory disease, including asthma
  • chronic heart disease
  • chronic renal disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease
  • diabetes requiring insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs
  • weakened immune system due to drug treatment or disease
  • current or recent chemotherapy

This list is not exhaustive. If you are in any doubt and you have a chronic health condition, you should speak to your doctor.

Plan ahead

All cruise ship passengers or those planning to go on a cruise should be aware a COVID-19 outbreak on board is possible, and your travel may be disrupted.

If you already have cruise travel plans, you should speak to your travel operator or the travel company you booked with for further advice.

If you’re already on a cruise ship, you should follow the advice of the ship’s authorities. This includes complying with any precautionary health measures or quarantine procedures that may be put in place.

For further information on preparing to travel abroad and helping reduce the spread of the virus, see the NHS guidance and the TravelHealthPro guidance.

Published 12 March 2020