Coronavirus (COVID-19): cruise ship travel

Guidance for British people about cruise ship holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel

It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays. Follow current COVID-19 rules where you live: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete a declaration form.

Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for all the countries you will visit or transit through.

When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.

Cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least 1 night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households.

Our advice against cruises applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and other leisure facilities such as entertainment venues or swimming pools.

Our advice does not include ferries or privately-rented boats.

The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice.

If you have future cruise travel plans, contact your cruise line, travel operator, or the travel company you booked with, for further advice. For information on cruises in UK waters contact the Department for Transport:

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office continues to support the Department for Transport’s work with industry for the resumption of international cruise travel.

Published 12 March 2020
Last updated 16 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated with details of new requirements coming into effect from 4am on 18 January.

  2. Updated COVID-19 travel guidance

  3. Updated advice against cruise travel following the changes to the global advisory against non-essential travel

  4. First published.