Are you thinking of embarking on a cruise adventure?

Ahoy there! Cruises are awesome, and we commend you on having made such a superb holiday choice. Cruise travel is a great way to get around multiple holiday destinations in a short amount of time without the hassle of living out of a suitcase.

However, when things go wrong on a cruise, costs can quickly stack up, so you want a good travel insurance policy to ensure smooth sailing. We cover cruise travel at no extra cost, you just need to make sure you select the right area of cover.

Why take out cruise travel insurance?

You wouldn't board a ship that has no lifeboats, would you? Medical expenses can be huge, especially if you need treatment at sea or need to be evacuated to a land-based hospital. Many people aren't aware that Medicare and Australian private health cover don't apply once your ship leaves the port, even if it stays in Australian waters. With medical costs of up to $5,000 per day, you can see why it's so important to make sure you're covered should you fall ill or have an accident during your trip.

Cruises aren't the cheapest form of travel. And if something unexpected happens shortly before your planned cruise, you're likely to lose the whole fare. That's why it's good to have cancellation insurance to ensure you don't end up out of pocket.

"That ship has sailed" in its original meaning, is not something you want to hear when you arrive at the cruise terminal. But things like motor breakdowns and public transport failures do happen, which could lead to you arriving late for your cruise. Luckily we include cover for missed departure in our policies to help you reach your next port of call.

When it's sink or swim, you can rely on us

Here's why you should choose Columbus to give you peace of mind on you cruise holiday.

  • Cover for up to $25 million of overseas or on-board medical costs.
  • Insurance for unforeseen medical emergencies and repatriation is provided.
  • Missed departure is covered up to $2,000.
  • Cover can be offered up to the age of 84 for single trip policies (up to 69 for annual multi-trip policies).
  • Cover for baggage that is lost, stolen or delayed is included.
  • We can offer cover for pre-existing medical conditions, subject to our easy online medical screening.
  • Certain cover for pregnancy is available up to the 30th week. (Conditions apply.)
  • We cover many sports and activities as standard. For more risky activities, you can add our Adventure Pack to your policy.
  • We care about our customers and have lots of great reviews on TrustPilot.
  • Our online booking tool is quick and easy. Why not see for yourself?

Want to see a quote?

Good to know

How to choose the correct area of cover for your cruise policy

Good news: We don't charge any extra premium when you're going on a cruise. However, it's important that you select a destination area that covers the international waters your ship may be travelling into. For instance, if your cruise takes you around the East Coast of Australia, the destination area of your policy will likely need to be 'South Pacific', even if the boat only docks in Australian ports. Your policy will then provide cover in case you need medical treatment on board or need to be repatriated from the ship while it is sailing in international waters. However there will be no medical cover while you're in Australia (ie ashore or at a port whereby Medicare services apply). Our areas of cover are explained with full country lists on step one of our travel insurance quote process.


How do you define a cruise?

We define a cruise as a trip where the main mode of transport is via ship. In most cases the ship will also incorporate your accommodation.

Can I get cruise cover even if I'm not an Australian citizen or permanent resident?

Yes, provided you have lived in Australia for at least the last 3 months.

When should I buy cruise travel insurance?

Once you've made payments or paid a deposit on your cruise, we generally recommend to get your insurance in place as soon as possible, so your cancellation cover is in place.

Can I get cover for medical conditions on a cruise travel insurance policy?

If you have any medical or dental condition, illness, injury, defect or disease (other than common colds or flu), this may be considered a pre-existing medical condition. Check if any of the following apply to your condition to confirm if you need to declare it:

  • I have received or been prescribed advice, treatment (including medication), or investigation for this in the last 12 months (in the 12 months before booking your trip for Annual Multi-Trip policies)
  • My condition, or a complication that is directly linked to it, is ongoing or recurring
  • I am aware of the condition, or its symptoms, or could reasonably be expected to have been aware at the time of applying for this insurance.

Can I get cruise travel insurance for a one way trip?

Yes, you'll just need to give us a call to arrange it. Please also bear in mind that the insurance will end as soon as you reach your country of final destination.

What happens if I need to cancel my cruise?

We'll reimburse you for your irrecoverable cancellation costs if you need to cancel your cruise due to a covered reason, for example, if you or a close relative fall seriously ill or you are made redundant. If this happens, you can lodge a cancellation claim just like you would for any other trip. You'll be asked to provide relevant documents to show why you had to cancel and what costs you incurred.

Am I covered if I need to receive medical treatment on board or if I need to be transported to a land-based medical facility?

Yes, our policies cover treatment on board as well as transportation costs to get to a place of treatment.

Am I covered if I have to leave the boat due to an emergency at home?

If you have to cut your trip short due to a covered reason, we'll compensate you for the unused portion of your trip and we'll cover the cost to get you home early. Covered reasons include, for example, serious injury of a close relative or if your home is burgled and the police request your attendance.

Am I covered if the cruise company or travel agent goes bankrupt or cancels my cruise?

Unfortunately we don’t cover bankruptcy or default of a carrier. If you've booked your cruise through a travel agent, speak to them to find out if they could compensate you in such an event (some travel agents have insurance in place for this).

I’m flying to my cruise departure point and staying at a hotel before and after the cruise. Am I covered for the non-cruise part of my trip as well?

If you're flying overseas and staying at an international destination before or after your cruise, then you're covered for that part of your trip as well. If you're combining travel within Australia with your cruise, please give us a call to discuss your plans.

Please note that the benefits we’ve listed below are just a summary – to really understand what you’re covered for it’s important that you read our full policy wording including terms, conditions and exclusions.

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Why Columbus Direct?

  • 24/7 emergency medical assistance helpline
  • Sydney Customer Care Team
  • 19 day money back guarantee*
  • No credit card surcharge
  • Secure online purchase process

*Provided you haven't travelled or claimed.

2013: Travel Insurance Intermediary of the year award by the ITIJ2011: Best Travel Insurance Provider award from the Personal Finance Awards 2012: Best Travel Insurance Provider award from the Your Money Direct AwardsBest Online Travel Insurance Provider award from the Your Money Direct Awards