Can I Take my Pet on a Cruise?


Brits are notoriously dedicated to their pets, with a recent survey revealing that 10.5million of you worry about your furry friends whilst away on holiday. Additionally, 10% of pet owners refuse to take a holiday that would see them parted from their beloved animals.

With cruises being the fastest growing sector of the holiday industry and the devotion of the country’s pet owners never wavering, it seems that in impasse may be arrived at before long. Many cruise ships do not permit the vast majority of animals on board their ships due their understandably strict sanitation and health guidelines.

Additionally, the quarantine laws in the varying destinations on a cruise ship’s itinerary may make the logistics of transporting a pet even more difficult. The pet’s owners will be responsible for attaining all of the lengthy but relevant paperwork needed to ensure that their pet can enter all of the countries on the itinerary.

There are certain animals which are exempt from the rulings such as service animals that may be required by their owners to maintain their wellbeing at all times. Such animals are permitted to enter all public areas of the ship, including dining areas.

However, there are cruise companies who offer exceptions to the pet ban. Fittingly, it is the British cruise company, Cunard, which operates the Pets on Deck programme, allowing owners to bring their beloved pets on holiday with them. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is an approved carrier which affords pets the same luxury treatment as their owners, including spacious pet kennels and a full-time kennel-master and pet butler.

The Pets on Deck programme allows pets the opportunity to socialise with other animals during shared playtimes. Alternatively owners can opt for their pets to be allowed to play individually if they’re not the most sociable of creatures. Pets are walked outdoors several times a day, granting them fresh air, and are allocated visiting hours allowing them to see their beloved masters.

All pets are granted their own life belts and are attended to 24 hours a day, ensuring that their safety is never compromised. As well as the healthy daily doggie or kitty cookies that are offered; pets on board the Queen Mary 2 also get to enjoy a welcome pack complete with toys, food dish, nametag, a portrait with their owner, and a personalised cruise card.

Cunard has long held a tradition of welcoming pets on board, with the maiden voyage of the Britannia in 1840 hosting three cats. Over the decades, thousands of animals have enjoyed star treatment aboard Cunard cruises including a monkey, an elephant and even Elizabeth Taylor’s pooch.

Kennel rentals aboard the Queen Mary 2 start at $300 and are subject to availability. Pet beds in two sizes can be booked in advance to ensure the comfort of your beloved pet.

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Alan Levine, Jelly Dude, prettyinprint


About Author

Avatar photo

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

Comments are closed.