On a cruise with your pet: pet friendly cruise shipsFind out if your furry friend is allowed on board, which ships are pet-friendly and the regulations about this issue.
Do you want to take a sea trip and want to bring your pet? Being able to explore the world without having to separate from your furry friend is definitely a unique opportunity to enjoy your vacation to the fullest and create unforgettable moments.
This is why pet-friendly ships are increasingly in demand among animal lovers. However, there are often numerous restrictions and things that cannot be taken on a cruise. In this article, we will answer the most common questions, especially for those who want to travel with their pet.
ARE ANIMALS ALLOWED ON SHIPS?
Yes, dogs and cats are allowed on ships! However, it depends on the shipping company, which does not always accept them. But why?
There are several reasons why many companies may choose not to allow animals on board. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Hygiene and cleanliness;
- International regulations that for each port may be different;
- Other passengers may be allergic to animals or feel uncomfortable in their presence, so companies may choose to limit or prohibit their presence.
Which ships are Pet Friendly?
Queen Mary II - Cunard Line
The Queen Mary II of Cunard Line is considered the most famous pet-friendly cruise ship, known for its welcoming attitude towards pets (dogs and cats) and personalized services such as dedicated walking areas, play area and grooming services. However, we have to specify that animals are not allowed in the cabins, so the ship has 24 kennels where you can leave your friend and visit him or take him for a walk in the designated areas only at specific times.
This transatlantic is considered the best pet-friendly cruise ships especially for the attention reserved to pets. In fact, a free gift package is included with coat, toys, name tag, food bowls, free portrait with the owners and fleece blanket. You can also take advantage of other additional benefits such as a selection of quality food, gourmet cookies offered daily and extra-comfort beds.
However, keep in mind that the route that allows this type of travel is exclusively that which provides for boarding or disembarkation from Southampton, New York and Hamburg and that permission varies depending on the species and size of the animal that will be requested at the time of booking. For information on kennel rates, we recommend contacting the company directly for updated information.
Although the Queen Mary II is the only cruise ship to accept pets, there are many others that can allow them but under certain conditions: only assistance dogs can board upon prior communication and agreed with the Accessibility Offices. Some companies that accept assistance dogs for people with disabilities are MSC, Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line.
Short and medium-haul routes
If the choice of pet-friendly cruises is still limited, this is not the case for ferries, where the transport of all domestic animals (with the exception of exotic pets) is allowed. And, even better news, for some time now some companies have made cabins available for the stay of animals, so instead of staying in the boxes of the kennel area, our furry friends will be able to stay with his owner in maximum comfort. Specifically, the companies that currently have equipped their ships with cabins with access to animals are Tirrenia, Moby Lines, GNV, Corsica Sardinia Ferries, Anek Lines, Minoan Lines, Grimaldi Lines.
How to bring your pet on board: the regulations
If you want to take your dog (or cat) on a ship, we recommend that you first contact the company to inquire about the specific rules and restrictions, as the regulations may vary depending on the ship and itinerary chosen.
- Each animal must have its own travel document;
- It must be in possession of a microchip and vaccination booklet - including a protection against ticks and tapeworms - (in the case of Queen Mary II it is required 1-5 days before departure);
- The animal must have a European PET passport;
- On the ship, the leash is mandatory and not all areas are accessible, especially the cabins. Obviously, this rule excludes assistance dogs that can accompany the person with disabilities in all public areas (excluding pools and spas);
- Each port of call may have its own guidelines, so it is likely that in some cases the dog must stay on board.
In conclusion, although the current offer of pet-friendly ships may not be sufficient, it is very likely that with the growing spread of the habit of traveling with pets, the companies will soon adapt to the needs of passengers.
Over time we may see an increase in offerings and services that will make cruises and, more generally, ship travel an even more inclusive and enjoyable experience for all members of our family, including our furry friends!