Cruises give you an opportunity to see different destinations in one trip, meet like-minded people, and experience planned excursions and on-board entertainment. 

A 2021 report found that in the years between 2009 and 2019, the number of people taking a cruise holiday increased by almost 12 million, from 17.8m to 29.7m.

While these holidays are understandably popular, it’s important to be mindful of the steps you can be take to prevent unsafe situations on board ships.

To protect yourself from accidents while on a cruise holiday and for advice on what to do if you do suffer an injury, follow our expert tips:


  • Before travelling, make sure you have travel insurance with good medical assistance cover for the whole duration of your trip
  • Remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if your holiday’s in the European Economic Area (EEA). The EHIC gives you secure access to state healthcare in other EEA countries up until the expiry date shown on the card. If yours has expired, you’ll need to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to replace an expired EHIC. You can get one online or at your local post office for free
  • Don’t rely on an EHIC or GHIC alone. This doesn’t cover all expenses if something happens to you. For example, it wouldn’t cover the cost for you to be repatriated by air ambulance back home if you were seriously injured
  • Read the fine print of your insurance policy to make sure it gives you the right level of cover. Look out for policy limits and exclusions

Health and Safety

  • Look out for any safety advice and warning signs around the ship for guidance on the rules and advice on how to avoid injury. The same advice goes for any excursions you go on
  • When you get into your cabin, check for any faults and report these to the crew. If possible, take photographs to provide evidence
  • Request a sticker from the crew to place on any glass doors, if there isn’t one already
  • Report any accidents to the ship’s crew as soon as possible

Recording Accidents

  • As soon as possible after the accident, contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible to seek advice on your level of coverage for medical attention. Some companies have a set period for making a claim from the time of the accident, which is worth checking before you travel. It’s also useful to keep the contact number for your provider to hand
  • Make sure your accident has been recorded in the ship’s accident book, and keep a copy of this
  • If possible, take photographs of where the accident happened and what might have caused it
  • If there were any witnesses to the accident, take a note of their names and contact details
  • If you need medical attention, keep a report of any doctor’s notes, hospital documentation, and medical treatment receipts 
  • Try to keep a diary of your appointments or any discussions with crew or management following your injury.

If you've been injured or fallen ill on a cruise holiday, our solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation.

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