Healthy Cruising: What to know before you go?

What to know before you go?

Australians love cruise holidays. Over one million people annually are now taking to the high seas.

Top Tip: consider whether your travel insurance policy includes cruising, as it can sometimes be provided in a separate package.


Cruise ships have limited medical facilities on-board. If you become seriously sick, you may be offloaded at the nearest port and hospitalised.

Top Destinations

1. South Pacific

2. Australia

3. Europe

4. New Zealand

Aussies of all ages love cruising

Ages of cruise ship passengers.^

Under 40 40 - 50 51 - 60 61 - 70 Over 70
31% 15% 18% 21% 15%


Top three medical reasons for travel insurance claims are:*

Broken Bones: Falls risk increases due to the ship's constant motion and slippery conditions.

Stomach Bugs: Easily spread when sick people touch hand-rails and other surfaces.

Respiratory Infections: Viruses can spread quickly aboard a ship.


Keep your cruise on course by following these health and safety tips:


Sunburn is common when relaxing onboard and can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Remember to slip, slop, slap and avoid the sun during the middle of the day.


Pool safety: don’t drink and swim, and avoid using the pool in rough conditions. If you are travelling with children, keep an eye on them as cruise ships don’t often employ lifeguards.


Day tripping: take bottled water ashore as the local drinking water in some destinations

may contain contaminants. Wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser before eating. Remember that it’s safer to eat if it has been cooked, peeled or boiled. Avoid raw meat, unwashed fruit or vegetables and unpasteurised dairy products.


Staying upright: you’re more likely to fall while on a cruise due to the constant motion of the ship. Ensure you’re wearing supportive footwear at all times, limit alcohol and use the hand-rails when available – particularly around slippery surfaces like the pool deck.


Feeling sea sick: scan your eyes over the scenery going by, position yourself in an area towards the middle of the ship and make sure you get plenty of fresh air. Take deep breaths and keep your head as still as possible.


Keep it clean: illness can spread quickly when there are thousands of guests in close quarters. Wash and sanitise your hands regularly.


Pack spare clothes, toiletries and extra medication: if your checked luggage is delayed or held, you’ll still have a backup of your essential items in your carry-on luggage.


Keep hydrated: drink as much water as possible. The plentiful sun, sea and cocktails can make it challenging to stay hydrated.


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