Cruising With the Dog

What exactly does a dog do on a cruise? Where does he go for a walk, how can he move and romp around and where can he be accommodated in a species-appropriate manner? Find out all about it here.

Dogs on board a cruise ship – that sounds strange at first. Where does he go for a walk, how can he move and romp around and where can he be accommodated in a species-appropriate manner? Here you can find out everything you need to know if you want to travel the seven seas with your dog.

Cruising with a dog – makes sense?

In general, a pure cruise is not ideal for the dog. The stress, the unfamiliar surroundings and perhaps even seasickness are pure stress for your dog. There are even special medications for dogs against seasickness, such as Maropitant or Halkan.

It is important to remember that if you want to take your dog on a cruise, it might be better to book a mini-cruise for a few days instead of an Atlantic crossing. These are offered by all major cruise lines. A day boat tour can also show you what it’s like on board a ship with a dog. You should also make sure in the travel program that regular shore leave is possible.

Preparations for the cruise

If you are sure that you really want your dog to travel with you, then it is essential that you obtain the necessary documents that make it possible for your dog to stay on board. For this you need proof that the animal:

  • has an EU animal passport
  • is vaccinated against rabies
  • is chipped, i.e. has a microchip implanted
  • received tapeworm and tick prevention shortly before departure

The most important thing is that your dog is housebroken and can be left alone. Listed dogs are generally not allowed on board. Check with the cruise provider for full details of the ship’s individual dog policy. Bring enough dog food on board, there is usually no pet food in the cruise ship shops.

Kennel instead of cabin on the ship

Be aware that most cruise lines do not allow your dog in the cabin. Some providers have set up their own kennels on board. Other ferry lines allow accommodation in your own car on the car deck. This is also where the run takes place, away from shore leave and in a limited area. Legacies have to be cleaned up yourself.

Exceptions for therapy dogs

Certain animal species have their own rules. Service animals, such as guide dogs, are allowed on the major cruise lines. After all, barrier-free travel for people with disabilities should be possible on board the ships in order to guarantee a first-class holiday experience.

Accurate and timely planning

If you are planning a cruise with your pet, precise advance planning is the be-all and end-all. Find out in good time about prices, vacancies and offers that allow you to vacation with your dog on board a cruise ship.

Make sure that your dog also meets all the conditions that apply to going ashore in one of the European or non-European ports. Also prepare your dog for the special situation on board. Your pet should be able to focus its attention on you alone, even in stressful situations. The animal needs to feel safe in their presence, lest it panic when encountering large groups of other passengers.

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