Did you know you need international travel insurance for a domestic cruise in Australia?

Fun Fact: If you set sail on a cruise from Australia you need international travel insurance (or cruise insurance) and not domestic travel insurance – even if it’s a short trip Melbourne to Sydney!

This is because as soon as your ship leaves port, you are no longer covered by your private health fund or Medicare even though you are still in Australian waters.

Having insurance for your cruise (depending in the type of cover you take out) can provide you with things like:

  • Greater peace of mind is something were to go wrong
  • Cancellation costs of pre-paid travel arrangements, should you unexpectedly be unable to travel
  • Loss, damage or theft of your luggage
  • Cover for any medical or dental costs
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

Like all travel insurance policies, some things aren’t covered, be sure to read your Travel Insurance Product Disclosure Statement and Policy (PDS) back-to-front to ensure you are aware for what you are covered for and what you aren’t.

If you plan on engaging in sports such as scuba diving or parasailing, ensure your policy covers these activities! Also check the fine print on the policy you take out as some travel insurance policies have specific rules about pre-existing medical conditions.

Accidents (unfortunately) happen

Travel doesn’t always go to plan and unfortunately emergencies and accidents can happen. With most cruises, the doctors on the ships are private practitioners which means no bulk billing. The fee for a short consultation with them could end up costing you a lot more than you hoped.

If there is an even where you needed more serious medical attention then this is where the dollars could seriously add up, emergency evacuation from a cruise ship to land can be very expensive. An air ambulance in Australian waters could cost you up to $15,000!

Read more about Medical treatment for cruise passengers on Smart Traveller here: http://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/health/pages/medical-treatment-for-cruise-passengers.aspx

I’m a big believer in shopping around for a policy that is right for your needs and your trip, it’s also worth chatting to a travel agent so they can help explain to you the details of your policy and make sure you are covered for the things you need to be covered for.

Happy cruising (and stay safe!)


This article is based off general information. Before making a decision on travel insurance, we recommend you consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and assess whether the selected travel insurance product is appropriate for you and your travels.

Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway
Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway

Shannon is a travel and lifestyle writer with a keen taste for global adventure – whether it be snorkeling in the waters of Fiji, or exploring the art and architecture of Barcelona. When Melbourne calls her back home, she spends most of her time exploring and planning weekend road trips. To fund all of her trips, Shannon is a freelance writer and marketer – she was named the Australian Young Marketer of the year in 2017!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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