Post updated: 11/04/2019

Although there is ongoing political uncertainty regarding Brexit, one thing is for sure – life goes on. And with that, we continue to make plans, book holidays and go travelling.

The UK is potentially due to leave the EU, either with a deal in which little will actually change or without, which leaves much for us to question.

What’s for sure is that is both ABTA and ATOL protected, so when you book with, you will be fully protected by most outcomes following Brexit!

To help those looking to book a sailing in the future, here are a few frequently asked questions regarding Brexit. Simply click the questions to reveal the answers.

Current news: The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October 2019

A cruise is one of the best ways to travel when considering currency as it’s the least affected by fluctuations. Most of the time you can pre-pay for your drinks, gratuities and excursions to protect against any negative impacts of the exchange rate. Particular cruise lines such as P&O Cruises, Fred. Olsen and Cruise & Maritime all have the £ (GBP) as the on-board currency, meaning you have full control of your spend during your time on-board.

With much uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it has left cruisers wondering where is safer to sail to. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has advised that regardless of the outcome, there is no reason to be concerned when booking a holiday. A spokesperson for the organisation said:

“There’s nothing to suggest holidays won’t go ahead as planned next year. We’re heading into the travel industry’s sales period, when some of the best deals and discounts are available, so we want people to carry on booking as normal. European holiday destinations want to continue to welcome UK holidaymakers; it’s a very big market for them.”

The European Parliament has confirmed that UK travellers won’t need a visa to travel the EU after Brexit, even if the UK leaves without a deal. UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, without a visa.

This is for short-stays and is also dependent on the UK continuing to offer reciprocal visa-free access to EU states. 

However, from 2021, British people will need to apply for an additional document to travel to member states. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will cost €7/£6.30 and be valid for three year – though it won’t come into effect until 2021. Until then, cruisers can continue as normal when visiting the EU.

Under the Brexit deal put forward by Theresa May, EU citizens and UK nationals can continue to travel freely with a passport or identity card until the end of the transition period in 2020. Then, the European Commission has offered visa-free travel for UK nationals coming to the EU for a short stay, provided the UK offers the same in return.

Read more about the ETIAS

In the event of a deal, passports will continue to be valid for anywhere within the EU until the expiry date. However, for a no-deal Brexit, new rules will come into play.

British passport holders will then be considered as third-country nationals, and those planning to travel abroad will be required to have six months left on their passport.

It’s worth checking your passport to ensure you have at least six months left on your passport from the date of arrival. This applies to both adult and child passports. In the event you need to renew your passport, up to nine extra months may be added to your passport’s expiry date. These new rules apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

In light of this, the government is advising customers to visit the HM Passport Office online passport checker here: Check a passport for travel to Europe.

The Passport Office says:

1. You should have 6 months left on your UK passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.

2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe. The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

“Currently, UK passport holders can travel to all EU countries as long as they have enough remaining validity to cover the length of their stay, so it’s important to be aware of the above changes in a ‘no deal’ Brexit.”

Read the Home Office’s Guidance on travelling following a no Brexit deal

If Brexit continues with no deal, European Health Insurance cards (EHIC) will no longer be valid.

If you have already taken out insurance for a cruise departing after the Brexit deadline, it is advised that you check your documents to ensure you are fully covered no matter the outcome.

This is especially true for visits to the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein to check your policy covers you and your family under any possible disruptions.

Within the EU, there is currently a system in place where you aren’t charged for extra roaming, allowing tourists to use their mobiles for calls, texts and data as you would in the UK.

However, with a no deal this cannot be guaranteed. The government has advised it would put measures in place for a cap on the cost of mobile data usage abroad at around £45 per month – it’s currently €50 under EU law.

If there is a no deal, your licence may not be valid as a standalone document. In order to drive, or even simply hire a vehicle abroad, you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) which costs £5.50.

Following a no-deal Brexit, certain airlines will lose their automatic rights to operate air services between the UK and EU, without seeking advance permissions. This includes EU airlines operating within the UK (such as Heathrow to Edinburg flights), and UK airlines operating intra-EU services (such as Milan to Paris).

Once the UK leaves the UK, and in the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK and EU airlines would need to seek additional permissions from respective states in order to operate. The government has advised that the UK would envisage granting these permissions to EU airlines and that it would not be in the interest of any EU country or the UK to restrict destination choices which could be served.

Read the full article from the government guidance on flights and Brexit

What do the cruise lines have to say about Brexit?

Many of the cruise lines have spoken out about the possibilities of Brexit to the cruising community, in most cases promising little change for their sailings and prices following Brexit.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises released a promise to customers to help remind passengers why they should book with them:

  • Pay in pounds: One thing you won’t have to worry about is avoiding potential currency fluctuations! You can explore Europe without the Euros and you will also have the opportunity to pay in advance for a big range of shore excursions.
  • 5% discount offer: Booking ahead is a feeling of pure relaxation and excitement, and it couldn’t be easier with such a low deposit. Get organised while saving your funds.
  • Sail from Southampton: Cruising from the UK is the way forward and P&O have a whole lot of options if this suits you! There are hundreds of holidays sailing direct from the UK with the line so your break will have the most relaxing start you’ve ever had.
  • More for your money: So much is included as standard for P&O guests. It starts with meals and entertainment and even stretches to flights and taxes! Even less to worry about than you thought.
  • Financial protection: This includes both ABTA and ATOL! Nobody wants to head out on their cruise with worries in the back of their head.

The cruise line’s president Paul Ludlow said:

“We want to reassure our guests that whatever is happening in the world of politics, their holiday and peace of mind is of the utmost important to us.

“Our Brexit promise is that no matter what the future brings, our guests can rest assured when booking a P&O Cruises holiday as they will always pay in pounds sterling in advance and can take advantage of a low deposit to secure their holiday.”

P&O Cruises - Ventura


Cunard’s Marketing Director, Angus Struthers sent an email to passengers at the time of the vote back in June 2018, which read:

“Following the result of the EU Referendum vote, I wanted to take a few moments of your time to reassure you that there are no resulting changes to any aspect of your upcoming holiday with Cunard, including check-in and immigration. These all remain the same as they were before last week’s vote.

“Should there be any changes resulting from the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, we will naturally contact you with all and any related information. For now it remains business as usual for us and we are looking forward to welcoming you on board.”

Cunard - Solo traveller on a Cunard ship

Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Head of Marketing Mike Hall said:

“Our onboard currency is sterling, shielding our guests from exchange issues. Following the EU referendum result, bookings have remained buoyant.”

Fred. Olsen

Fred. Olsen has released the following statement on its Brexit Promise: 

“We’re so confident that Brexit won’t affect your Fred. Olsen cruise, should the cruise be cancelled due to the UK leaving the EU, we will give you a full refund and a free cruise.

“What’s more, once a cruise has been booked and the deposit paid, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines also promises that there will be no additional supplements or surcharges directly related to Brexit, on the confirmed price. There is the security of ABTA and ATOL protection and our Enjoyment Promise giving real peace of mind. Plus Shore Tours and purchases on board our ships are priced in Pounds Sterling – so you can explore the world without worrying about exchange rates.

“With 170 years of sailing heritage behind us we’ve seen many changes over the years, but what has never changed is our focus on giving guests the best possible experience, wherever and whenever they sail with us.

“With Fred. Olsen you can always book with confidence.”

Be protected with

Woman and child walking along the beach in the sunset

Booking an all-inclusive cruise is also more beneficial as the prices are fixed and feature little to no unexpected bills. Cruising from the UK is also an ideal option as this removes the need for flights, meaning additional stresses that may come with airports are redacted.

If you would like to discuss your cruise preferences and what you’re looking for in a future cruise, call our Cruise Concierge team on 0808 1234 118 for expert advice on travelling both within and outside of the EU.

(Visited 2,301 times, 1 visits today)
Emma Smith
Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over a year. She loves learning of new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in diary for 2020! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)