With millions of trips taking place from the UK to destinations across Europe each year, many holidaymakers will have questions regarding travel plans and what Brexit means for them. Latest highlights detail that the UK has agreed a Withdrawal Agreement and is now in the transition period. During this time, people can continue to travel as they do now and travel requirements will only change from 1st January 2021.

Cruise118 is protected by both ABTA and ATOL, meaning that when you book with us you will be fully protected.

Read our FAQs on the subject and see what the cruise lines have to say for themselves regarding Brexit below for some helpful answers.

Will I need to worry about currency during my cruise?

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.

Am I still okay book a cruise in the EU?

Yes! A cruise is a great way to travel as it often least affected by currency fluctuations, you can sail from the UK and enjoy visting multiple places in one holiday but only unpacking once.  A cruise offers a perfect option for those needing a little extra reassurance with their future holidays. A cruise often has everything included, fixed prices and little to no unexpected bills. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) have advised that there is no reason to be concerned when booking a holiday.

Read the full article from the government guidance on passenger travel in the EU

Will I need any extra documents?

Travellers won’t need any new documents than usual during the transition period. From 1st January 2021, ABTA advises that travellers won’t need a visa to travel to the EU and that you won’t need an additional licence for driving in the EU, as long as you have a full UK driving licence.

Do I have to get a new passport?

Check to see if your passport will still be valid. If you have a British passport, you can use the Government’s passport checker to see if you need to renew your passport. The UK Government has also provided full details of the new requirements. Please ensure you check these details in full at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021

Can I still use my European Health Insurance Card?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. EHIC is valid in 2020, though from 1st January 2021 they will no longer be valid.

ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.

When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.

The best way to protect your holiday is to book a package – it is then the travel provider’s responsibility to make sure your holiday is provided and to offer an alternative or refund if it cannot be delivered. It is important that whenever and wherever you travel that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do.

Advice on travel insurance can be found here.

Will mobile phones start charging more when used abroad?

From 1st January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end. Check with your phone operator to find out any roaming charges you may incur from 1st January 2021. A new law means you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing, and once you reach this limit you will need to opt in to spend more. Your phone operator will advise on how you can do this

How might border control change?

You may have to show your return ticket and money for border control. There will also be separate lanes to use from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queuing.

What if I want to drive abroad?

You may need extra documents to drive abroad from 1st January 2021. This might include an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries. If you’re taking your own vehicle, you might also need a ‘green card’ or valid proof of insurance and a GB sticker.

Can I still fly within the EU?

Yes. Ferry services and cruises will still sail as in any case the majority of the rules under which they operate are not based on EU rules, but are international. Coaches will still be able to travel to and from the EU, and around EU countries as usual.

Helpful articles:

ABTA’s full guidance on Brexit for travellers

Gov.uk guidance on visiting Europe from 1st January 2021

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 Cruise118.com

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.

Post updated: 30/07/2020

Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about 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 Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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