Nowadays, pets are not only allowed on airplanes: several cruises and ferry companies are starting to welcome your furry friends on board. Isn’t it an absolute pleasure when you discover that your pet can travel with you?
Nevertheless, make sure to read our guide below: there are some regulations that you need to respect and some documents that you need to take with you!
Traveling with your dog on a ferry is becoming more and more accepted.
In fact, many people prefer this solution since it is more reassuring both for the dog and the traveler.
Moreover, although you will have to pay for your pet’s ticket, you will be able to attain it at a reduced price.
Ferries and cruises will expect you to conform to the traditional hygienic regulations (such as the use of plastic bags, pesticides, etc.), and may also ask to see your dog’s Health Certificate or Pet Passport.
Small pets should be carried in a carrier and should stay either in the cabin or in your car.
When you allow your pet in public spaces, it should be on a leash and should wear a muzzle.
What To Pack For Your Ferry Ride
Drinking water (which you can also buy on board if you want). It is always better to avoid drinking water from the sinks, and this even valid for animals.
Arrival At The Port
Usually, it is necessary to arrive at the port and check-in at least one hour before boarding.
Before you board the ship, take some time to walk your dog around so that he can empty his bladder as much as possible and do some exercise.
On board, he won’t be able to move that much (especially if he is traveling in a carrier).
Let him use all of his energy so that he can travel more calmly.
If you travel with a cat, make sure you place the carrier in the shade and allow as much air as possible to go through it.
Prepare the personal belongings that you will bring on board.
If they are in the trunk, put them inside the passenger compartment to have everything handy.
Your pet will be happy if he doesn’t have to wait in line for a seemingly-infinite period!
Time For Boarding
Boarding operations are often quite rapid.
After having waited a long time, the time has finally arrived to get on board.
It is at this point that employees usually encourage drivers to hurry up and park their car.
If you need space to get your dog out of the car, point it out to the employees and the people who are about to park nearby.
You must inform the staff of your pet because they will invite other drivers to park a few centimeters away from you.
Now, place your dog or cat into the carrier (it could be more challenging to do this later..!).
In the ferry’s hold, there is always a terrible noise: car and ship engines, as well as the loud sounds of metal used to block the trucks and the big campers, and other.
It is therefore advisable to leave the hold quickly, without forgetting personal effects: the hold will not be accessible during the journey.
While You’re On Board
Ferries are huge: they can have five, six, seven, or more floors.
The open balustrades of the ferries are composed of bars which are often very far apart.
There is no guarantee that a dog (or a child) cannot pass through them and fall into the sea or on the platform below.
Unfortunately, there have been instances of dogs dying on the spot after falling from several meters. Some dogs have also fallen into the sea.
Arriving At Destination
Do not be in a hurry to reach your car, it is useless to wait in the overcrowded saloons or to stand in line.
Doing this with a dog on a leash or a cat in a carrier will be a hustle. Instead, just take it easy, start making a move when you see that also other passengers are starting to get off.
While you are still in the hold, you cannot turn on the car engine to have air conditioning.
As you can imagine, the weather in the hold gets hot in the summer, and even if you lower the windows, your doggy will still feel like he is suffocating.
So give your pet some water if you see them panting.
When it is time to disembark, exit the hold and lower all the windows so that air can immediately enter the car.
Take a break as soon as possible so that your pet can stretch his legs after his been in the carrier.
Traditional cruise companies do not allow dogs on board.
Some cruise companies, however, are becoming more and more pet-friendly.
We advise you to rely on your trusted travel agency to choose the most suitable pet-friendly solution.
The price of hosting a dog on a cruise ship varies according to the company. The dog must be equipped with:
If you are planning to go on a cruise on your next summer holiday, you should start getting organized because only a few companies accept animals on board, and you will need several documents.
If you plan to go abroad, the English cruise company Cunard allows you to take your dog or cat.
They have several routes available (even up to New York): this company will provide you with 5-star service.
How much is the ticket for your pet?
With an extra $500 your dog will be granted a vacation that he’ll never forget.
Your pet will be welcomed and pampered on board, expect to receive a complimentary gift package that includes a blanket with the ship’s logo, a frisbee, a name tag (in case he gets lost), a bowl for water and food.
On board, there is also an expert dog sitter, and a specific menu with many delicacies will also be provided.
Oh, and there are also a variety of games and toys available for your pet.
Needless to say, your furry friend will feel loved and at the center of attention. Can anything be more pet-friendly?
Hurtigruten Cruises accept animals at more affordable prices than the Cunard deluxe package and offers different routes (particularly in Northern Europe).
If you are traveling to Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily), cruise companies such as Tirrenia, accept your pet without problems.
Tirrenia provides 180 cabins that are sanitized at the end of each trip.
However, watch out when you’re selecting a cruise.
In fact, the major maritime companies, such as Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises, and MSC Cruises, do not allow dogs or cats on board, unless they are service pets for blind people.
What Your Pet Needs To Travel
Once the company has been identified, what should you do to take your pet with you?
The first thing you need to do is think about the documents.
If you’re are going in foreign seas and lands, your pet must absolutely have the following:
According to the regulations of the cruise companies that accept pets on board, the owners will be entirely responsible for their furry friend.
Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to take:
Although these are the basics that you need to know if you’re about to go on a cruise with your pet, make sure you consult the ship’s rules and requirements before booking anything.
This will allow you to travel comfortably and safely with your four-legged friend.