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Does Travel Insurance Cover Cruise Excursions?

Cruise Excursion
Allianz - Cruise Excursion

For many travelers, the best part of a cruise isn’t the onboard experience — it’s the excitement of shore excursions. Great memories are made trekking through a jungle hike, snorkeling in a pristine cove or touring ancient ruins.

Excursions are not without risk, however. In recent years, several American travelers have died or been seriously injured on cruise ship excursions, whether by a canoe overturning in Alaska, a tour bus crashing in Mexico, or an ATV collision in Aruba.i ii iii

If you buy travel insurance for your cruise, are excursions covered as well? Let’s look at some hypothetical scenarios.

Get a travel insurance quote for your next cruise vacation.

You have to cancel a cruise excursion for a covered reason.

Your biggest splurge on your Caribbean cruise is a horseback ride and swim excursion for your family that costs $150 per person. You’re all so excited — and then, both kids come down with a horrible bout of norovirus and are confined to their cabin. The excursion operator says it’s too late for a refund. Can travel insurance help?

Yes! If you purchased trip interruption/cancellation benefits as part of your cruise travel insurance, then you can be reimbursed for unused, nonrefundable, pre-paid trip costs. The trip interruption must be caused by a covered reason — such as, in this case, a serious illness and quarantine.

It doesn’t matter if you booked the excursion with the cruise line or an independent operator, as long as you included the cost of the excursion in your total trip costs when you purchased travel insurance.

You sustain a serious injury during a cruise excursion.

During a port call in Cabo San Lucas, you take a Jeep excursion to a nearby national park. The Jeep swerves into a ditch and flips. Once you free yourself from the overturned vehicle, you discover your leg is badly injured. Can travel insurance help?

Yes! When you’re traveling overseas, your domestic health insurance card may not be accepted by local hospitals. That’s why it’s so important to have travel insurance with emergency medical/dental benefits and emergency transportation benefits.

If you suffer a serious covered injury or illness while traveling, travel insurance can reimburse the reasonable and customary costs of necessary emergency medical care. We may even guarantee or advance payments, where accepted. If the local medical facilities are unable to provide appropriate treatment for your covered illness or injury, Allianz Global Assistance can arrange and pay for transportation to the nearest appropriate hospital or other facility. Travel insurance can also arrange and pay for your transportation home, with a medical escort, if necessary.

You’re injured during a high-risk activity during a cruise excursion.

On an Alaskan cruise, you take an excursion to Chichagof Island, a wild paradise that has the world’s highest population of bears per square mile.iv Your guide points out a mother grizzly who’s foraging for food with her two adorable cubs. Ignoring the guide’s warning to stay back, you charge toward the cubs, hoping to take a super-awesome selfie. It doesn’t end well. Will travel insurance cover losses related to your bear-related injuries?

Probably not. That’s because travel insurance does not provide coverage for any loss that results directly or indirectly from participating in extreme, high-risk sports and activities. These activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Skydiving, BASE jumping, hang gliding, or parachuting;
  • Bungee jumping;
  • Caving, rappelling, or spelunking;
  • Heli-skiing, or skiing or snowboarding outside marked trails or in an area accessed by helicopter;
  • Any high-altitude activity; climbing sports, or free climbing;
  • Personal combat or fighting sports; Running of the Bulls, or rodeo activities;
  • Racing or practicing to race any motorized vehicle or watercraft;
  • Free diving;
  • Scuba diving at a depth greater than 60 feet or without a dive master;
  • Rafting/kayaking above Class V rapids or canoeing above Class III rapids.

Before you sign up for a cruise excursion, it’s important to understand what your plan covers, and what the possible risks might be. There are many activities offered on cruise excursions that that may not necessarily be excluded from coverage but can still be dangerous such as, riding mopeds. These include riding mopeds, motorcycles and ATVs.

You also should know that your insurance does not cover losses resulting from the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or any related physical symptoms. Keep this in mind, if you participate in a cruise excursion that combines alcohol with swimming, water sports or other activities.

Read more: 6 Risky Activities You Should Avoid Abroad

You lose crucial documents or possessions on a cruise excursion.

While on a snorkeling excursion off the coast of Cozumel, the tour boat begins taking on water. Crew members direct you to put on your life jacket and jump into the water. You watch, helplessly, as the boat sinks. Luckily, everyone is unhurt — but your bag with your passport, wallet and cell phone has gone to the bottom of the sea. Can travel insurance help?

Yes! While Allianz Global Assistance can’t get you a new passport (only the U.S. embassy can do that), we can help you get it replaced as quickly as possible. We can help you make new travel arrangements as well. If you miss at least 50 percent of your trip because of lost or stolen travel documents (or another covered reason), that can be a covered reason for trip interruption.

What about your valuables? If your baggage is lost, damaged or stolen on your trip, the baggage loss benefit can pay you the actual cash value, repair cost or replacement cost of your possessions, whichever is lowest (minus any available refunds). There’s a maximum limit for this benefit, and certain items are excluded, so read your plan for details.  

Read more: How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Passport When You’re Abroad

Have questions about what travel insurance covers when you’re on a cruise, or any other vacation? Don’t wonder — just ask! Contact us anytime if you need help understanding what your plan covers.

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