People love traveling, but the thought of packing up all their family including their furry companion can sometimes put off exploring. One great solution to this dilemma is taking a cruise; this allows both of you to visit multiple destinations without needing extra travel time between stops on land.
Problematic cruise lines do not accommodate all forms of pets. While some offer amenities like doggy spas and play areas, most require that pets remain within the ship kennels at all times except when being cleaned or out on walks. Others have strict port regulations which render this nearly impossible.
There are various methods available to you for transporting your pet overseas, but each has their own limitations. Flying is expensive and requires buying an individual ticket for each pet in addition to costs for vet visits and an approved carrier; shipping via ground transportation may be less costly but requires you have a health certificate, an approved carrier and possibly export/import permits – this process could potentially take weeks or even months and can be very stressful for both you and your animal companion!
Ferries offer an economical means of traveling in Europe and some even feature pet-friendly cabins. Relax with your furry companion in one of the cabins or decks overlooking the water while taking advantage of onboard restaurants and bars for food and drinks. Plus, using a ferry as transportation from and to your cruise can reduce expenses significantly by cutting out additional flights or rental car reservations!
Cunard Line offers one cruise line that welcomes pets: their iconic Queen Mary 2 ship across the Atlantic. However, you must plan ahead: Queen Mary 2 has only 12 kennels that reserve spots for dogs in advance and costs up to $1,600 per pair (note that these kennels do not cover passenger accommodations but only operate during certain hours of each day.) Kennel reservations begin at $300 for teacup-size canines; larger dogs require up to three.
Other premium cruise lines like Holland America have adopted similar policies, only permitting service dogs on board. Voyages to Antarctica and the Arctic are off limits to pet lovers; however, Holland America offers several itineraries which do include kennels. Hurtigruten offers several Norwegian coastal sailings that provide ideal opportunities for relaxing getaways with your furry friend.