Whether you have already booked your cruise or are considering booking one in the next few months, you’re probably wondering if Brexit will affect your upcoming plans. 29th March 2019 is the planned date for the UK leaving the E.U either with or without a deal. The whole country is facing political uncertainty at the moment but people still have plans and we still need to cruise so we have rounded up as much information as we can below.
Should I Be Concerned If I Have Already Booked A Cruise Around The Date Of Brexit?
There is very little need to be concerned as The European Commission has said that planes and ships leaving from the UK will still be allowed to fly and sail over/close to the territory of the European Union, even in a no-deal scenario. So you can be rest assured that your holiday will still go ahead.
Will I Need A Visa To Travel In The EU?
You shouldn’t need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. The European Commission announced in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers will still be able to visit the EU without a visa, providing the same is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The European Commission has also said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee of around seven euros for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system, which applies to all third country visitors to the EU – it’s similar to the ESTA Visa Waiver Programme that the USA has.
Will I Need A New Passport To Travel In The EU?
The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal. After 29 March 2019:
- You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
- If you renewed a passport before it expired, up to 9 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.
Click HERE to check your passport.
List of countries affected
The new rules will apply for travel to and between countries in the Schengen area. These are:
- Czech Republic
Travel to other EU countries
The new rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland.
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not in the Schengen area. You should check the entry requirements for these countries.
Will My European Health Card (EHIC) Still Be Valid After Brexit?
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, your access to healthcare when visiting the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland is likely to change.
If you’re using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by the UK, this will still be valid until 29 March 2019.
If you’re planning to travel on or after 29 March, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need.
If you hold annual travel insurance please ensure that it covers all of your pre existing conditions before travelling to the EU.
Will I Be Able To Hire A Car In The EU?
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. Click here for more information.
WHAT DO THE CRUISE LINES SAY?
No matter what the future brings, you can rest assured that your holiday with us will always be plain sailing.
- Sail from Southampton–we have hundreds of holidays sailing direct from the UK, the ultimate way to get your holiday off to a relaxing start. In the event of a no deal scenario, the Government have confirmed cruise holidays will continue on the same basis as today
- Pay in pounds sterling when booking and on board – avoid potential currency fluctuations and explore Europe without the euros. You can also pay in advance for a range of exciting experiences ashore
- Our 5% deposit offer – complete peace of mind that your holiday is booked ahead at a great price
- The financial protection of both ATOL and ABTA
- More holiday for your money – so much is included as standard, from meals and entertainment to flights and taxes.
All of this combined with over 180 years of P&O history and expertise means we are well positioned to manage any possible impact on your holiday plans.
KEY RIGHTS UNDER PACKAGE TRAVEL AND LINKED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS REGULATIONS 2018
The combination of travel services offered to you is a package within the meaning of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations.
Therefore, you will benefit from all EU rights applying to packages. The ship operator being RCL Cruises Ltd or Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, as advised at the time of booking or in any confirmation invoice, will be fully responsible for the proper performance of the package as a whole.
Additionally, as required by law, RCL Cruises Ltd and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd have protection in place to refund your payments and, where transport is included in the package, to ensure your repatriation in the event that it becomes/they become insolvent.
Key rights under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations are available below:
- Travellers will receive all essential information about the package before concluding the package travel contract.
- There is always at least one trader who is liable for the proper performance of all the travel services included in the contract.
- Travellers are given an emergency number or details of a contact point where they can get in touch with the organiser or travel agent.
- Travellers may transfer the package to another person, on reasonable notice and possibly subject to additional costs.
- The price of the package may only be increased if specific costs rise (for instance fuel prices), and if expressly provided for in the contract, and in any event not later than 20 days before the start of the package. If the price increase exceeds 8% of the price of the package, the traveller may terminate the contract. If the organiser reserves the right to a price increase, the traveller has a right to a price reduction if there is a decrease in the relevant costs.
- Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee and get a full refund of any payments if any of the essential elements of the package, other than the price, are changed significantly. If before the start of the package the trader responsible for the package cancels the package, travellers are entitled to a refund and compensation where appropriate.
- Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee before the start of the package in the event of exceptional circumstances, for instance if there are serious security problems at the destination which are likely to affect the package.
- Additionally, travellers may at any time before the start of the package terminate the contract in return for an appropriate and justifiable termination fee.
- If, after the start of the package, significant elements of the package cannot be provided as agreed, suitable alternative arrangements will have to be offered to the traveller at no extra cost. Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee, where services are not performed in accordance with the contract and this substantially affects the performance of the package and the organiser fails to remedy the problem.
- Travellers are also entitled to a price reduction or compensation for damages or both where the travel services are not performed or are improperly performed.
- The organiser has to provide assistance if the traveller is in difficulty.
- If the organiser or the retailer becomes insolvent, payments will be refunded. If the organiser or, where applicable, the retailer becomes insolvent after the start of the package and if transport is included in the package, repatriation of the travellers is secured.
RCL Cruises Ltd t/a Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises Inc. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Inc. t/a Royal Caribbean and Azamara Club Cruises.