International Travel Tips for Your Next Cruise

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Embarking on a cruise abroad is an exhilarating journey filled with new discoveries and unforgettable experiences. If it’s your first time traveling internationally, you may have a few questions. Here’s a quick guide to help you prepare for international travel. From packing pointers to safety tips, we’re here to help you prepare for a seamless cruise experience. 

Preparing for International Travel

A successful cruise anywhere in the world begins long before you step foot on the ship. Our Know Before You Go page provides essential information to help you prepare. Start by familiarizing yourself with the details of your itinerary, including the countries you’ll be visiting and the customs and local regulations they have in place.

Your passport is your ticket to the world, so make sure it’s valid for at least six months beyond your travel dates. Check visa requirements for the countries you’ll be visiting and apply well in advance if necessary.

Consider your health as well. Visit your doctor for a check-up and discuss any necessary vaccinations for the countries you’ll be visiting. Also, ensure you have adequate supplies of any prescribed medication you might need during your trip.

Finally, don’t forget to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your credit or debit cards while overseas. With these tips, you’re setting yourself up for success for a great trip across the globe.

View of person on phone writing notes at desk.

Before You Cruise

Stepping into the world of international travel is a thrilling experience. To help you navigate this journey, here are a few key tips:  

  • Make the most of technology. The Holland America Line Navigator app is your essential cruise companion, helping you personalize your cruise experience directly from your mobile device. From planning daily activities to making dining reservations, managing your cruise experience has never been easier.
  • Book shore excursions early. These one-of-a-kind experiences are a highlight of any cruise, but they can fill up quickly. You can browse and book shore excursions online or directly through the Navigator app, making it easy to secure your spot.
  • Protect yourself with travel insurance. It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. Travel insurance can cover things from medical emergencies to trip cancellations, giving you peace of mind as you embark on your journey. 
View of people walking with luggage on vacation.

Packing for International Travel

When packing for your cruise, consider the weather conditions of the countries you’ll be visiting. Pack appropriate clothing and don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats, and comfortable walking shoes for shore excursions.  

Start by making a list of essentials, including travel documents, medication, toiletries, and any specific items you might need for your trip. Remember to pack light to make room for souvenirs and purchases made during your cruise.  

For more detailed packing tips, including baggage policies, refer to our FAQs page.  

View of people eating dessert in a European village.

Prioritizing Safety

No matter where you’re traveling, staying safe is paramount. Follow the same guidance you would when traveling domestically in unfamiliar areas. Always keep your personal belongings secure, avoid displaying expensive items that might attract unwanted attention, and stay vigilant in crowded places.  

Respecting local customs and rules is another important aspect of travel safety. Before visiting each country, take the time to learn about local customs, dress codes, and any specific laws or regulations. This not only ensures your safety but also enriches your travel experience by allowing you to engage meaningfully with different cultures.  

In addition to these precautions, it’s also crucial to stay aware of your surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. Avoid isolated areas, especially at night, and always let someone know where you’re going.  

Remember to keep emergency numbers handy, including the local emergency services and the nearest embassy or consulate for your country. It’s also wise to have a basic first-aid kit with you for minor health issues.  

Lastly, keep a copy of your travel insurance details with you at all times. In the event of an emergency, having this information readily available can make a significant difference. 

By taking these precautions, you can focus on enjoying your cruise with peace of mind. 

Planning Your Cruise with Expert Assistance

As you embark on your international travel journey, remember that you’re not alone in your planning process. Our Personal Cruise Consultants are an invaluable resource. As members of our team with unique expertise on the Holland America Line experience and in-depth knowledge about destinations around the world, they’re here to help you plan every detail of your cruise. The best part? This is a complimentary service for our guests.   

Start planning your cruise today by contacting a Personal Cruise Consultant. We look forward to welcoming you aboard! 


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