Cruise Dialysis

Questions & Answers

For those who have never cruised on a ship with haemodialysis onboard before we understand you may have many questions, so we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions below…

Where will my dialysis take place?
Your dialysis will take place onboard the ship in the dedicated dialysis suite.

When will my dialysis take place?
In most cases the dialysis teams try to arrange your dialysis when the ship is sailing to ensure you can make the most of your time ashore.

When will I have my first and last dialysis sessions onboard?
Your first dialysis session will take place on the day after embarkation.  For example if you embark on a Saturday your first session will be on Sunday. 
Your last dialysis session will take place the day before you disembark.  For example if you disembark on a Monday then your last dialysis session will take place on Sunday.  The remainder of the dialysis sessions will take place every second day onboard.  We will send the dialysis schedule to you prior to your cruise so you discuss it with your dialysis unit. 

Will I be able to go ashore?
Yes, you can go ashore.  The cruise lines offer many different shore excursions to choose from to help you make the most of your cruise.  Alternatively you can explore independently (subject to current Covid-19 restrictions as dictated by each cruise line).

Will I dialyse for the same amount of time onboard as I do at my dialysis unit?
Yes.

How do you know my dialysis prescription?
Prior to your cruise we will contact your dialysis unit to request medical documentation regarding your dialysis requirements.  This documentation will be signed by your nephrologist and reviewed by the onboard dialysis team.

Is the ship full of patients on dialysis?
No, dialysis patients make up a tiny percentage of the people sailing onboard the ship.  The remaining passengers will not know you are a dialysis patient unless you choose to tell them.

How many dialysis patients can be accommodated on each cruise?
Only 4 to 12 dialysis patients can be accommodated during each cruise therefore you are advised to book early to secure your place.

When will I meet the dialysis team?
On the day of embarkation a meeting will be held where you will meet the dialysis team, view the dialysis unit and meet your fellow patients.  The team will be pleased to answer any questions you have.

Who will administer my dialysis?
The dialysis team will be onboard for the duration of the cruise to administer your dialysis and care for you.  The dialysis team consists of dialysis nurses and a nephrologist.

When will I see the nephrologist?
The nephrologist is onboard for the duration of your cruise.  You will meet the nephrologist at the medical meeting and he/she will visit you during every dialysis session.

Can the dialysis team be contacted 24 hours a day?
Yes, at the dialysis meeting you will be given contact details for the dialysis team.  In addition, when you receive your cruise tickets you will also receive a 24 hour contact number for the Cruise Dialysis office.

Do I have to spend time with other dialysis patients?
Only if you want to.  Your time is free to spend as you wish.

How much does the dialysis cost?
The cost of the dialysis onboard ranges from £250 to £599 per dialysis session dependent upon which ship you choose.

Can I get any help towards the cost of the dialysis?
•    If you dialyse in England you may be entitled to a reimbursement of between £150 and £170 per dialysis session.  
•    If you dialyse in Scotland then it is likely your dialysis unit will pay for your dialysis in full.
•    If you dialyse in Wales it is likely the Health Commission Wales will pay for your dialysis in full.
•    If you dialyse in Northern Ireland you will be reimbursed up to the equivalent cost of the dialysis in your ‘home’ unit
•    If you dialyse in Southern Ireland please check with your Holiday Dialysis Co-ordinator or your private medical insurance.
•    If you dialyse outside of the UK please check with your dialysis unit.

How much do the cruises cost?
We have many cruises available and the cost of the cruise varies dependent upon the destination, the duration and the ship you choose.    Please enquire, there is sure to be a cruise to match your budget.

What’s included in the cruise fare?
All of your food, accommodation and entertainment is included in your cruise fare.  Some cruise lines also include free drinks packages, internet access, prepaid gratuities (tips) and shore excursions.  As this varies from ship to ship please ask us for further details.Wheelchair passenger cruise-ship

I use a wheelchair, can I still take a cruise?
Yes, many ships are wheelchair accessible and some cruise lines offer wheelchair accessible shore excursions.  Wheelchair accessible cabins are spacious with wide doorways and a fully adapted bathroom with roll in shower and grab rails.  Accessible cabins are available onboard many cruise ships however availability is limited and we would advise you to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.  Please discuss your mobility with us and we will advise you of the suitable ships for your needs.

Can I get a grant towards the cost of the cruise?
Many patients apply to Kidney Care UK (previously British Kidney Patient Association) for a grant towards the cost of their cruise.  Grants of up to  £1000 are available.

What is an Accompanied Cruise?
During an accompanied cruise a member of the team from Cruise Dialysis will be onboard to act as your ‘go to’ person for questions and assistance whilst onboard.  This is likely to be the person who you have spoken to during the booking process.  

Do you only offer dialysis onboard ocean cruises?
We offer dialysis onboard ocean cruises and also onboard river cruises.

Will my family be able to come with me on the cruise?
Yes, of course, you can book your friends and family directly with us.

Can I choose who I dine with on the ship?
Yes, at the time of booking we will ask whether you would like to share a table with other guests and make new friends or whether you would like the intimacy of a table just for two.  If you are travelling as a group we can arrange for you all to dine together.  Dependent upon the size of the ship there is usually a choice of different dining venues onboard.  Where you dine is up to you!

Can I keep to my renal diet onboard the ship?
Your waiter can be your best friend.  Let him/her know your preferences at the beginning of the cruise.  The dinner menu usually consists of a choice of starter, soup, salad, main course and dessert however you can skip any course you wish.  Usually the menu provides a description of each dish so you can choose or ask the waiter for details.  Most diets can be accommodated for including low salt. 

How do I get to the ship?
We have cruises departing from the UK and also departures from ports abroad.  Many cruise lines offer dedicated transport within the UK to Southampton and Dover.  If your cruise departs from overseas we can arrange flights and return transfers from the airport to the ship.

What precautions are the dialysis team taking for Covid-19?
Strict Covid-19 procedures are in place to take care of you during the cruise and also during your dialysis.  In addition to the cruise lines Covid-19 mitigation efforts your dialysis team will be wearing full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and patients will be required to always wear masks during dialysis.
Access to the dialysis unit will be limited to staff and patients only.  Temperatures and oxygen saturation levels will be taken for all patients and staff upon arrival to the unit. To minimise entry of additional personnel the dialysis unit will be cleaned and disinfected regularly by the nurses. Your safety is our first priority.

Will all passengers onboard be vaccinated?
At the moment different cruise lines have different requirements.  Each cruise line will dictate whether it is a requirement for all passengers to be vaccinated and we will advise you accordingly.

Will all passengers be required to submit a negative Covid-19 test result prior to embarkation?
Some cruise lines do not require a negative Covid test result if you have proof you have received both vaccines.  Other cruise lines will not accept any guests who have not been vaccinated.
If you have not been vaccinated all cruise lines will require a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival to the ship.  As this is a constantly evolving situation, we will keep you advised.

Will the dialysis team be vaccinated?
Yes, all members of the dialysis team will have received both doses of the vaccine.

Do I need travel insurance?

It is a requirement that you hold full comprehensive travel insurance cover that is valid for the entire duration of your holiday and provides health cover for Covid-19, all pre-existing medical conditions, cancellation and the cost of medical repatriation.  Failure to hold an appropriate travel insurance policy may result in you being refused boarding.  Please ensure you take copies of your insurance with you in case you require medical assistance.

If you are a UK resident, to arrange travel insurance you may wish to contact the following companies who are familiar with haemodialysis and offer insurance to cover pre-existing medical conditions.  If you are an overseas resident please contact a local insurance provider.  You are, of course, welcome to use a company of your own choice.

Holiday ExtrasHoliday Extras HX-plain-logo-high-e1319124553224

Ashford Road, Newingreen, Hythe, Kent, CT21 4JF

Call 0800 093 5478 and quote reference WK724 Alternatively please click here for an online quote.

allclear_travel_insuranceAll Clear Insurance

All Clear House, 1 Redwing Court, Aston Road, Romford, RM3 8QQ

Call 01708 339121 and quote reference CRD

Makesure Travel Insurance Any age, any medical condition, Call 0203 873 6718

Passports & Visas

Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your respos300_british_passportnsibility and you should confirm this with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates.  Neither we, nor the supplier accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements.  It is very important that you check www.visacentral.co.uk for current visa information as regulations can change.  If you wish to join a shore excursion organised by the ship you may be covered by a group visa, please contact us for further details (applies to UK citizens only).

Who can I contact with any questions?
We appreciate you will have may questions and we will be very happy to help in any way we can.
Please contact us by clicking here or call
0844 995 1214
We look forward to hearing from you.

You Need to Know

All fares shown on this website are per person, cruise only for the lowest grade of cabin available onboard the ship and do not include flights, transfers or dialysis. Alternative grades of cabin are available, please ask for fares. All pricing is capacity controlled, subject to availability at the time of booking, and can change at any time. Flights and transfers can be arranged at additional cost.

All bookings are subject to approval from the medical director onboard upon receipt of the patient’s medical information. All dialysis places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

All fares shown are per person based on 2 people sharing. Single occupancy cabins are available, please enquire for fares.

Fares apply to dialysis patient and accompanying guest. A dialysis arrangement fee/medical processing fee will be added to all bookings.

All bookings are subject to the operator’s terms and conditions – please refer to the relevant operator’s brochures/website for details.

Shore excursions (and suggested places to visit as per the cruise line itineraries) are not included in the cruise fares however can be booked separately.

Early booking discounts/onboard credit offers expire on the date shown within the brochure. All information must be received from your dialysis unit and your booking confirmed prior to the date shown to take advantage of the discount. Offer applies to cruise element only and does not include flights or transfers.

Accompanied cruises are subject to a minimum amount of bookings.

Our currency conversions translate Euros or Dollars into GB Pounds. Currencies fluctuate continuously, and these conversions are only approximate and are subject to change.  All deposits and final payments must be made in Euros or Dollars by credit or debit card or bank transfer as requested.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises will add a service charge each day to each guest’s onboard account.

Your cruise, transfers, flights and hotel are booked separately and therefore does not constitute a package holiday and does not include package holiday protection.

The cruise lines have the right to omit or substitute any ports, call at additional ports, vary the order for ports, change the time of arrival at, departure from or time spent at any port of call, deviate from the advertised itinerary in any way or substitute another ship. Where possible, you will be advised of any significant change to your confirmed itinerary before departure however you are also advised to check the cruise line websites or contact us for up to date information.

ESTA: If your travel arrangements have a scheduled stop in the United States, you are required to obtain approval to travel, through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). If you do not hold a full British Citizen Passport or a passport from another country eligible for the Visa Waiver Programme, your situation may be different and you should seek further advice. Travellers without ESTA permission will be turned away at check-in so it is important to do this before you travel.

Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the supplier accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. It is very important that you check http://visacentral.co.uk/ for current visa information as regulations can change. If you wish to take part in an organised shore excursion when visiting the Egypt, Russia, Libya or Lebanon during your cruise, you may be covered by a group visa (applies to UK citizens only)

Travel involves the risk of a variety of hazards to health and/or safety, including but not limited to, injury, illness, disease, epidemics, and/or pandemics.  We have no control over the associated supplier’s policies which, in addition to applicable law, will solely govern any cancellation, rebooking and refund related to these travel arrangements.

Many of the travel arrangements that we sell are protected in case of financial failure of the travel company.  Please ask us about the protection that applies to your booking.

In order to process your booking and meet your requirements, we must pass your personal details on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements. We would also like to hold your information (including any email address), where collected by us, for our own future marketing purposes (for example, to inform you of promotional offers or to send you our brochure). If you do not wish to receive such approaches in future, please inform us as soon as possible. For full details of our data protection and privacy policy, and an explanation of how your personal details will be used by us, please refer to our privacy policy.

The images used on this website are to provide a guide only. The ships accommodation/dialysis unit/cabins may differ from the photographs shown.

The ports denoted by * are tender ports.  A tender port is where your ship drops anchor offshore and shuttles passengers to and from the port of call using smaller “tenders”, or boats.

At the time of writing NHS England continue to reimburse approximately £150 per dialysis session if the majority of the ports of call visited are within the EEA.  However you are advised to check with your dialysis unit for up to date information.