Cruising proving most popular with families with older children and empty nesters according to Southern Cross Travel Insurance

4 October 2023 by Laura Sedgwick

  • Southern Cross Travel Insurance reveals 23 per cent of all Aussie travellers are planning a domestic cruise this year
  • 39% of Aussie domestic travellers are looking to get domestic travel insurance for their upcoming trips
  • Demand is strongest among families with children eight years and older (26%), followed by empty nesters (19%).
  • Optional cruise cover is now available for domestic travellers in response to growing demand. Research shows a key reason for cover among Aussie travellers planning to purchase domestic travel insurance is in case of unforeseen cancellations (70%) or lost baggage (66%).

With Australia lining up for a bumper cruise season, with a record 70 cruise ships operating in Australian waters from October 2023 to April 2024, Southern Cross Travel Insurance reveals more Aussies are looking at domestic cruises as a desirable getaway.

Jo McCauley, SCTI CEO says, “Our research shows1 23 per cent of Australians are planning to go on a domestic cruise in the next 12 months, with a very strong demand among families with children eight years and older (26%) and empty nesters (19%). With the likes of Disney Wonder proving so popular, the popularity among families comes as no surprise.

“We’re now offering a cruise add-on to our domestic travel insurance policy, which was first launched in December 2020 to support travellers during the pandemic. Now that the cruising industry is well and truly bouncing back, we’re responding to customer demand for cruise cover when travelling around the country.”

While researching how best to respond to their needs, customers told Southern Cross they were looking to buy cover in case of cancellation, protecting any travel costs associated with their trip and safeguarding their valuable items.

McCauley says, “We’ve responded by extending our existing domestic travel insurance cover to support customers with claims for lost or stolen items, cancelled or disrupted travel plans which means they are unable to make it on their cruising holiday due to missing their ship, and falling ill or being injured before they depart.

In the last 12 months, Southern Cross has paid out more than $190,000 in domestic travel insurance claims, with the most expensive being $10,000 when a customer was admitted to hospital with a blood infection and had to cancel their organised tour due to having to receive treatment.

With some domestic cruise costs getting into the thousands for a family of four, excluding travel to and from the departure or arrival port, McCauley says that cruise cover is definitely an investment worth having, but reminds travellers to be aware of what their insurance does and doesn’t cover.

“There are significant costs associated with domestic cruises, and since the pandemic travellers are even more aware of the chance of cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances, this was identified in our research as a key customer concern. But it’s important to note that our cover doesn’t include cover for medical and evacuation, so we advise customers to contact their private health insurer and Medicare to ensure they’re covered for medical emergencies should anything go wrong.”

Cruising offers a unique opportunity to see Australia from a whole new angle. Australians should get in quickly to secure a berth, but make sure they are covered for the unexpected when they do.

1 SCTI conducted research among 500 Australians who intend to travel domestically in the next 12 months