The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, either with a deal or without. With so much uncertainty around the topic, planning a future holiday can cause many questions to arise about what could happen after the 29 March.
Read our FAQs on the subject and see what the cruise lines have to say for themselves regarding Brexit below for some helpful answers. Click the questions to expand and read the answers.
Can I still book a cruise within the EU?
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) have advised that, regardless of outcome, there is no reason to be concerned when booking a holiday.
Stuart Leven, VP EMEA and MD of RCL and Chairman of CLIA UK & Ireland has reported that the first cruises taking place in the post-Brexit area – beyond the three-year moratorium period after the referendum – are now on sale and there are no signs of a drop in consumer confidence.
In short, you can still book a cruise within the EU. Prior to 29 March, nothing will change and following this date there are specific passort implications to consider for any future travel, which are highlighted below.
Do I need to renew my passport?
After the 29 March, and in the event of a no-deal Brexit, those planning to travel abroad will be required to have six months left on their passport and UK residents wanting to travel on the 30 March and beyond, must have a passport issued on or after 1 October 2009.
In light of this, the government is advising customers to visit the HM Passport Office online passport checker here: Check a passport for travel to Europe.
The Passport Office says:
“After 29 March 2019:
1. You should have 6 months left on your UK passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, 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.
“Currently, UK passport holders can travel to all EU countries as long as they have enough remaining validity to cover the length of their stay, so it’s important to be aware of the above changes in a ‘no deal’ Brexit.”
Will I need to acquire any additional documents?
ABTA has advised, “the European Commission announced in November 2018 that, even in a no-deal scenario, UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa, providing the same if offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The European Commission has said that from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee (of around 7 Euros) for this visa exemption. This is part of a new electronic travel authorisation system applying to all third country visitors to the EU, similar to the US ESTA regime.”
This additional document will be valid for three years and cost £6.30/€7.
Will the European Health Insurance cards still be valid?
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allow any EU citizen to access medical care when travelling within another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, EHIC’s registered within the UK will no longer be valid.
For travel insurance in general, those looking to travel are advised to check their policy details and contact their insurance provider if they are unsure as to whether they will be covered in all eventualities of Brexit.
Will I still be able to use my mobile phone abroad?
Currently, UK residents travelling within the EU aren’t charged for extra roaming and are able to use their phones as they would in the UK. However, in the event of a no deal this may change. The government has advised it would put measures in place for a cap on the cost of mobile data usage abroad at around £45 per month – it’s currently €50 under EU law.
Can I still drive abroad?
There may be some additional requirements for driving abroad in the event on a no-deal Brexit as your licence may not be valid as a standalone document. For those looking to hire and/or drive a car abroad, you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) which costs £5.50.
Another document which UK residents would need to acquire would be the Green Card, which ensures your car insurance will still be applicable in the EU. These are usually issued by insurers and may incur a small fee. It’s best to speak with your insurer for more information on obtaining a Green Card on future trips after 29 March 2019.
What is the process to visiting the EU after 29 March?
Following a no-deal Brexit, there will be a soft-launch of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for the first six months. There is an option to extend this under the European Commission for a further six months if required.
The ETIAS requires that ever prospective visitor to the EU registers their details online and pays a fee of €7/£6.30, though under-12s can be registered free. The information provided will then be compared against relevant databases and a decision is made on whether or not to grant ETIAS.
Once you are granted ETIAS, these are valid for three years or until your passport runs out. Currently, it is not clear whether you may need to register your travel plans online before each visit or not.
ETIAS only applies to third-country, visa-exempt travellers, which the UK will be following 29 March 2019.
Can I still fly within the EU?
Following a no-deal Brexit, UK and EU licensed airlines will lose their automatic right to operate air services between the UK and EU, without seeking advance permissions. This includes EU licensed airlines operating wholly within the UK (Heathrow to Edinburgh), and UK licensed airlines operating intra-EU services (Milan to Paris).
After March 29 under a no-deal Brexit, airlines looking to operate between the UK and EU would need to seek individual permissions from respective states. The government has advised the UK would envisage granting permission to EU airlines to continue to operate, and that it would not be in the interest of any EU country or the UK to restrict the choice of destinations which could be served.
What do the cruise lines have to say about Brexit?
Due to the changes Brexit could potentially incur, some cruise lines have spoken out about the possibilities of Brexit to the cruising community.
Scenic has launched the following to customers, to offer peace of mind in light of Brexit. The Scenic Brexit Assurance guarantees the following:
- No price increases, no surcharges or supplements, regardless of the Brexit outcome
- Scenic’s truly All-Inclusive philosophy, where even the things you’d expect to pay extra for are included in the price
- Scenic Club – our much-loved loyalty programme that rewards repeat travellers
- Complete financial protection, provided by ABTA, ATOL and IATA
Within the FAQs section of Viking’s website, the following is quoted as to how will Brexit affect your holiday:
“Until the UK officially leaves the EU, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no changes to holiday arrangements. Travellers are as free to move between the UK and the EU as they were before the vote, European Health Insurance cards remain valid and regulations such as Air Passenger Rights remain in place.”
Book with SixStarCruises.co.uk
SixStarCruises.co.uk is protected by both ABTA and ATOL, meaning that when you book with us you will be fully protected no matter what the outcome is for Brexit.
A cruise offers a perfect option for those needing a little extra reassurance with their future holidays. A cruise often has everything included, fixed prices and little to no unexpected bills. Cruising from the UK is ideal as there are no flights required and it removes any additional stresses that come with being at the airport.
If you need to discuss your future cruise bookings or have any questions about the above, call our Cruise Concierge team on 0808 202 6105 for advice on cruising both within and outside the EU.