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Cruising With Dogs

Guest Blogger

Cruises have gone to the dogs!  If you can’t stand traveling without your furry companions, consider cruising with pets.  There are a few cruise ships which accept pets and it’s a great way to have a mini-vacation with your dog, as well as land in a major destination without the worry and stress of an airplane flight. 


Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Voyage:  The Queen Mary 2 cruise ship is the premier transatlantic voyage and only multi-day cruise ship that allows pets.  Dogs can revel in the luxury of the cruise ship with a portion of deck 12 set aside only for them. 

Only 12 dogs are accepted on board each voyage and they stay in spacious heated kennels during most of the day and night.  For five hours during each day, dogs are let out to play either on a portion of the main deck or in a separate room set aside for dogs and their owners.  The Kennelmaster feeds the dogs from a selection of gourmet dog foods or chicken and rice from the ship’s main kitchens.  Owners are welcome to spend time with their dogs during visiting and feeding hours.

Of course, pet owners staying on board the Queen Mary 2 enjoy the many luxuries of the ship, including a lovely British high tea, dancing and music in the evenings, dining aboard the ship’s many restaurants, a visit to the ship’s planetarium, and lectures from the ship’s invited guests.  It’s a wonderful adventure for both pets and their humans.

Brittany Ferries from England to Spain or France:  From England, Brittany Ferries offers comfortable pet-friendly cabins for the day long voyages to Spain and France.  The cabins have twin beds with laminated floors, en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, and a window so that dogs can enjoy the view of the ocean passing them by. 

Cruise the Greek Isles:  Most of the ferries that go between the Greek islands permit dogs and have discrete dog-walking areas on board the ships, making the Greek isles a surprisingly pet-friendly destination.  Of these ships, the most pet-friendly are the Blue Star Ferries.  Blue Star Ferries have a limited number of pet-friendly cabins with beds, en-suite bathrooms, and windows.  Or, if you want to hop across the Mediterranean, consider taking Superfast Ferries from Greece to Italy which also has pet-friendly cabins and kennels located on deck 10 of the ship.

Day Cruises in the United States:  There are several cruise operators who provide pet-friendly day cruises in the United States.  Acadian Nature Cruises offers two hour long nature cruises around Bar Harbor, Maine.  Mercury Chicago Skyline cruises offers a weekly Canine Cruise where leashed pets can come on board for a 90 minute trip across Chicago’s cruiseway, with a narration of Chicago highlights and dog-friendly attractions.  This popular boat trip can sell out so purchase tickets early.


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