Preparing for a world cruise

Preparing for a world cruise is an exciting experience. From booking your suite to reviewing your itinerary, the start of your adventure has never been simpler.

Required documents for a world cruise

When you book your world cruise, there are a few key tasks you can undertake to get your cruise preparation off to a great start.


First things first: make sure you have a passport that is in good condition and valid for six months after the end of your trip. If you don't have a passport, or it's due to run out within that time, it's crucial that you apply for a new one a good few months before you set sail. Without a passport that has at least six months until expiry, you may risk being turned away from some of the countries on your itinerary. Passport return times can differ, so keep in mind that there may be a long wait to receive your new passport.


It's wise to check as early as possible whether the countries you will be visiting require you to have a visa. Make a note of which visas you’ll need and how far in advance you are required to apply. Some ships may not allow you to board without the correct visas, or you may be prevented from leaving the ship in the respective countries during your voyage. The application process for some visas can take months, so it’s advisable to find out exactly what you need as soon as possible. 


Similarly, many counties have strict immunisation requirements before they will allow visitors to enter. Check the immunisation requirements for each port of call on your trip and speak to your doctor about arranging any you need. If you’ve already received certain vaccinations in the past, you may not need another. Discuss with your doctor whether you’ll need a booster. 

shore experiences

To get the most out of your time on shore, we offer a range of excursions for you to enjoy. Choose from exciting adventures, laid-back sightseeing, and everything in between.

Places on Shore Experiences, particularly popular ones, can go very quickly once the cruise commences. For this reason, it’s helpful to check what's available before you depart. Don't worry: if you forget, you can always book Shore Experiences on board, though spaces may be more limited.

Your world cruise essentials

When it comes to packing for your world cruise, there are several factors to take into consideration. Each port of call is different, and you may encounter both hot and cold climates. You'll also need to think about your on board options for the day and night. Many guests choose to create a capsule wardrobe, pairing staple clothing items that can be easily layered and interchanged for efficient outfits in every destination.

key staples 

Here's a list of some key staples to consider packing for your world cruise:

  • A comfortable pair of shoes to walk in.
  • A warm coat.
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket.
  • Swimwear.
  • Shorts and skirts.
  • T-shirts and blouses.
  • Work out clothing (if you wish to use the gym).
  • Formal attire, including shoes.
  • Flip flops.
  • A kaftan or cover-up.
  • A cardigan or light jacket.

Researching your world cruise destinations

Each port of call on a world cruise carries with it its own unique cultural flavour, with countless sights to see, things to do, and cuisine to sample.


Our world cruise voyages offer late-night departures or night stayovers in order for customers to experience the most out of their time in ports. Make a note of any sights, restaurants, or other significant experiences that are unmissable to you on your trip. Once you have booked your cruise, you will be able to view your port guides and Shore Experiences within My Cunard.

Whether you choose books, websites, or social media, there’s plenty of information and recommendations out there about ports all over the world. On our website you can find information about the different destinations 

Count down to your voyage

Twelve months before you sail

  • Arrange travel insurance.
  • Check your passport and apply for a new passport if needed.
  • Reserve any on board events and any Shore Experiences via My Cunard.

Six months before you sail

  • Check the visa and immunisation requirements for your ports of call and apply for any visas as needed.
  • Research any additional travel arrangements and transfers you may need.
  • Book flights if necessary.

Three months before you sail

  • Review your medication requirements and make sure you order any prescriptions you will need while on your world cruise.
  • Organise home care or pet care if needed. 

One month before you sail

  • Begin to organise your cruise luggage and shop items you might need to pack.
  • Arrange airport transfers if necessary.
  • Complete and submit any forms required by your cruise provider.
  • Make sure you have your cruise luggage tags.
  • Research and book any dinning or beverage packages for on board as well as any speciality dining or spa experiences you'd like.

Two weeks before you sail

  • Make a copy of your passport and print it along with your itinerary, flight information, travel insurance details, book internet packages and contact information.
  • Contact your bank or credit card providers to inform them you will be travelling.

Frequently asked questions about world cruises

How long does it take to complete a world cruise?

The majority of world cruises are between three to four months long, however, they can be divided into smaller sectors allowing you to choose shorter lengths if you prefer. See our website for more information

What should I bring on my firts day of the cruise?

Make sure you bring a carry-on with you on embarkation day which contains all of your documentation, a change of clothes if needed, any medications you may need, and perhaps a bathing suit should you wish to take a dip in the pool before your luggage arrives at your stateroom. 

Do I need to bring money on board?

While the shops and restaurants we have on board accept credit cards, it's advisable to carry a small amount of local currency for each port. In most areas, ATMs are available.

What do I need to know aobut Covid-19 restrictions?

While Covid-19 still impacts some aspects of travel, the majority of countries are now operating as close to pre-pandemic levels as possible. You may wish to take extra care and carry a mask with you and it’s advisable to continue to wash and sanitise your hands regularly. Some countries still have a mandatory mask policy and ask for proof of vaccination, so it’s wise to ensure you check any Covid-19 requirements before departure. 

For our latest guidance, visit our Covid-19 policies which can be found here.

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