Best Travel Insurance for European River Cruises

Written by Antonio Cala

Last updated on April 17, 2024

Table of Contents

Embarking on a European river cruise is like stepping into a postcard-perfect world where enchanting landscapes, historic cities, and cultural delights blend seamlessly as you sail from one picturesque destination to another. 

But let’s face it, even the most meticulously planned voyage can encounter unexpected snags—a sudden illness, a missed port call, or a lost suitcase can quickly turn your dream vacation into a stressful situation. That’s where travel insurance comes into play. 

Finding the best travel insurance for your European river cruise isn’t just about peace of mind; it’s an essential part of your travel toolkit, ensuring that you’re covered for those unforeseen events. 

In this article, we’ll navigate through the different options to help you select the travel insurance that best matches your itinerary, budget, and needs, so you can focus on the important stuff—like which historic castle to explore first or which regional wine to sample. 

For a comprehensive exploration of insurance options designed specifically for adventure travelers, be sure to explore our master guide The Ultimate Guide to Adventure Travel Insurance.

Quick Recommendations

If you want some quick recommendations, here is our infographic to help you choose the best insurance for your next river cruise in Europe. 

best travel insurance for european river cruise

European River Cruise Insurance Overview

Understanding Travel Insurance for a River Cruise in Europe

Before you set sail on the serene rivers of Europe, understanding the ins and outs of travel insurance is crucial. Unlike ocean cruises that often navigate international waters, river cruises meander through multiple countries, each with its own set of rules and regulations. 

This means your insurance needs to cover a broader spectrum of potential issues, from trip cancellations and interruptions to emergency medical expenses and evacuation. 

Additionally, river cruises have unique considerations such as water levels that can affect your itinerary. Comprehensive travel insurance can protect your investment against these uncertainties and more, allowing you to indulge in the rich tapestry of European culture and scenery with an ease of mind.

What Does It Cover?

An insurance for a river cruise in Europe works like a traditional travel insurance policy, offering you protection for the following:

Medical Expenses

If you encounter a health hiccup while meandering through the captivating European waterways on your river cruise, having the right insurance is incredibly important. Specially crafted to meet the unique requirements of traversing through various European countries, this insurance ensures coverage for emergency medical expenses that may arise along these culturally rich yet distinct regions, including potential evacuation and treatment costs.

This type of insurance spans a wide range of medical situations, from minor health issues to serious emergencies. Whether you require immediate medical aid or extensive care, a comprehensive insurance policy provides the essential financial backing to handle unforeseen medical predicaments that can occur amidst the charming and historic European landscapes during your river cruise.

Baggage Coverage

Should your personal effects, like your camera or other treasured possessions, get damaged or go missing during your European river cruise, securing appropriate insurance is of utmost importance. Insurance policies tailored for such voyages typically encompass personal property coverage.

The range of coverage can vary significantly, providing protection for a spectrum of item values. This enables you to file a claim to assist with the costs of mending or replacing crucial belongings. Whether you’re navigating through bustling cities or tranquil countryside, you’ll want to ensure your travel memories are safeguarded as much as your gear.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

If an unforeseen injury forces you to cancel your European river cruise, possessing specialized insurance for these situations can be incredibly beneficial. 

This type of insurance offers the possibility to claim reimbursement for the segments of your journey that were unavoidably forfeited due to such unexpected incidents. 

With the right coverage, you can protect the investment you’ve made in your European travel experience, ensuring that even if your plans are disrupted, you won’t be left adrift financially.

Emergency Evacuation

Undoubtedly, the most critical type of insurance for any European river cruise, where access to medical facilities may vary from port to port, is emergency medical evacuation coverage. 

This coverage guarantees that in the event of a medical emergency, you can be quickly transferred to the nearest appropriate medical center for care, or if necessary, repatriated back to your home country. 

Given the diverse locations and the potential distance from advanced medical facilities while cruising through Europe’s heartland, this insurance provides essential peace of mind for a safe and secure journey.

What Doesn't Cover?

Every insurance provider sets their own rules regarding the scope of their coverage and the exclusions that are in place. Common restrictions for a European river cruise might include:

Political events: Europe’s political climate can be dynamic, and some policies may have specific clauses regarding coverage for trip cancellations or interruptions due to political unrest or other related events.

Docking changes: Due to the nature of river cruising, where water levels or other logistical issues can affect docking, your itinerary might need to be modified. Some policies may offer compensation for such changes, so understanding these terms is crucial.

It’s always wise to thoroughly examine the policy details and comprehend what is and isn’t covered, so you can make an informed choice about whether you need additional coverage for your European river cruise.

Best Travel Insurance for European River Cruises in 2024

Our Pick For

Americans who need high medical coverage

Nationalities: Only US citizens and residents are eligible.

Pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing conditions can be covered for Trip Cancellations and Interruptions, as long as you purchase your plan within 14 days of your initial trip deposit, and are medically able to travel when you purchase your plan.

Seniors Over 65: There is no maximum age limit.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 180 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The prices are very competitive.

Plans are very customizable with plenty of extras available and the option of removing items you don’t need.

Pre-existing medical conditions accepted.

24/7 chat available with the Faye Mobile App

     

Reasons To Avoid

Only available to American residents.

Emergency Medical Expenses: Up to $250,000. If you experience sudden illness or injury in-trip, including COVID-19. We can cover prescription drugs, hospitalization and physician costs.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage of transportation in the case of illness or injury that is acute, severe or life threatening when adequate medical treatment is not available in the immediate area.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to 100%. If you need to cancel your trip for covered reasons, including if you get sick, contract COVID-19, or a travel provider goes bankrupt. We can cover flights, hotel bookings, tickets & activities, and quarantine accommodation.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to 150%. When you must unexpectedly cut your trip short or extend it for covered reasons, including if you contract COVID-19.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $4,500. Up to $300/day, for delays of more than 6 hours. When you’re stranded in transit due to reasons outside of your control such as flight delay or theft of passport.

 

Lost or damaged Belongings: Up to $2,000. Reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, including clothing, personal items and professional equipment like a phone or laptop.

Cancel for Any Reason: Up to 75% of Trip Cost. The ability to nix your trip for reasons other than those covered in your plan’s trip cancellation coverage, including fear of contracting COVID-19, as long as you purchase this coverage within 14 days of your initial trip deposit and cancel at least 48 hours in advance of your scheduled departure date.

 

Pet Care: Up to $2,500 in veterinary expenses & 
$250 for kenneling. Coverage of veterinary expenses if you take your furry friend along (including pet sickness or injury), or kenneling costs if you arrive back home later than expected.

 

Adventure & Extreme Sports: Up to $250K (international trips) or $50K (domestic trips) for accidental & sickness expenses. Medical and transportation coverage if you become injured while participating in an adventure or extreme sport, like skydiving, bungee jumping, motocross or free diving.

Faye insurance provides American residents one of the biggest medical coverages on the market at a very competitive price. 

If you live in the US and your European river cruise doesn’t include medical/emergency insurance with your booking, then Faye is the best option for you. It provides the highest medical coverage available (up to $250k) and 100% of your trip in case of cancellations.

We recommend Faye for Americans who want a complete travel protection for their river cruise in Europe, including high medical coverage ($250k medical & $500k evacuation), trip protection cancellation & interruption, and baggage coverage.

Our Pick For

Americans who don't need high medical coverage

Nationalities: All nationalities are covered, as long as they are US residents. 

Pre-existing conditions: Yes.

Seniors Over 65: Senior travel insurance package is offered to seniors over 65.

Trip Duration: Travel Select and Travel Basic plans cover trips up to 364 days. Travel America plan covers trips up to 14 days. 

Groups: Individual and family plans available. 

Destinations covered: Covers worldwide, except Ukraine, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Belarus, and Russian Federation.

Reasons To Buy

The price is competitive.

Pre–existing conditions accepted.

Covers worldwide, except Ukraine, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Belarus, and Russian Federation.

   

Reasons To Avoid

Only available to US residents.

They receive mixed reviews online.

Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense: Up to $50,000. It comes with a dental coverage sublimit of $500

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. It comes with an escort coverage limit of $25,000.

 

Trip Cancellation: 100% of insured trip cost. It comes with a limit of $50,000.

 

Trip Interruption: 150% of insured trip cost. It comes with a limit of $75,000.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $2,000. The policy comes with a daily sublimit of $200 and a minimum delay of 5 hours

 

Baggage & Personal Effects: Up to $1,000. Items sublimits apply.

Additional Medical Coverage. Increase your medical expenses coverage by $50,000 and up your medical evacuation coverage by $500,000.

 

Adventure Sports. Get protection for participating in professional athletic events, ziplining, skydiving, mountain climbing, and traveling on any air-supported devices.

 

Cancel for Any Reason. Protect yourself against the unexpected – whatever it maybe – and cancel your trip for any reason up to 48 hours before your scheduled departure date.

The Travelex Select Plan is the best option for American residents going on a river cruise in Europe waters that already provides medical/evacuation insurance included with the trip. 

It covers 100% of your trip in case of cancellation (up to $50,000).

Travelex is particularly appealing for the less adventurous European river cruises, where medical coverage is often included, and the priority is safeguarding your trip investment against potential cancellations.

Our Pick For

Non Americans + Expensive cruises

Nationalities: Only residents of the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and UAE can purchase a Travel Guard insurance policy. 

Pre-existing conditions: Yes.

Seniors Over 65: Travelers aged 65-75 are covered.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 364 days.

Groups: One children aged 17 and under is included with an adult policy at no extra cost.

Reasons To Buy

Highest medical  expenses and trip cancellation/interruption coverage combined under the same policy.

Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver Available (must be purchased within 15 days of the Initial Trip Payment).


Reasons To Avoid

Not all nationalities are covered.

Must be less than 75 years old.

Travel Medical Expense/Dental Expense: Up to $100,000/$500. Travel Medical Expense pays for medical expenses incurred due to a Sickness or Injury that happens while on a Trip. A $500 sub-limit applies for dental expenses.

 

Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains: Up to $1,000,000. Covers evacuation expenses as directed by a Physician to the nearest adequate medical facility or home in the event of death or if medically required.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to 100% Insured Trip Cost. Reimburses nonrefundable, Unused payments or deposits if you must cancel your Trip due to an illness, Injury, or death of you, a Family Member, Traveling Companion or Business Partner, or for other covered reasons. Maximum of $150,000.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to 150% Insured Trip Cost: Reimburses nonrefundable, Unused payments or deposits if you must interrupt your Trip due to an illness, Injury, or death of you, a Family Member, Traveling Companion or Business Partner, or for other covered reasons. Maximum of $225,000

 

Trip Interruption – Return Transportation Only: Up to $1,000. Reimburses the additional Transportation expenses incurred by you to reach the Return Destination if your Trip is interrupted by one of the Unforeseen events shown in the Policy Trip Interruption section.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $1,000. Reimburses up to $200 per day for Reasonable Additional Expenses until travel becomes possible if your Trip is delayed for more than 5 hours due to covered reasons.

 

Baggage Coverage: Up to $2,500. Reimburses you if your luggage is lost, damaged, or stolen while on your Trip. Coverage is primary.

 

Trip Saver: Up to $5,000. Reimburses up to $5,000 for meals, Hotels and additional Transportation if the Insured must begin their Trip sooner than the originally scheduled Departure Date due to Inclement Weather or Common Carrier changes.

 

Baggage Delay: Up to $500. Reimburses you for the purchase of necessary personal effects if your bags are delayed for more than 12 hours.

 

Missed Connection: Up to $1,000. Reimburses you if Inclement Weather or Common Carrier causes cancellation or a delay to your point of departure of regularly scheduled airline flights for three or more hours. Does not apply if you do not leave adequate time between connecting flights.

 

Security Evacuation: Up to $100,000. Coverage for security evacuation, Flight Guard® and Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption due to a riot or civil disorder.

Cancel for Any Reason Bundle. Reimburses up to the Maximum Limit shown on the Schedule of Benefits if you cancel your Trip for any reason, not otherwise covered under the Policy, up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure.

 

Adventure Sports Bundle. Removes the exclusions for adventure and extreme activities from all benefits on the Policy.

 

Pet Bundle. Daily benefit for boarding, and a medical expense coverage for illness or Injury of dog or cat while traveling. Includes coverage for Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption if your Pet is in critical condition or dies within seven days prior to the Departure Date.

 

Wedding Bundle. Trip Cancellation due to wedding cancellation. Coverage does not apply if you are the bride or groom in the wedding.

The Travel Guard Deluxe plan is the best option for a river cruise in Europe if you don’t live in the USA and want a high trip cancellation coverage (up to $150,000), a medical coverage up to $100,000 and emergency evacuation up to $1,000,000. 

Please note Travel Guard doesn’t receive the best reviews online.

Our Pick For

Non Americans + Budget + Not very expensive cruises

Nationalities: Most nationalities can purchase insurance from World Nomads, including residents of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, or New Zealand. However, as of the current writing, most European residents are unable to buy a World Nomads policy.

Pre-existing conditions: Not covered.

Seniors Over 65: Travelers aged 70 and over are not covered.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 365 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The price is competitive.

   

Reasons To Avoid

Prices and coverage vary greatly by the country of residence.

Some European nationalities are not covered.

Pre-existing medical conditions not covered

Max age is 70 years old.

Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense: Up to $100,000. Coverage is for medical expenses for emergency treatment of an accidental injury that occurs during the trip. Emergency treatment must be medically necessary and performed during the trip. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Emergency dental treatment: Up to $750. Coverage is for emergency dental treatment for accidental injury to sound, natural teeth. The injury and treatment must occur during the trip.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage is for an accidental injury or sickness occurring during the trip that results in your necessary emergency evacuation. An emergency evacuation must be ordered by a physician who certifies that the severity of your accidental injury or sickness warrants your emergency evacuation. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges if you must cancel your trip (after the effective date) due to covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable, unused expenses if you must interrupt your trip (after departure) due to a covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike, or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $3,000. Coverage is for unused portion of pre-paid accommodation or additional expenses, on a one-time basis, if you are delayed en route to or from the trip for 6 or more hours due to a defined hazard as explained in the certificate / policy.

 

Baggage & Personal Effects: Up to $3,000. Reimbursement is for loss, theft or damage during the trip to baggage and personal effects (including sporting equipment) owned by you, provided you have taken all reasonable measures to protect, save and recover the property. Per article limit of $500.

 

Activities covered based on 4 groups. You pay more for higher group. The Explorer plan includes more activities than the Standard Plan. Extreme activities not covered (cave diving, free soloing, etc)

The World Nomads Explorer Plan is a great option for non-Americans if your European river cruise cost is under $10,000. It offers good medical coverage ($100k), emergency evacuation ($500k) and some equipment coverage (up to $3,000) under the same policy.

We recommend World Nomads if you’re looking for an affordable travel insurance for a river cruise in Europe that costs less than $10,000.

Comparison Table

Company
Plan
Medical Expenses
Emmergency Evacuation
Trip Cancellation
Trip Delays
Equipment Coverage

Adv Sports

$250,000

$500,000

100%

150%

$2,000

Select

$50,000

$500,000

$50,000

150%

$1,000

Deluxe

$100,000

$1,000,000

100%

150%

$2,500

Explorer

$100,000

$500,000

$10,000

$3,000

$3,000

Conclusion

best travel insurance for european river cruise

When selecting insurance for your European river cruise, it’s important to ascertain whether your cruise line offers any medical and/or evacuation insurance as part of your package.

For American residents whose European river cruise includes medical/evacuation coverage, Travelex – Select is a great option. This policy delivers comprehensive protection, with reimbursement for 100% of your trip cost in the case of cancellation (up to $50,000).

If you are an American resident and your European river cruise does not come with medical/evacuation insurance, Faye is a solid choice. It provides extensive medical coverage, accepts pre-existing conditions, does not enforce age limits, and ensures 100% of your trip cost is covered in the event of cancellation.

For non-US residents on a more budget-conscious European cruise (under $10,000), the Explorer Plan from World Nomads might be your best option. It offers significant medical coverage at a reasonable cost.

Lastly, for non-US residents indulging in more upscale European river cruises (over $10,000), Travel Guard – Deluxe could be a good option. This plan offers coverage up to $150,000 for trip cancellations or interruptions. However, it’s crucial to be aware that online reviews for Travel Guard can be variable, so thorough research is recommended.

Other Adventure Cruise Destinations

Other Travel Insurance Reviews

European River Cruise Insurance Reviews Online

During your research, you might want to consider reviewing articles from different sources that offer insights into the top insurance companies for river cruises in Europe.

Below are a few articles that caught my interest.

Trip Insurance for a river cruiseRickSteves.com

River Cruise 101: Travel Insurance Basicsrivercruiseadvisor.com

About the Author

Antonio was born and raised in Southern Spain, and quit his job in 2013 to travel the world full-time with his wife Amanda for 10 years straight. Their passion for adventure took them to visit 150+ countries.

They cycled 25,000km + from California to Patagonia, sailed over 10,000NM around the Caribbean & Sea of Cortez, rode their motorbikes 30,000 kms+ across West Africa (Spain to South Africa) and visited Antarctica, among many other adventure expeditions. Today, they’re still traveling,  currently around the USA with an RV.

Traveling to so many places, remote destinations and by different means taught them a lot about travel insurance, which policies to hold depending on the area and the type of adventure they were doing. Antonio now publishes regular content to help other travelers choose the best travel insurance for adventure trips.

Together, they also run the travel community Summit, the RV site Hitched Up, the boutique accommodation blog Unique Places and the popular newsletter Adventure Fix, where they share their knowledge about the places they’ve visited and the ones still remaining on their list.

Antonio Cala

Co-Founder of Adventure Fix

Best Travel Insurance For European River Cruises
Scroll to top

You are our first priority. Every time.

We believe everyone should be able to make decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or travel service available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.