Your dog is more than just your dog—they’re your best friend and a member of your family, so of course you would want to take them with you wherever you go. Cruises are a great way to fulfill one’s wanderlust and see new places, but do they let Fido tag along? Furtunately, the answer is yes! Dog-friendly cruises do exist, and each one offers something different. Here are four options for your next adventure with your pup!
When it comes to the major cruise lines, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is the only ship that allows furry passengers on board. All of the other major lines have a “no pets” rule, but your four-legged pal is welcome on the Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Crossings, which depart from Southampton, Hamburg, and New York. The ship, which is actually the world’s only ocean liner, is also the only one to offer kennel services for canine (and feline) guests. As a passenger, your pup will be treated to dog biscuits, a dog coat, a fleece blanket, and even a free portrait taken on board. They’ll also be given outdoor playtime in a gated area on Deck 12 every day.
While your pooch won’t be able to join you in your cabin or any of the public areas, you can visit them several times a day during designated hours. Note that the ship only has 24 kennels, and cats and larger dogs require 2, so booking at least 12 to 18 months in advance is recommended.
Price: $800 to $1,200
Pawfect for: Dogs who like to travel in style and do well on long trips
If you wish to explore coastal Maine by boat with your pup, you’re in luck—Acadian Boat Tours’ Sightseeing and Nature Cruise is not only its most popular offering, but it’s also pet-friendly!
With daily departures from Bar Harbor, this two-hour, fully narrated cruise lets you and your canine BFF enjoy the puptastic scenery of coastal Maine, Acadia National Park, Frenchman Bay, and Bar Harbor. Views of classic structures such as the Egg Rock lighthouse are featured as well. As you and Fido take in the views, be sure to keep an eye out for eagles, porpoises, seals, migrating birds, and other animals.
The boat is equipped with a snack bar, clean restrooms, and a heated indoor cabin. But since it’s chillier on the water than it is on the shore, Acadian Boat Tours recommends bringing a jacket on all their cruises. If your pup gets cold easily, you may want to pack a doggie sweater for them too.
Price: FreePawfect for: Dogs who love nature and wildlife
Chicago’s Mercury Cruises has a tour that has gone to the dogs, literally! The Canine Cruise, which sails along Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, highlights the city’s rich history and remarkable architecture, as well as dog-friendly attractions that you and your canine companion can visit after the cruise. Enjoy the skyline and experience the Chicago Harbor Lock with your pooch, while your guide offers interesting details about each landmark and fun facts about dogs. Fido can have their own seat or hang out on the deck, as long as they are leashed at all times.
In addition to safe outdoor seating, the boat has water bowls and an exclusive newspaper-lined restroom for its furry passengers. A separate restroom, and bar and snack service are available for the humans. The Canine Cruise departs from the Riverwalk every Saturday and Sunday at 11:15 AM. Reservations are not required, but you may purchase tickets in advance online.
Price: $8Pawfect for: Letting your urban pooch see the city from a different perspective
There’s no need to leave your pup at home if you’re planning to visit the charming islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Hy-Line Cruises allows four-legged passengers on all their island-bound ferries, provided they are leashed and stay off the furniture. With Hy-Line’s Around the Sound cruise, you and your furry friend can visit both dog-friendly destinations in one day. Departing from Hyannis daily, the cruise includes time on both islands for shopping, dining, or relaxing on the beach with your pup.
On Nantucket, you can take your canine companion to Francis Street Beach and play on the shore or rent a kayak. Tupancy Links, which has over a mile of easy trails, is a popular dog walking spot among locals. On Martha’s Vineyard, there’s no shortage of eateries with pooch-friendly outdoor areas, so Fido can tag along while you grab something to eat. You can then pick up some treats and toys at Good Dog Goods, a pet supply store located inside a Victorian cottage.
Price: FreePawfect for: Dogs who like to explore new places while taking it easy