list a pet-friendly property
We are often asked about which cruise lines and charter outfits accept pets. The answer is simple — there really aren't any cruise ships that permit pets, but there are a number of charter outfits and small sightseeing companies that do welcome well-behaved, sea-worthy pets. The following is an overview of their policies and restrictions.
While there is one cruise line that will tolerate pets, there are many reasons that cruise lines cannot accept them. Most of the countries the cruise ships visit have strict quarantine or entry requirements for pets. Secondly, cruise ships generally have very strict health codes to follow as well as poor accommodation configurations for pets—separate areas where pets can exercise, relieve themselves, etc…

The only cruise line that accepts pets is Cunard's QE2; however, they do so on a very limited basis. Before you leap at the chance to cruise with your pet, you might want to read the fine print. This following is the official word from the cruise line: "The QE2 will continue to accept pets in the kennel onboard for any transatlantic crossing it may have with the exception of the first or last leg of the world cruise."

We have checked into the pet situation on the QM2. While the QM2 will not have a kennel onboard for the inaugural year 2004, there are strong indications that pets will be accepted onboard for 2005. Stay tuned.
1. The kennel is located mid-ship on the Sun Deck.
2. There are 12 kennels (two levels of six).
3. Kennels can be used for cats, dogs and other small animals. It is NOT normal procedure to put more than one animal in a kennel, but it would be the responsibility of the owner if they insisted.
4. Food is provided and the kennel attendant can prepare any special requirements.
5. The shielded open-deck area, fitted with a lamppost and a fire hydrant, is available to exercise pets. Animals are not permitted on any other open deck, public area or stateroom.
6. Prior to sailing, necessary documentation must be presented to the ship before livestock can travel.
7. Passengers may provide own bed/bedding for their pets.
8. Pets are kept in the kennel during the crossing and regularly exercised.

Visiting Hours: The kennel's visiting hours is as follows, however with prior arrangement it is possible for the attendant to be in the kennels outside of these hours to open the cage:
7:30 AM - 9:30 a.m.
11:00 AM - 12:00 p.m.
3:30 PM - 6:30 p.m.

Charter Companies

Where Pets are Welcome

The idea of boating and dogs seems to be a natural — especially for the water loving breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and the web-footed Portuguese waterdogs. Cat lovers need not feel excluded; felines once rode the high seas because mariners found them very helpful in controlling the rat and mice populations on their ships.

We spend a lot of time on the water and see many dogs (fewer cats) sailing or motoring with their owners. Our dogs love to hop on our motor boat, head off to a secluded cove, and explore the sandy beach off leash. We have other friends who successfully include their dogs in other water-oriented adventures. This might mean a simple canoe or kayak trip or a weeklong cruise along the coastal waterways or island hopping in Maine or in the Caribbean.

We often hear from people who want to sail with their pet, but aren't sure whether they have a salty dog or a curmudgeonly cat. We researched the subject and offer suggestions on how to steady your pet's sea legs. Once your pet is ready for a water-oriented adventure, you can contact a number of charter companies who would be happy to have your pet on board. Members, please log in to access our list of pet-friendly charter companies.

Our suggestions were gathered from yacht charter companies, seasoned yachtsmen, friends, and veterinarians. We also contacted dozens of outfitters, ranging from barefoot charter companies to luxury yacht brokers, and asked them if they ever allowed pets. We received a wide range of responses, and are pleased to report that there are indeed a good number of companies and individuals that have pet-friendly vessels.

Sightseeing Boat Companies

Airboats, Ferry Boats, and Power Boats

Boats and pets seem to be a fairly good mix. If your pets aren't as sure-footed on the water as they are on land, then vist our "Recreational Resources" on boating and read our article on readying your pet for the water. Once acclimated, you will feel more comfortable contacting the many companies that allow your pet on board. This is only a partial list. Members please log in to access our "pet pastimes" database with hundreds of other ideas for water-oriented excursions.


Fun Zone Boat Company
(949) 673-0240
600 Edgewater Place
Balboa, California 92661

"The Fun Zone Boat Company Inc., originated in 1948. The company began as a small harbor-cruise operation offering tours of Newport Harbor, u-drive boats and paddleboard rentals. Since then, it has expanded its services by offering private lunch, cocktail and dinner cruises, corporate meetings, weddings, and other special events aboard their four vessels that can accommodate from 10-200 passengers." Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Red & White Fleet
(877) 855-5506, (415) 673-2900
Fisherman's Wharf Terminal Pier 43-1/2
San Francisco, CA 94133
Explore the San Francisco Bay by ferry and see such sites as Sausalito, Tiburon, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the headlands.


Coopertown Airboat Tours (Known as the "Original Airboat Tour")
(305) 226-6048
Route 41 (Tamiami Trail)
Coopertown, FL
PO Box 440727
Miami, FL 33144

Those who would rather enjoy a quieter slower-paced water adventure may wish to investigate:

Scenic Cruises
(800) 542-8316, (904) 824-1806
4125 Coastal Highway
St. Augustine, FL 32095

The cruise provides a 75-minute tour of Matanzas Bay, including sites such as the Bridge of Lions and the Castillo de San Marcos. Well-behaved pets that are under control are welcome to enjoy the voyage.

Homosassa Riverside Resort
(877) FLA-SWIM
5297 S. Cherokee Way
Homosassa, FL 34448

A terrific opportunity to see manatees up close in their natural habitat.


Airboat Adventures LLC
529 Wade Dr.
Materie, LO 70003

Guests will be introduced to hawks, owls, alligators (up close and personal), egrets fishing for food, and a variety of indigenous wildflowers.

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