Returning from your cruise


As your holiday is coming to an end, this section aims to deal with any queries you may have about disembarkation and leaving your cruise ship.

When do I need to settle my on board account?

At the start of your cruise holiday, we ask you to register your credit or debit card with us, and then anything you buy will be automatically charged to your room account.

Then, when your cruise holiday is at an end, you don't have to go and settle your bill, as it will be automatically charged to your card. You can see your room account balance at any time on the tv in your room.

We accept most credit cards - Diners Club, Eurocard, Mastercard and Visa. (Currently, we regret we are unable to accept American Express cards.) In line with UK law, no surcharge will be applied to guests using a credit card. 

Unfortunately our systems don't allow us to take Maestro, Solo, Electron or travel agent debit cards or pre-paid currency or travellers cheque cards, and we can only accept American Express paper Traveller's cheques. 

We use Sterling on board, so if you’re settling your account in cash, we ask for you to use Sterling too.

Do you provide transfers for cruises which depart from and return to different ports or airports?

We offer a number of transfer options for guests who are booked on cruises with split departure and arrival ports. Read more for full details.

I need to bring a wheelchair or scooter, will there be any embarkation/disembarkation assistance?

Please read the following section of our website regarding the use of wheelchairs and scooters on board our cruises, and embarking or disembarking our cruise ships.

Disability and Reduced Mobility.

What is the procedure for disembarking the ship at the end of our cruise?

At least 24 hours before the end of your cruise holiday, full disembarkation instructions will be placed within your room.

On arrival into UK ports your cruise ship has to be cleared by Customs and Immigration Officials before we can begin the disembarkation process. This enables you to take a leisurely breakfast, leave your room, and take a comfortable seat in one of the public lounges before being called forward according to your colour coded disembarkation card.

Should you have to catch a flight home, please speak to Guest Services on board your cruise ship, who will ensure you disembark in enough time to meet your transfer back to your chosen airport.

Assistance will be given to those Guests with wheelchairs. Once leaving the vessel please ensure you collect all your luggage from the baggage reclaim area before continuing your onward journey. As baggage is arranged in the reclaim area according to deck colour it is very important to ensure that your original baggage tags are still affixed to your belongings. Please ensure you take only your belongings. Guests who take luggage belonging to fellow Guests will have to pay any charges incurred in returning luggage to its rightful owner.

More information on Disembarkation.


What happens with our suitcases when we disembark?

We request that your luggage is placed outside your room door on the final night of your cruise holiday, where it will be transferred to the cruise terminal for you. We ask that you adhere to this request as this process helps to reduce unnecessary obstruction of your cruise ship's corridors on the day of disembarkation, enabling you to disembark the cruise ship with ease when your deck is called. You will then collect your luggage from the relevant area of the cruise terminal.

More information about disembarkation and luggage.

When will I receive my duty free purchases back?

Duty Free

Guests should kindly note that due to company policy, only alcohol purchased on our cruise ships may be consumed on board. Any alcohol brought from ashore will be placed in safe keeping by the ship’s security officers and returned at the end of the cruise. However, you may purchase cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol to enjoy on board or take home via either our Room Shopping Service, or on-board boutique, which give you excellent savings on shoreside prices. 

When returning from EU countries there is no limit to the amount of goods you can bring back into the UK (exceptions apply for certain Eastern European countries). However, these must be personally carried and be for your own use - which includes gifts. If you bring back large quantities of alcohol or tobacco, a Customs Officer may ask you about the purposes for which you hold the goods. This particularly applies if you have with you more than the following amounts:

800 cigarettes
400 cigarillos
200 cigars
1kg tobacco products (other than above)
10 litres of spirits
20 litres of fortified wine
90 litres of wine
110 litres of beer
Please note that it is unlawful to carry in excess of 10,000 Euros in cash between some European Union countries.

Your Customs allowance when returning from  non-EU countries is;
Tobcacco - either, 200 cigarettes, 250g of tobacco, 50 cigars, or 100 cigarillos.

Alcohol - either, one litre of spirits, or 2 litres of fortified wine or any other alcoholic drink that’s less than 22 per cent volume. In addition you are permitted 4 litres of still table wine and 16 litres of beer.

In total, £390 worth of all goods including gifts and souvenirs.

Please note, if you have booked a fly-cruise with us, purchase of duty free alcohol is not available on the outbound legs of our charter flights.

Find out more information on shopping on board our ships.

How do I enquire about lost property?

Lost Property

We aim for you to have a stress-free cruise holiday, but if, on your return home, you find that you have lost an item of personal property during the cruise, you may be able to trace it by contacting our Customer Relations Department on: Tel: 01473 746177, or e-mail at

The property will be held at our Head Office in Ipswich for 1 month after the return date of the cruise. Please note that for reasons of hygiene and storage capacity, we are only able to process items of intrinsic value. A minimum charge of £30 is charged to return most items, although please note that higher charges will apply to large items and items of high value.

If you lose an item on the ship during your cruise please contact Guest Services on board.

Lost Baggage

If having returned home you discover that you have not collected all your baggage following disembarkation you should contact the following numbers:

ON DAY OF RETURN (PRIOR TO 1400HRS) for Dover, Southampton & Harwich:

The Baggage Handling Company
Tel: 023 80873111

For Northern Ports, please contact Customer Relations at Head Office, Ipswich.

Customer Relations Department

Tel: 01473 292303

Please note that in such circumstances it is the responsibility of the individual to cover the cost of carriage. Should you have taken another guest’s baggage in error you will also be responsible for the cost of carriage involved in returning it to the rightful owner. Please check carefully that you have collected the correct baggage, before leaving the baggage reclaim area and commencing your onward journey.

Do we have to go through immigration at each port on our cruise?

There is no need for you to pass through Immigration at every port of call you visit during your cruise holiday, as you will have already supplied us with your passport details at the time you booked or on your Guest Information Form. 

Immigration officers will board the ship when it docks and carry out any relevant checks from the ship’s manifest before the cruise ship is ‘cleared’, but guests are not required for this process. Occasionally, some overseas ports will require you to take your passport ashore.

How do I get off the ship if we're at anchor?

Your safety and wellbeing on our cruise ships is our main concern and we want you to be as comfortable as possible when leaving and getting back on board.

Some ports will require guests to go ashore by tender, i.e. with access down the steps of a gangway.

There are 25 steps from your cruise ship to the tender on all our vessels (except Braemar where there is a maximum of 7). Please ask about your particular cruise at the time of booking.

On health and safety grounds, wheelchair-users or those requiring more than minimal assistance to board/alight a tender will be unable to go ashore on these occasions.

Each cruise detail page highlights the tender ports on individual cruise itineraries.

Can we send postcards from the ship?

If you'd like to send postcards home during your cruise, please hand them to Guest Services on board, who will give them to our local port agent for posting in the next port of call. A small charge is made for this service, but please remember that the more remote the port, the longer the postcard will take to reach home!

Please note that delivery of mail cannot be guaranteed.


0800 0355 130

You can call us 7 days a week,
we'd love to hear from you.

Calls are charged at local rate

Our opening hours

Mon-Fri: 08:00 - 20:00 Sat: 09:00 - 17:00 Sun: 10:00 - 16:00

0800 0355 130
Telephone Icon
Call us 7 days a week, we'd love to hear from you

Your recently viewed cruises

X Close
River Cruises