Are drones allowed on cruise ships?

Drones – small remote-controlled flying devices, many equipped with cameras – have become one of the best ways to take aerial photos of some of the world’s most scenic destinations, as well as footage from cruise ships. With that in mind, many travelers are understandably curious if they can take drones on cruises and if they can fly a drone on a cruise ship.

As of press time, only three of the eight major cruise lines in the industry allow passengers to board drones.

Even in cases where drones are allowed, cruisers cannot fly them from the ship. They are intended for use in port only, and cruisers are responsible for adhering to all local regulations, including rules on how far drones must remain from buildings, vessels, and restricted areas, such as airports. In some cases, the location may require a permit to use the drone. Passengers who fail to comply with any of these regulations risk incurring fines or having their drones confiscated by their cruise line or local authorities.

Here is an overview of cruise line drone policies.

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Carnival Cruise Line

A Carnival Spirit drone in Australia. CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Carnival Cruise Line’s drone policy allows cruise lines to bring drones for port use only. The aircraft must be stored with the Chief of Security and checked and handed over by the owner upon disembarkation and return to the vessel.

Celebrity Cruises

On Celebrity ships, drones are only permitted ashore and must be used outside the port area. When on board the ship, they must be stored in the passenger cabins. Anyone caught using a drone on board will receive a driving warning from guests and could risk temporary confiscation of the drone, as well as early disembarkation.

Disney cruise line

Disney Cruise Line passengers are not permitted to board drones.

Holland America Line

A drone with a camera. MARK NEWMAN/THE IMAGE BANK/GETTY IMAGES

Drones and other remote-controlled aerial devices are not permitted on any Holland America ship.

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MSC Cruises

MSC includes drones in its list of prohibited items that cannot be taken on board.

Norwegian cruise line

Norwegian includes “all remote-controlled or autonomously flying devices, toys or drones” on its list of prohibited items.

Princess Cruises

“Drones…and any other remote control aerial devices/toys” are not permitted on Princess cruises.

Royal Caribbean International

A Radiance of the Seas drone in Alaska. MICHEL VERDURE/ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

Royal Caribbean’s cruise drone policy is identical to Celebrity’s: drones are only allowed to be used on land, outside of the port area. When on board the ship, they must be stored in the passenger cabins. Anyone caught using a drone on board could receive a driving warning or be disembarked early from the trip.

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