Kennel Master takes his charge out for fresh air from the Queen Mary 2 kennel.
Kennel Master taking his charge out for fresh air.

Cruise with your cat, dog (or ferret!) using Queen Mary 2 kennels.

Update May 11, 2019:  Information here is from Cunard Customer Service, the department in charge of Queen Mary 2 kennel requirements.

What if your employer wants you to relocate to London. Or you’re lucky enough to spend a summer vacation in the pastoral English countryside. An apartment in Paris with your poodle? It would be wonderful to visit your relatives in England (or vice versa in America) without the need to board your pet at home.

Queen Mary 2 Kennels

There is a way to travel with pets to England. Book a transatlantic crossing (a stateroom for you and a kennel for your pet) aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the only ship in the world that permits pets to cruise with their owners between the two countries.

Out for a stroll at sunset.
Out for a stroll at sunset.

Cunard makes this possible.

People aren’t the only creatures that receive Cunard’s legendary White Glove Service.  In charge of the Queen Mary 2 kennels is the Kennel Master, who pampers, feeds and exercises the dogs outside on their own deck space and tends to the cats.  If that’s not enough, each canine or feline also receives a special welcome aboard gift.

Welcome aboard the Queen Mary 2
A White Glove welcome greets you when you board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

Following the Queen Mary 2 remastering, there are now a total of 24 kennels, 12 upper and 12 lower. Two lower kennels can be opened for larger dogs or just for more space. Cats are required to be on the upper level with two kennels, one for the litter box and one for the living area.

What are the Requirements to Travel with Pets? 

For many years, to bring your dog into England meant six long months of quarantine, despite proof of vaccination. Now it’s simple with the Queen Mary 2 kennels.

Eastbound crossings from New York to Southampton:

  • Must be fitted with a microchip
  • Had a rabies vaccine 21 days or more before the cruise
  • Issued with an official Veterinary Certificate within 10 days of the cruise
  • Dogs must be treated against heartworm, 1-5 days prior to boarding

Westbound crossings from Southampton to New York:

  • Issued a current Health Certificate within 30 days before entry into New York
  • Rabies vaccine – check for the most recent update from the United States CDC

Note:  If pet owners have an EU pet passport, the passport cannot be updated by a US or Canadian vet. It can only be updated by a UK or EU veterinarian.

Clearly, it’s easier to bring your pet into the United States than into England.  Today, the British quarantine period has been removed, provided the owner has fulfilled all of the requirements for cats and dogs.

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How to Reserve 

It’s important for you to reserve your Queen Mary 2 kennel as soon as possible. Usually, this can be done up to two years before the sailing. If you should request a particular sailing date and the kennels are already reserved, ask to be placed on a waiting list. People tend to reserve the kennels way ahead of time in the hopes of taking their cruise. Plans change and people end up canceling their reservation and there’s a chance you’ll get a kennel.

Is there visitation time during the cruise? 

Of course! While animals are not permitted in guest staterooms or public areas (except for service animals), owners may visit their pets at four scheduled times every day of the voyage. In addition to the outdoor, off-leash doggie area, there is also an indoor play space where the dogs can romp around off-leash, too, should inclement weather prevail. Visiting hours are:

  • 8:00am to 10:00am
  • 11:00am to 12:00pm
  • 3:00pm to 6:00pm
  • 8:00pm to 8:30pm
Travel with pets means an indoor play space for dogs.
Indoor play space for dogs.  This has been totally remodeled during the remastering with a separate owner’s lounge.  New photos soon.

How Much Does it Cost? 

  • Upper kennel $800.00 each – Dimensions: 27″ high, 35 1/2″ deep, 30″ wide.
  • Lower kennel $1,000.00 each – 36″ high, 35 1/2″ deep, 30″ wide.

Prices as of July 2016.

Anything Else to Keep in Mind?

  • Only dogs and cats and ferrets are allowed.
  • There is no veterinarian onboard.
  • Dogs may be walked onto the ship or in a kennel.
  • Cats must be brought onboard in a kennel.
  • Pets in the upper kennels must weight 26 lbs. or less
  • Lower kennels occupants are 26 lbs. and more

It’s easy to arrange for you to travel with your pet between England and the United States. It’s extremely important to follow the instructions exactly as Cunard states or your pet may not be allowed to even board the ship. Prices may change over time so consult Cunard for the most up-to-date kennel prices.  Why stress out your pet (and you!) when Fido or Puff can travel aboard the Queen Mary 2 and be a four-legged, pampered passenger for a week.

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Queen Mary 2 how to travel with your dog

46 Comments on How to Travel with Pets Aboard the Queen Mary 2 Kennels: 2019

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your questions. Yes, I would first call Cunard at their regular number (1-800-7-CUNARD) and see what dates are available for the kennels since there are so few. Then you can book your own accommodation. Deposits will be required. Check the cancellation penalty dates, too.

    Sounds like a fun trip for you! Happy cruising.
    Sherry

  2. Hello, do I book my room before calling to reserve a kennel for my dog? Or should I call first and see which dates have available kennels? And do I simply call the Cunard number to reserve the kennel?

    Thank you!

  3. We brought our dogs with us on the 2nd November crossing 2018. The only thing they did at Brooklyn was to check they had a rabies vaccination. They didn’t look at our health certificates or anything else. Took 5 minutes.
    the dogs loved it. Only trouble is we want to move back to the UK and I am not sure I will get a space for the dogs this autumn!

  4. Hi Jenna,
    That’s a very good question. I strongly suggest that you contact Cunard’s California office. There seems to be conflicting information going around that needs to be clarified by the source. I don’t want to accidentally give out incorrect information. Sorry to not be able to answer your question. Cunard will be able to do so. Requirements for entering the USA differs slightly from that required by the UK.
    Sherry

  5. How do they handle the tapeworm treatment required for entry into the UK. Do you know if the pets should get it prior to boarding in the USA? You mention something about heartworm treatment but that’s something different.

  6. Sherry – Thanks. Note that you’ve still got the 12 month requirement incorrectly on the site.

    Phoebe – Cunard should have emailed you all the forms and requirements. On one of them it gives the mailing address in NY for sending a copy of your health certificate before you go. Otherwise I think you have everything covered.

  7. Hi Phoebe,
    First, thank you for your questions. When you arrive into Brooklyn Terminal, you will be directed to Customs and Immigration. Because you have a dog in the kennels, you’ll have an escort (maybe Oliver from the kennel!) to get you to the proper area. Regarding the proper requirements to bring your dog into the US, please contact Cunard over here. There has been some discussion with this article about what’s correct and/or out of date. I’ve spoken with the person at Cunard in the US in charge of the dogs. You might reach out also to the UK Cunard office, too. Kudos to you for not transporting your dog in an airplane.

    Happy cruising,
    Sherry

  8. Can anyone share experience of after arriving New York? Is there a border control in the Brooklyn Terminal? If so, what should we be expecting?

    We booked a crossing from Southampton to New York December 2019. We are actually relocating ourselves (and our dogs) to the US. Instead of air-transport the dogs to the US, we decided to take them on QM2 with us.

    I understand they will need a health certificate from their UK vet and also up-to-date rabies vaccination. Is there anything else we will need to fulfil before set sail?

    Thanks a lot!

  9. Hi Ian,
    We must have both spoken with the same person at Cunard. I’m glad it’s settled and you have the correct information.
    Sherry

  10. Hi Ian,

    I’ll go back to the source with your information and see what he says. Thanks!
    Sherry

  11. Thanks for the update! The 2016 prices are still current for 2019.

    One point that may still need updating – many dogs nowadays get the rabies injection that lasts for three years before needing a booster. Checking the official New York sites about entry with pets, it looks to me as if the three year vaccination is now accepted – i.e. the requirement is that the dog has a valid rabies vaccination at time of entry – NOT necessarily within twelve months as stated in the article.

  12. Hi Autumn,
    That’s a good question. I’m fairly certain that for one cat, you need to purchase two kennels…one for the cat and one for the litter box. I’m putting together an update to this article so please check back. Thank you!
    Sherry

  13. Do I need one kennel per cat? I have 2 cats that are brother and sister so they get along and are used to being with each other. Thanks!

  14. It’s not just about the size of the dog – the smaller kennels require the dog to be lifted up into them, and the lifting limit for health and safety is 26 pounds. There won’t be much leeway on this,

    This article really needs an update – there is sufficient misleading information on it that it is now positively unhelpful.

  15. Hi Janet,
    Good for you to plan ahead. The kennels always sell out way in advance. I’ve seen the kennel sizes but I can’t say if your Lab would fit. I’m pretty sure weight is also taken into consideration. I would advise you to call Cunard and get the phone number for the Kennel department or the land-based Kennel Master. Hopefully, the waitlist for the second kennel will come through for you. Most big dogs that I’ve seen have a double size kennel.
    Good luck.
    Sherry

  16. Hi, I have reserved 1 lower kennel on a 2020 crossing and am waitlisted for a second one. we have two reserved for the return trip My dog is a very small purebred Labrador Retreiver, only 53 pounds. She is so small that people often ask me what kind of dog she is. As the entire summer plans depend on whether we get a second kennel, I wonder if she will be allowed in one kennel? Anyone else have experience with a VERY small lab being allowed in one kennel? She curls up small to sleep so Im sure she would be comfy. I dont want to make all these plans and then be turned away on boarding the ship.

    thanks

  17. 21 days or more before the start of the cruise! Rather a big difference. See Gov.uk under “pet passports”

  18. Thank you for your update. I noticed on the Gov.UK site that this was revised last week. I’ll have to do a little more research and update my information. Much appreciated.
    Sherry

  19. Hi FC,

    Fingers crossed you’ll get the space for your pups. Even with the newly added 12 kennels, it’s amazing how fast they sell out. I’m very glad to learn that the person with whom you spoke had the correct information to give to you.

    Have a wonderful crossing!

    Sherry

  20. I’ve just spoken with Cunard about 1/3/2019 crossing and was waitlisted for my 2 dogs (lower kennels – 1/each but will be opened up so dogs are together. as we were waitlisted, I asked if there was anywhere else in Europe Cunard could take me and my dogs to – such as Hamburg. rep told me only nyc to Southampton takes dogs. rep was very good about the waitlist procedure – she will let me know by next week, whether we are in or not. very helpful in planning. you are absolutely right about booking early!

  21. Hi Beverley,
    Cats remain in their carriers when checking in. Maybe if they are leashed, it might be allowed? But I’m sure with seven cats, they’d need to be in their carriers. Your friend needs to contact Cunard for accurate information. Seven cats will require multiple kennels and it could get quite expensive.
    Sherry

  22. Hello Wendy,
    When travelling with cats do they have to be taken out of their cat basket when checking in? My friend is travelling from Brookland to England with 7 cats and is trying to find out this information. Obviously it’s not as easy as walking a dog onto the ship

  23. Hi Wendy,
    The procedure for boarding with your dog is usually quite the processional. The kennel master greets the dog owners and everyone boards in a parade of sorts. The dogs are truly celebrities onboard. Triple-check that you have the proper paperwork and have a wonderful crossing! Sherry

  24. I have booked to travel with our dog to New York April 14th 2019, I am really looking forward to this trip, we will be leaving from Spain, driving to UK taking the train in Calais to Folkstone. Do the dogs need to be in a carrier boarding or can you walk them on to the Queen Mary 2? Will be staying in Southampton for a few days to visit vet to get everything updated are there any you can reccommend? I am excited already and i am a year out

  25. Dear Nicoletta,
    You’ve raised a good question about early disembarkation. You will need to check with the Kennel Reservations department at Cunard. I will guess that there might be additional/different paperwork to complete. Regarding the size of the kennels. Yes, each of your dogs would need its own kennel. The dogs are outside quite a bit during the day plus owners may visit their dogs and play in the indoor playroom as certain hours as well. You will most likely need to reserve (pay) for your cruise and kennels as soon as possible. The kennels fill up quite quickly…but there are also cancellations, too. Best of luck in your summer home!
    Sherry

  26. Dear Sherry
    I’m planning to spend summer in Nova Scotia for the next years as I bought a house there (leaving from Hamburg or Southampton). I have two large dogs that I need to bring with me. I’m a bit concerned for the size of the kennels. the dogs will be cramped there most of the time. Even reserving two spaces for each dog (I bet it’ll be quite difficult to do). Cunard should have been a bit more generous with space.
    Cunard also does Canada cruises I wonder if it’ll be possible to disembark in St. John with the dogs instead of in New York

  27. Hi Scott,
    Sounds like a life-adventure, for sure. First, make your kennel reservation as soon as possible. Second, learn about all the necessary paperwork. It’s crucial to have it perfectly completed. The spaces are limited and fill up fast.

    About the check-in process with your dogs on Queen Mary 2, it is indeed quite a process. You and your dogs will feel very special. You’ll have a separate area to wait for boarding. Then you’ll be escorted by the kennel master himself in a sort of procession to board the ship and to the kennels. It’s hilarious to watch. You and your dogs will also have a wonderful time onboard as you meet others with their pets, too.

    Best of luck on your move abroad. Be sure to get your kennels booked soon.

    Sherry

  28. Can you comment on the check-in process with animals? We are looking to move to England and we are considering this as an option. We would fly from Seattle to New York so we would have to figure out how to get from the airport to the dock where the Queen Mary picks up which also may include a night stay in a hotel depending on time frames.

    I was just curious, once we get to the dock with the dogs, what is the process from then to when they are in the kennels?

  29. Hi Laura,
    Great question about Hamburg. Off the top of my head, I’d say, yes. But I do not know 100% for sure. I would suggest that you contact Cunard and tell the reservationist that you need to speak with the person in charge of kennel reservations. To the best of my knowledge, the kennel person is in a totally separate department from “people” reservations and can email the list of requirements to you.

    I hope this is helpful. Thank you for reading.
    Sherry

  30. What about traveling to Hamburg with a dog? Do the cruises going to Hamburg also permit dogs aboard? I may be looking into relocating for work for six months and flying isn’t exactly ideal.

  31. Hi Julie,
    Sorry I don’t have a good answer to your question. There is a direct phone number to land-based kennel operations. I would suggest calling Cunard reservations at 1-800-7-CUNARD and tell whomever you speak with that you need to contact kennel operations. If you need to go to the next level, ask the reservationist to please speak with a supervisor. I’ve met dog owners onboard, and that is why I am aware of a land-based kennel operations department. I hope this is somewhat helpful for you.

    I can tell you that once you and your dog are onboard, you’ll find that the kennel masters are fabulous guys that really love taking care of their dogs (and cats!) onboard.
    Sherry

  32. Hi, I’m trying to find out ASAP what cleaning products are used in the kennel area on the QM2 cruises. Do you know the best way to quickly get in touch with someone who could answer that? It’s very important.
    Thanks

  33. Only in New York? What about people who comes from other states? They have gone to their own vets and USDA. I never hear of this kind of thing, that it MUST BE DONE only in New York , and only within 30 days .

  34. Hi Georgina, I just spoke with the kennel department at Cunard. Here is the follow-up statement that was sent to me:

    Pet Travel Requirements for sailing:
    Eastbound Requirements: NYC – SOU:

    The cat or dog must have been:
    IN THIS ORDER

    Fitted with a microchip
    Vaccinated against rabies
    Issued with an official Veterinary Certificate (Regulation (EC) No 2013/576) or official PET Passport

    THIS CERTIFICATE IS ONLY VALID FOR 10 DAYS FROM THE DAY IT IS SIGNED AND STAMPED BY THE USDA AND NEEDS TO BE VALID WHEN YOU EMBARK IN NEW YORK
    Treated against tapeworm not less than 24 hours or more than 120 hours before check-in and issued with an official certificate of treatment

    FAILURE TO COMPLETE THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS IN ORDER, WILL RESULT IN YOUR PET BEING DENIED BOARDING.
    Westbound Requirements: SOU – NYC:
    The cat or dog must have been:

    Issued a current Health Certificate (The health certificate shall show that the dog or cat was examined by a veterinarian within 30 days of entry of the dog or cat into the State of New York.)
    Rabies Vaccination within 12 months to 14 days prior to Entry into the State of New York.

    I will update this info to the article. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Sherry

  35. Hi Pat, After checking with Cunard, I was told that the same cancellation requirements apply to potential passengers with or without a kennel waitlisted reservation. Basically, if you were to put a deposit on a Queen Mary 2 stateroom and then have to wait-list your cat, it would be very important that you mark the cancel before penalty date on your calendar. If your kennel space has not been cleared by that date, then it is up to you to cancel your booking before the penalty period begins.

    I hope this helps. Thank you very much. Safe and happy travels to you!
    Sherry

  36. I understand that the first and last cruise on any year; – the kennels are closed – as in, not in use? This information I received from another QM2 web site/blog etc.. (I’m talking transatlantic..) Thank you very much for the above information. Also, if we (husband and I ) book a passage but can only place our cat on a waiting list – will we lose all our money if we /Cunard cannot find a place/kennel for Charlie our cat – obviously, we can’t travel without him =^ ^=

  37. Hi Georgina, thank you for your comment. The info in the article came straightaway from Cunard. I will do some fact checking with them today to clarify. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Sherry

  38. Can you review the information for travel to Southampton. Rabies information is incorrect. eg a 1 year certificate or a 3 year certificate is valid.
    Worming treatment is required.
    Vet will not sign exit papers until this is done.

  39. Hi Sandy,
    Right below the prices, it stated that the prices were effective at the time of the writing. However, I have updated the prices today and also include the kennel dimensions. The disclaimer now states that the prices are effective as of July 2016. Thank you.

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