How to Cruise with Your Dog Aboard Queen Mary 2

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 America without the need to board your pet at home.

There’s only one cruise ship in the world that has dog and cat kennels. Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 has been transporting dogs and cats pampered in style across the Atlantic for decades.

Randy and Oliver Kennel Masters on Queen Mary 2

Cruise with Your Cat or Dog using Queen Mary 2 Kennels

Transatlantic crossings are the only time you can reserve a Queen Mary 2 kennel.

You can cruise with your pet on either an eastbound or westbound transatlantic cruise between New York City and Southampton, England. 

Cunard doesn’t allow back-to-back cruises. However, you could disembark in Southampton, stay a few days or weeks and then return to New York.

READ NEXT: What It’s Like on a Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing

Why Queen Mary 2 Kennels Are So Special

Remember, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is the only ship in the world that permits pets to cruise with their owners between the two countries. 

The only option to cruise with your dog on other cruise lines would be if it is a bona fide service animal.

All you need to do is to book your personal Queen Mary 2 transatlantic crossing. Then if space is available, book the kennel for your pet. There’s paperwork to complete, too.

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

How Will My Dog or Cat Be Treated in the Kennel?

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 and assistant. 

They will pamper, feed and exercises the dogs outside on their own deck space. Cats are tended to as well.

If that’s not enough, each canine or feline also receives a special welcome aboard gift.

Oliver and John, Kennel Masters, aboard Queen Mary 2
John and Oliver Kennel Masters. Oliver (on the right) has been Kennel Master aboard Queen Mary 2 for several years.

Following the Queen Mary 2 remastering in 2018, there are now a total of 24 kennels; 12 upper and 12 lower. Larger dogs may reserve two kennels. Two lower kennels combine to accommodate bigger breeds.

queen mary 2 upper and lower kennels

Cats are required to be on the upper level with two kennels, one for the litter box and one for the living area.

two cats yawning in a Queen Mary 2 kennel
These two cats have two kennels, one for living space and one for their litter box.

What are the Requirements to Travel with Pets? 

For many years, England required a six-month quarantine, despite proof of vaccination. Now it’s easy to cross the Atlantic with your dog and the Queen Mary 2 kennels. 

There is a stack of paperwork to complete prior to boarding, no matter which direction you will cruise.

Watch as Kennel Master Oliver leads the dog parade on deck. It was extremely windy!

Eastbound crossings from New York to Southampton:

  • Microchips are required for every pet
  • 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. A U.K. or EU veterinarian is the only person who can update a pet passport.

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 or dogs.

Cunard certificate to commemorate the dog's transatlantic crossing!
Every dog gets a certificate to commemorate their transatlantic crossing! By coincidence, that’s my dog’s name!

How to Reserve a Queen Mary 2 Kennel

It’s important for you to reserve your Queen Mary 2 kennel as soon as possible. You can reserve a kennel up to two years before the sailing.

If you request a particular sailing date and the kennels are already reserved, ask to be put on a waitlist.

People tend to reserve the kennels way ahead of time in the hopes of taking their cruise.

Plans change and people cancel their reservation so there’s a chance you’ll get a kennel.

Queen Mary 2 Dogs Group Photo
There’s always the famous group photo, too.

Is There Visitation Time During the Cruise? 

Of course! Guest staterooms or public areas are off-limits to pets. Service dogs are the only exception. 

Owners may visit their pets at the kennels during the scheduled times every day of the voyage.

Queen Mary 2 Kennel refreshment area for dog and cat owners.
Doggy and people treats available.

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 have changed since the pandemic. They now are:

  • 8:00am to 12:00pm
  • 3:00pm to 6:00pm
  • 7:30pm to 8:30pm
  • *Guests should check onboard for specific hours
Queen Mary 2 Kennel Lounge
Remodeled lounge on Deck 12 for dog owners, adjacent to the kennels.

How Much Does a Queen Mary 2 Kennel Cost?

If you’re wondering how much Queen Mary 2 kennels cost, it isn’t cheap. But it’s worth the cost to transport your beloved pet and know they are well cared for onboard.

  • 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 Updated:  July 2022.

Queen Mary 2 Kennel room
The 24 new kennels.

Queen Mary 2 Kennel Rules 

  • 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.

Kennel Master Oliver shows the special coat each dogs receives.
Kennel Master Oliver shows off the doggy coat for each “guest.”

It’s extremely important to follow Cunard’s instructions exactly as stated 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 Fluffy can travel aboard the Queen Mary 2 and be a four-legged, pampered passenger for a week.

You can email Cunard about Queen Mary 2 dog kennels at:  [email protected]

Queen Mary 2 how to travel with your dog

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  1. Hi Maria,
    Thank you for reading my article! Dogs with meds are allowed at this time but the owner has to administer them, to the best of my knowledge. And yes, all the dogs get along…but there could be one or two that have socialization issues and the owner needs to keep that dog on a leash. The kennel department has more details. Don’t wait too long to reserve your kennels…especially if you want to try to get two next to each other. Good luck and have fun!

  2. Hi! We may try to take our 2 small dogs in 2 years. Can anyone tell me if dogs are allowed with treated medical conditions? One of mine has epilepsy that’s well controlled with meds. Also do all the dogs usually get along and mingle together like in the pictures? Looks like quite an adventure! Thanks…

  3. Hi, you’ll have to contact the kennel department at Cunard. Reach out to their reservations and ask for the kennel info. Usually the kennels are booked a year in advance. Good luck!

  4. what are the available dates for traveling with my pet on the QEII please. Are repeat passengers.

  5. I’m actually booked for my fifth and sixth TA with the dog in autumn 2024. He won’t be at all pleased when he finds out.

  6. Hi Ian,
    Thanks again for contributing to this on-going post. And yes, the paperwork from the US to the UK is extensive and a last-minute visit to a vet in NYC for any missing paperwork isn’t too uncommon. Hope all is well.

  7. Yes, the kennel places sell out and then waitlist very quickly – for 2024 some of the crossings were full on the day the bookings opened.

    But I’ve done four TAs and there are always people who have managed to get on with their pets at short notice. Cancellations are quite common, especially as the sailing date approaches, and if you are able to book at short notice it is always worth checking with Cunard whether there is any late availability; a lot of people aren’t able to take up places that become available late because they don’t have the flexibility to make the arrangements quickly and/or can’t get the cabin they would want for themselves. Indeed three of my four crossings sailed with at least one empty kennel.

    I’m not an expert on the US paperwork but know that the Americans travelling on the ship all had tales of last minute rushes and drives and express couriers back and forth and the like to get their paperwork to and back from the USDA ready for the crossing.

  8. Hi Shane,
    Thank you for reading my article and I’m glad you found it helpful. I just had this same conversation today about the 48-hour vet visit prior to boarding and finding a vet in NYC! Yes, the kennels are sold out for this year (as you probably already know, sorry for my late reply). But there’s always a waiting list…however, I think they will require two kennels for your larger dogs.

    The downside is that if the kennel doesn’t clear, you’re stuck with the stateroom for the crossing, unless you cancel before final payment is due and check for any cancellation penalties.

    Ten thousand dollars for flying your two Goldens?? That’s insane!

    About having a Canadian vet sign off on the dogs’ paperwork…I’m not sure about that one. You’ll need to confirm with the Kennel department. I thought it had to be a U.S. vet…even though Canada is in the Commonwealth…doesn’t make sense.

    I hope you can figure out how to do your relocation this year and that space opens up for two kennels. Thank you again for reading my article.

  9. Hi Sherry,

    We’re late to the party here but thank you so much for the hugely helpful article!

    We’re relocating from Vancouver, Canada to the UK some point in the near future (ideally August) and due to the obscene cost of pet travel on a flight (over $10,000 not including our own flights) to London, for our two Golden Retrievers, someone suggested this option.

    I’m going to contact Cunard right now about availability but I’m assuming we’ll be sweet out of luck to even attempt to get on the August eastbound sailing, this close to departure (only 4 months away).

    Because we’ll be coming from Canada, I’m assuming we’ll need to see a veterinarian in NYC and have them complete the forms within the timeframe. The other option is for us to make our way to Toronto, and have everything signed off there, and then drive in 1-2 days to NYC or fly the dogs from there on the short hop. Any input on that?

    In any case, thank you for the article! What an amazing thing and what a start to our fresh start this would be.

  10. Thanks, Ian. I have been in contact with the new kennel person – so I had better reach out again for the latest booking list. Hopefully something will open for me and Poppy. Thanks again for your updates!

  11. The kennel booking system has now returned to the previous arrangement, but in the rush for 2024 bookings quite a few prospective travellers have ended up waitlisted for the kennels – all for the lower (dog weights 26 lbs and above) – despite making their cabin bookings during the first few days. I got my 2024 places because I was very early in the queue.

    People wanting to book their dogs onto the QM2 can be reassured by knowing that places do come available as people cancel once the payment deadline arrives three months in advance of the departure date, but those on already long waitlists (almost all for the eastbound crossings, which are clearly much more popular) will have a nerve wracking year waiting for cancellations to come through.

  12. Hi Ian,
    Thanks for your response, too, to the question about jumping the gate. I was just informed about 2024 and I’m trying to get Poppy and me booked…finally! I’ll let you know what happens.

  13. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘partition’ – there’s the gate at the entrance; once I saw a dog slip through it, but it only took seconds to fetch back. Jumping the gate would be a challenge, and it’s not obvious why they would bother. If they jumped the back fence of the kennel deck, they’d land on the Grills sundeck with broken legs, and would a dogs really be that dumb?

    Yes, most owners stay with their dogs during the opening hours – those that don’t aren’t doing their dog any favours, nor the other owners who have to sit and listen to it barking all day. Although dogs vary by breed and there are some that are more relaxed about being left on their own than others.

    The 2024 kennel spaces are now released, but the new booking arrangements – where you now have to book by telephone and, instead of contacting the kennels directly afterwards, you ask for the kennel when making the cabin booking – supposedly mean that we’ll be told whether we have been lucky or not (on a first come first served basis) by the end of this week!

  14. Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for reading my article and the attached comments. They are very helpful! To the best of my knowledge and experience up at the kennel, I haven’t heard of any dog jumping the partition. Yes, almost everyone stays for the entire visitation time. It becomes sort of a social club, really. If you are concerned about your dog jumping over the rail, then by all means keep him on a leash. Oliver is the kennel master with years of experience and would be your best source of information once you and your dog are on board. I’ve seen all sorts of dogs in the kennel but I don’t want to guarantee anything. Better safe than sorry and see how your dog acts in that narrow walking area. Don’t wait too long to make your kennel reservation. They sell out quickly! Thank you again for your question.

  15. Thanks so much for this article and for the extremely helpful comment section!
    I would consider it but I wonder, have any dogs nearly jumped over the partition? It looks to be only four feet in some spots around that narrow off leash area.
    I’m worried my hound could jump it and I’d have to have him on a leash the whole time.
    I would probably want to be there for the entire visiting time, do people do that?
    Thinking of moving overseas and this is the only way.

  16. Hi Ian,
    Thanks so much for your update! I’m amazed that Oliver remembered me. I’ll find out more about the autumn refit and let you know! Maybe I’ll be able to get a kennel for Poppy, too. Enjoy your and your pet’s cruise!

  17. Oliver was remembering his interview with you today.

    Half way through the crossing home, and the fifteen dogs are mostly coping very well.

    The QM2 is scheduled for a refit in the autumn of 2023, and we are hoping for some modest enhancements for the kennels – watch this space!

  18. I mis-converted your 20:30. I don’t have the need to use a 24-hour clock very often. Will correct.

  19. The evening kennel slot is 7.30pm to 8.30pm – not until 10.30pm!

    That last hour gives owners having an 1800 dinner time to rush up after the meal and have half an hour with the dog before it gets put to bed for the night, and those on the 2030 sitting time to do the same before heading off to dinner,

    At 8.30pk, Oliver and John get a well earned rest and the kennels are closed for the night!

  20. I would be happy to pay a heck of a lot more if the dogs have a mock forest or woodland, with grass and trees. I have travelled on many ships where this is provided for humans, what about the dogs? And suites for dogs and humans, only dog owners would use them, keep up with the times Cunnard. I love travelling with you but please think of these options. I am sure you would profit as many of us think more of our animals than ourselves. I am Autistic and my service dog is my VIP. You have a huge deck with lots of space, please use it.

  21. Hello. I had a question concerning entry requirements from NYC to Southampton. I am taking my two labradors from NYC to Southampton and then directly onto France as a final destination. I have reserved 4 kennels for May crossing. I have read many articles and contacted many offices but still am a little unclear with the paperwork. I wanted to ask people who already made this journey either their dogs. I know the USDA endorsement of the health certificate has to be done 10 days before the dogs embark. But what about the health certificate itself, I read it could be done during 30 days before and then the endorsement 10 days before. Since I am driving from California to NYC which will take about 5 days, I am a little stressed with time. I wouldn’t want the health certificate to arrive sooner that 10 days or later from the USDA office. Or I could do it in NYC but I don’t really want to stay in a hotel there with two dogs for days waiting for the certificates. If anyone would have any tips that would be great. Thank you.

  22. Hi James,
    Thank for your reading my article and leaving your comment. You will need to contact Cunard for the latest info on reserving a kennel. The crossings are 7-days between New York and Southampton. Don’t wait too long to reserve your kennel as they quickly fill.

  23. Morning
    Just wondering on your next available date to trave to England

    I have a mid size dog fully vaccinated and paperwork and chipped

    And how long is the crossing !

  24. @Sherry The CDC ban runs until November and hence they are taking bookings thereafter. The comment yesterday that the 2021 (and probably Jan 2022) sailings won’t happen was a private one and a guess rather than hard information, but I reckon it may well turn out to be on the money. Things remain in the balance in the US, which is the critical place as far as resuming TAs is concerned.

    If they cancel the cruise, they have to refund your deposit (or offer you an enhancement to take FCC instead), under both UK and US consumer law.

    I know all 2022 kennel places are booked and there is a significant waitlist for all crossings, such that they aren’t taking new bookings now (except possibly for the bottom of the waitlist for a handful of eastbounds – which would be a long shot). I don’t know about 2023.

  25. Hi Ian,
    You must have read my mind. I was thinking of you and all of your super-helpful comments…thank you again. Also, now that I have a small dog, it was on my to-do list to make a kennel reservation for 2022. I guess I just need to call and get the bad news from the source, as well. Maybe there will be a kennel wait-list for the kennel wait-list!

    Here in the U.S., Cunard is accepting transatlantic reservations starting this November 2021, in both directions (sans kennel), at least on their U.S. booking site. In fact, Queens Grill is sold out for November and December, West and East. Whether or not they will actually sail certainly remains to be seen. Plus, as I proceeded with the mock booking, this popped up: “The deposit of the fare you have selected is 100% Non-refundable and Non-Transferable.” There is no mention of cancellations due to suspended cruises and if they will refund or credit you should that happen.

    Next, thanks for the greatly detailed advice for a crossing with a large dog. All the times that I’ve interviewed Oliver or took photos up there, I never saw a really large dog..nothing bigger than a small yellow lab, really.

    I hope all is well. And again, thanks for your comments on this very long and popular post!

  26. p.s. I should have added that for 2022 crossings the kennels are so over-booked that they aren’t now even taking people for the waitlist.

  27. @ Sherry I spoke to Cunard yesterday, and it looks likely there won’t be any Transatlantics now until 2022, which given the timetable means late April at the earliest.

    @ Judy For a large dog, the dog obviously needs to be able to stand up in its kennel, and the lower kennels are in a block (row) all three feet high. So a standing height (top of head) at three feet represents a hard upper limit.

    Beyond that, you need to consider how you’ll (and s/he’ll) manage with a very large dog in accommodation that is already very cramped. Much of the time you will be sitting in the kennels room with lots of other owners and their dogs; the very large dog that made the crossing with us spent most of its time standing on a very short lead by its owner’s legs, being pulled this way and that as people wanted to step by. The challenges of the crossing (covered in some of the comments below) are magnified for a larger dog, which it is impossible to exercise properly on the small amount of open deck space available; you know your dog best and will need to think about how she or he might cope with the experience.

  28. Hi Judy,
    Thanks for reading the article. I’ve seen Golden Retrievers in Queen Mary’s kennels…but not a giant breed, like Great Dane. While two side-by-side kennels can adjoin, there’s not a way to raise the roof on them, so to speak.
    I would suggest giving Cunard a call and see what the rules are for 2021 and if maybe they might add new kennels for bigger dogs.
    Good luck.

  29. Interesting info. When I checked on sailing with dog before, was told only smaller dogs. Mine is giant breed., about 36″ tall. So, this is still an option ?

  30. Hi Ian,
    Thank you again for your contribution. Yes, I’ve seen where two kennels were opened together for a collie, I think. Next time, I’ll measure the height of the bottom kennels. It would be helpful. I think that the person in California who would know the answer to dimensions is unfortunately not in the office very often right now.
    Again, thanks!

  31. @Roz on my return crossing there was a big dog (bigger than a Lab) and his owners had paid for two kennels and these were opened up together to make one larger space. The dimensions of the kennels are easily available and you are the best person to judge whether or not the space will be sufficient.

  32. Hi Roz,
    Thanks for taking the time to write. I wish I had an answer to your question. The largest dogs I’ve seen in the kennels were labs. You might want to contact Cunard’s Kennel Master in their California office and someone there could address your questions. Interesting bit of info about Ben the Borzoi. They are such beautiful animals.
    Thank you again.

  33. How do you travel if you have a giant breed? I have a borzoi who is 34″ at the shoulder and want to move to England and take him with me and I can’t see flying with him. I don’t know if he’d even fit in the largest kennel standing up. Also, since the Captain of the Titanic had a borzoi named Ben I hope this isn’t a bad sign (he didn’t bring his borzoi aboard that fateful day thank goodness!)

  34. Hi Tony,
    I’m amazed at everyone’s helpful comments and contributions to this post. To the best of my knowledge (and things can always change) the pet owner is able to give the meds to their pet as needed. One of the kennel masters must of course be able to admit you to the kennel. This question should be addressed directly to Cunard for an exact answer but IMO it shouldn’t be an issue as long as there’s a workaround solution compatible with the kennel hours and the kennel master. Thank you for reading the article and taking the time to write. Much appreciated. I hope you and your pet have a wonderful cruise…whenever that may happen.

  35. We love these accounts of everyone’s experiences and understand all the requirements which need to be met with regards to documentation and certification of pets. Naturally we would bring with us our travel pack of meds and digestive remedies and so on. We can’t seem to find any information as to how folks work with a pet which needs its meds at regular times each day or whether in fact the kennels have restrictions on taking animals with pre-existing health conditions?

  36. Hi Kristen,
    Thank you very much for reading the article and sending a question. Yes, all the animals can hear each other. It’s not like the cages/kennels are dog, cat, dog, cat etc. The cats are in a slightly separated section but definitely can hear the dogs. I’d like to say that it’s only seven days to cross, but for jittery cats, that can seem like a very long time. I hope it works out for you and your pal. Thank you again for your question.

  37. Hi! Thanks for all the great info. Do you know if the cats are kept in the same area as the dogs or if their kennels are separate? I’m concerned about the cats being nervous from dogs barking all around them.

  38. Once again, thank you Ian, for sharing your actual experience using the kennels. Oliver is a gem. Stay safe.

  39. To Lisa M – cats can’t be let out in the kennel rooms or open deck, lest they provide excessive excitement for the dogs. And, of course, cats have a habit of disappearing into inaccessible places, which is the last thing you would want on a ship. On my crossings, some of the (very few) cats stayed in their kennels the whole time. For a couple, their owners used their carry cage to bring the cat out into the kennel room, and sat there with it with a towel over the cage so that it wasn’t disturbed by the surrounding dogs. This at least allowed the owners to share some time with their cat and open the cage door to give it a stroke. On my return crossing Oliver was good enough to banish all the dog owners onto deck (in good weather!) for an hour, to allow the cat to have at least a little taste of freedom inside the room, but this was just once during the seven days.

    During the Brexit transition period, at least, the easiest way to get certification is to get an EU pet passport, which includes proof of rabies vaccination and makes it easier to travel with a pet. Otherwise, I am guessing that a vet’s vaccination certificate would be sufficient. On my westbound, there weren’t any checks whatsoever on arriving pets at the New York terminal, and on the eastbound DEFRA now do spot checks on random crossings only. I am sure there will (eventually) be some sort of UK equivalent process after the Brexit transition period ends (which may well now be before cruising fully resumes)

  40. I love how informative this is. I’ve never considered taking my pups on a cruise or boat, but I have some air travel experience. It’s never easy, but I’m very happy to see the details here!

  41. H Ian,
    Thank you again for your ongoing contributions to helping with this topic. Your first line – the part in parenthesis – is spot-on. Please stay safe and healthy. And thanks again for your ongoing comments. Once this crisis is past and cruise lines start up again, I’ll revisit this topic for more clarification.

  42. To Ashley (and somewhat academic for the foreseeable, but anyhow), everything about dogs on the QM2 is confined. The dog deck is narrow and gets crowded when all 20-ish dogs are out with their owners. When is is windy and wet (often!) the two small rooms get very crowded and claustrophobic. But your dog won’t be wandering around when you aren’t there – you’ll (hopefully) be around for most of the opening hours to keep an eye on your dog and intervene to sort out any incidents.

    One of the reasons why, for the dog owners, a QM2 crossing is not really a relaxing experience.

    By the way, there’s a small mistake in the article in that US vets are allowed to update the pet passport (only) as far as the tapeworm treatment is concerned. I had this confirmed by UK DEFRA before my trip and this is what I did when in the US.

  43. Hello~ I am traveling from the UK to the US on the QM2. (We are American Expats). I am traveling with my cat and dog. I have read so much on the topic of paperwork for their exportation. I have come to realize that they need the Rabies vaccination and a health certificate. However, the UK does not have “Health Certificates” and “Rabies Certificates” . Can anyone tell me what they have done to provide this information once we get to NY customs? Also…side question. Is there a place for my cat to get out and stretch his legs? I realize it has to be a confined room. I have read that dogs can go out on the deck and they have their own room but what about my kitty? I appreciate any information you can give. Thanks so much

  44. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for your comment. That’s interesting that you asked about it. You can bring your pet’s bed and they will furnish towels if needed. Unless something’s changed, there’s an area of deck just outside the entrance to the kennel where dogs do their business. I hope this helps.

  45. Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for your question. Dog owners must also book passage. Pets cannot travel alone. I hope this helps.


  46. Can you put your dog on the Queen Mary 2 alone or do you have to book passage on the ship as well?

  47. Do dogs and cats bring own beds and towels to get dried off if wet outside and do they poop on the deck or grass area?

  48. Ian – thanks for all the information!

    You mention “if your dog may not cope well in a confined space with other dogs, think carefully.”

    Can you expand on that? When are the dogs in a confined space together with other dogs? My dog will be fine alone her own kennel (even if it’s in a room with other kenneled dogs). She likes her space though when it comes to “open play” with other dogs. She’ll start fights with dogs that play too rough for her. I would prefer if she’s only at “open play” when I’m around. Is this situation going to work?

  49. Hi Diana,
    Thank you for this interesting question. I couldn’t begin to give you an accurate answer in case I was way off base. I would definitely contact Cunard’s Kennel department as soon as possible and get everything in writing. It would seem like you’d need something from the US, too, but being that you are coming from a Commonwealth and going to the U.K. logic would tell me that all would be good. Again, please reach out to Cunard. Have a wonderful crossing and I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you a definitive answer.


  50. Hi, I’m from Canada, booked for the May US to UK crossing, so the vet and tapeworm and health certificate 10 days before will be done and stamped by a Canadian vet and the Canadian ministry. Once I enter the US (since I plan on getting in US one or two days before we embark), do I need another vet visit and health certificate issued and stamped from a US vet and US ministry or will Cunard accept the Canadian one, even though I cross the border into US? Thank you.

  51. Hi Amy,
    Thanks for asking…yes, you have to call. It’s somewhat complicated and you will have contact with the Kennel department, too. And the kennels can quickly sell out, so don’t wait too long. Good Luck and thank you for your question.

  52. Hi Jean,
    Thank you for your question. The coats are complimentary when you reserve a kennel for your dog. As far as I know, that’s the only way to get one for your pet.


  53. How can we purchase the red dog coats for our dogs with the queen mary 2 embroidered on them

  54. Oops I made a small mistake in my last post – it was the return leg that I was waitlisted for, and the cancellation came through just over three months before we sailed. This was likely due to the 90-day cancellation cutoff date. That’s therefore a good time to be asking about cancellations (remembering that there will already be a waitlist and you can’t get on the wait list unless you have already booked a cabin for yourself).

  55. @Alexandra – it s very hard to give firm advice on the waitlist, other than booking as early as you can if you want to be sure. I booked more than eighteen months ahead, and was very surprised to be waitlisted for a large kennel on one leg even back then. I went ahead with booking a small kennel (my dog is borderline) and the large kennel came through on the wait list six weeks before we sailed.

    On the other hand I met one couple who had booked for themselves and the dog only a few weeks earlier and managed to get space. And another couple who had booked and paid deposits on three different crossings, because they didn’t know when their relocation would come through, and then Cunard had let them roll up all the deposits towards the crossing they actually made.

    So my impression is that the kennels book out VERY early, but because a lot of the users are people relocating for work reasons, cancellations during the last few months are quite common.

    However booking for yourself and waitlisting for the dog is a risk since if the kennel doesn’t come through you either can’t take the dog or lose your own deposit if you don’t travel. So the realistic choices are either to book very early, or leave everything until quite late.

  56. Hi Ian,
    Crossings can be rough…or a millpond. It’s so unpredictable these days. Traveling during hurricane season can be especially risky for having calm seas. Same for winter. But you just never know. I hope your dog is feeling better. Thank you again for your comments and updates. Hopefully it will help others.

  57. One further update – Cunard tell me today that they have abandoned the facility for owners to order a particular food, and now stock a range of about twelve foods (they will provide a list on request) and owners can either choose one of these, or bring their own supply of their usual food instead.

  58. Does anyone know the typical process with the waitlist? Is it common for people to cancel? When do people have to cancel by?

  59. Hi Sherry – yes it went well in the sense that we all arrived alive, and Oliver did a great job in charge of the kennel.

    Before we left I read pretty much every blog about the crossing, and my main takeaway is that they don’t really spell out how tough it was for many of the dogs, and hence how stressful it is for most of the owners. We had the full range of digestive and behavioural problems, and a few of the dogs could barely bark at all (my own dog hasn’t fully recovered his voice two days later). Because of the wind and rain we spent most of the time sitting in a very confined space with up to eighteen restless dogs pacing around the floor.

    It may be an adventure but it isn’t a walk in the park!

  60. Hi Ian,
    Thank you for taking the time to follow up after you and your dog’s crossing. Much appreciated! Great tips to share. I hope it went well and that maybe Oliver was the kennel master!

  61. Having now done my crossing, I hope some extra tips might be useful:

    – Take some old clothes that are wind- and waterproof (even in summer).
    – Expect to spend most of the 8 hours daily kennel time with your dog; almost everyone did. If you’re not there, your dog will mostly be locked up and likely barking his head off; don’t be the owner that everyone else mutters about.
    – So don’t expect to be enjoying many of the ship activities. With two you can share stints in the kennels, but you won’t be doing much together, other than meals.
    – Take lots of whatever calming remedies you have for your dog. Only a few dogs don’t have some problems with the experience, and some do suffer.
    – Get ready to spend seven days talking about dog poop.
    – Bring a favourite toy for the cage, but otherwise don’t bother; there’s now a ‘no toy’ rule to avoid sparking an incident. Similarly you’ll have to be discreet with giving treats.
    – Phone Cunard ten days or so before sailing to make sure they have ordered your food, or take it yourself. The food requests don’t always reach the ship.
    – Only take food and treats that you will use during the crossing; you can’t take it off the ship afterwards.
    – Make up your own canine first aid kit; there is neither vet nor medical materials on board.
    – You’re going to spend a lot of time calling your dog away from things, so brush up on the training!
    – Toward the end of the crossing there’s a doggie parade and photoshoot when the dogs come out on the open deck (on lead); if your travelling or dining companions want to see and meet your dog, this is their best chance.
    – go grab a book from the library after you embark; you’re going to spend a lot of time sitting in a small room (with one eye on your dog).
    – note that most owners give US $ cash tips to the kennelmaster and assistant.
    – if your dog may not cope well in a confined space with other dogs, think carefully.
    – make what allowances you can for having a dog who will be stressed, tired, under-exercised and dirty on disembarkation day. If you are travelling on, plan to buy dog food that day.

  62. @ Lisa, Yes you need to book a cabin before you can make a kennel booking. The best bet is to talk to kennels first, to establish that there is availability on the crossing you are looking for, then make the booking ASAP, then go back to kennels to reserve the kennel place. For obvious reasons the kennels won’t allow you to book a kennel place without a Cunard booking numbe.

    The blog states – incorrectly – that US vets aren’t able to make entries in a UK pet passport. I raised this with UK Defra directly, and have it in writing that US vets are able to complete the part of the pet passport that confirms that the pre-travel tapeworm treatment has been given, to meet Uk arrival requirements (but cannot complete other sections of the passport).

  63. Hi Gabby,
    Thank you for your question. You will need to contact Cunard Line for booking information for you and your dog. The phone number in the US is 1-800-728-6273. I do not know what requirements are necessary to have your dog enter the United Kingdom from Argentina. Also, there should be a Cunard office in Buenos Aires as well, and someone there should be able to get a list of all the requirements needed.
    Good luck and thank you again for your question.

  64. Hi do you have place for a kennel November, or December 2019? I am flying from Argentina with my dog as an Emotional Support Animal, do you have any polices regarding this situation as I need the pet with me. Also once we arrive to SOU hw is the process into the customs with the dog?
    Many thanks,

  65. HI, I am going to be traveling back home to Ireland in the summer of 2020 and I will be bring my 3 dogs and cat with me. Boxer, American bulldog boxer dachshund mix and shihtzu. I don’t want to fly with that as it will be very hard on them as they have never been in a kennel/ crate before. I would like to get as much feedback as possible before I book anything. They all have their 3 yr rabies vaccine and are also microchipped.

  66. 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.

  67. 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!

  68. 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!

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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,

  73. 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!

  74. 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.

  75. Hi Sherry

    I spoke to Cunard yesterday – they confirmed that a valid Rabies vaccination is what is needed; the 12 months is no longer specific – it depends on the vaccine.

    That the 3-year vaccine is accepted is confirmed on the official NYS website.


  76. Hi Ian,

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

  77. 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.

  78. 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!

  79. 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!

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.


  83. 21 days or more before the start of the cruise! Rather a big difference. See under “pet passports”

  84. 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.

  85. 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!


  86. 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!

  87. 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.

  88. 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

  89. 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

  90. 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

  91. 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!

  92. 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

  93. 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.


  94. 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?

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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 .

  100. 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:

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

    Treated against tapeworm not less than 24 hours or more than 120 hours before check-in and issued with an official certificate of treatment

    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.


  101. 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!

  102. 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 =^ ^=

  103. 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

  104. 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.

  105. 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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