Setting Sail with a Rod: Can You Fish Off a Cruise Ship?

white cruise ship under cloudy sky


Cruise ships offer a multitude of activities and amenities for passengers to enjoy while sailing the open seas. For fishing enthusiasts, the idea of casting a line off the side of a cruise ship may sound like a dream come true. But is it possible or even allowed to fish off a cruise ship? In this blog post, we’ll explore the practicality and legality of fishing from a cruise ship, as well as alternative ways to satisfy your fishing cravings while on vacation.

Cruise Ship Regulations and Safety Concerns

Cruise ships are designed to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all passengers. To maintain safety and order, cruise lines have strict rules and regulations in place that must be followed by everyone on board. Fishing from a cruise ship is generally not allowed due to several reasons:

  • Safety: Cruise ships are massive, with high decks that can make fishing unsafe for both the angler and those nearby. The risk of injury from casting or handling fishing gear, combined with the possibility of accidentally hooking a fellow passenger, makes fishing off a cruise ship a hazard.
  • Environmental impact: Cruise lines are increasingly focused on minimizing their environmental footprint. Allowing passengers to fish could result in issues such as pollution from lost gear or potential harm to marine life.
  • Legal restrictions: Fishing regulations and licensing requirements vary by country and region. Cruise ships often sail through international waters and multiple jurisdictions, making it difficult to adhere to the specific fishing laws of each area.

Fishing Excursions: A Better Alternative

While fishing from a cruise ship may not be possible, many cruise lines offer fishing excursions and tours as part of their itinerary. These fishing trips are typically guided by local experts who know the best fishing spots and can ensure you’re following all applicable laws and regulations. By opting for a fishing excursion, you can enjoy a more authentic and responsible fishing experience while on vacation.

Some of the benefits of choosing a fishing excursion include:

  • Expert guidance: Local guides can provide invaluable knowledge about the best fishing spots, techniques, and species to target.
  • Safety: Fishing from a smaller vessel designed for angling is much safer than attempting to fish off a cruise ship.
  • Legal compliance: Guides will ensure that you have the necessary permits and are following the specific fishing regulations of the area.

Tips for Choosing the Right Fishing Excursion

If you’re interested in fishing during your cruise vacation, consider these tips for choosing the right excursion:

  • Research your options: Look for fishing excursions offered by your cruise line or reputable local operators at your destination ports. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from fellow passengers or online forums.
  • Match your skill level: Choose an excursion that caters to your experience and skill level, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner.
  • Consider the species and techniques: Different fishing excursions may target different species or use various fishing methods. Choose an excursion that aligns with your interests and preferences.


Fishing off a cruise ship is generally not allowed due to safety concerns, environmental impact, and legal restrictions. However, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge your passion for fishing while on vacation by participating in fishing excursions offered by your cruise line or local operators. By choosing a guided fishing trip, you can enjoy a safe, responsible, and memorable angling experience while exploring new destinations.