PASSPORTS, VISAS AND OTHER REQUIRED CRUISE DOCUMENTS
Updated March 31, 2010 (subject to change without notice)
All cruise line passengers must provide proper travel documentation when boarding the ship. Because documentation requirements vary by the citizenship and residence of each passenger (as well as the specific ports that your cruise visits), it is your responsibility to determine what documentation is required and to acquire that documentation before the cruise. Neither the cruise line nor your travel agent can do this for you. Any passenger who does not present the required documentation will not be allowed to board the ship and the cruise line will not issue a refund.
Following is a brief summary of the most common documentation requirements in effect at the time of this writing.
NOTE: Documentation requirements are complex and may be subject to change at any time. Therefore, all cruise passengers should visit www.travel.state.gov (U.S. Department of State) or other authoritative source for the latest passport and visa requirements as well as any overseas travel advisories.
For cruises starting and / or ending outside of the U.S. - All passengers including children must present a valid passport*. A tourist visa may also be required by the specific countries visited**.
For cruises to Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada / New England, Caribbean or Mexico - U.S. and Canadian citizens are required to have either a valid passport*, a U.S. passport card, a trusted traveler card (such as NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) or an Enhanced Driver’s License (which is available in several different states and provinces). However, if the cruise to these destinations departs from and returns round-trip to the same U.S. port (“closed-loop” cruises), U.S. citizens may instead provide an original government-issued birth certificate or certified copy (with raised seal) issued by the Department of Vital Statistics plus, if age 16 and over, a government-issued photo identification (such as a valid driver’s license). NOTE: Hospital-issued birth certificates and baptismal certificates are not acceptable.
For cruises to Hawaii – If the cruise starts and ends in Hawaii and never sails beyond the Hawaiian islands, U.S citizens only need a government-issued photo I.D. such as a passport* or valid driver’s license with photo. For Hawaii cruises that begin, end in, or visit a non-U.S. port, the requirements are the same as for cruises to Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada / New England or Mexico (as explained in the preceding paragraph).
For all other cruises – All U.S. and Canadian citizens (including children) are required to have either a valid passport*, a U.S. passport card, a trusted traveler card (such as NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) or an Enhanced Driver’s License (which is available in several different states and provinces).
NOTICE TO ALL U.S. AND CANADIAN CITIZENS: Even though a passport may not be required for you to board the ship on certain cruises (as noted above), a valid passport is strongly recommended for all cruise passengers including children. In the event of an emergency, a valid passport would be required to return to the U.S. by air. In addition, some ports of call may not permit cruise passengers to disembark the ship without a passport or, in some cases, passengers without passports may be prohibited from using public transportation, such as ferries and buses. Click on “Country Specific Information” at www.travel.state.gov for details.
*You can obtain or renew a U.S. passport at www.travel.state.gov
**Visa Central can assist passengers in determining where visas are required and in obtaining them if needed. You can visit their website at www.visacentral.com for more information or, if you are booked on a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruise, you can visit the following links for specific visa requirements: www.visacentral.com/RCI or www.visacentral.com/Celebrity.
Non-U.S. / Canadian citizens must carry a valid passport and a multiple entry visa (B-2 Visitors Visa) may be required for entry or re-entry into the United States. Travelers from any of the 27 participating countries in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must have a machine-readable passport to enter the U.S. without a visa. Special visas or other documents may also be required by one or more of the countries visited on the cruise. It is your responsibility to check with the proper agencies and authorities (such as your local immigration office or national embassy) before your cruise departure date to determine what documentation is required for citizens of your country. You will not be permitted to board the ship without proper documents and the cruise line will not issue a refund if you are denied boarding due to insufficient documentation. Visa Central can assist you in determining what visas are required and in obtaining them as needed. You can visit their web site at www.visacentral.com for details.
Alien residents of the United States holding an Alien Registration Card (ARC or “Green Card” / Form I-551) may generally travel to Bermuda (see exceptions below), Canada (see exceptions below), Mexico and the Caribbean with their valid ARC and Proof of Identity. However, it is highly recommended that these guests also carry their passports from their country of citizenship. In some instances, ARC holders may still be required to have sailing permits and / or visas to enter these countries. Please note that travel anywhere else in the world requires a valid passport from your country of citizenship and subjects you to any documentation, visa and health requirements of all countries visited.
Bermuda: Non-U.S. / Canadian citizens may be required to obtain an entry visa for cruises that visit Bermuda. For details, visit www.bermuda.com/travelcenter/immigration_regulations.php
Canada: Due to stricter Canadian entry requirements, citizens from certain countries require a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to visit (or even sail into) Canada. Passengers who are not U.S. or Canadian citizens should check www.cic.gc.ca for a listing of nationalities requiring a TRV. Passengers belonging to nationalities requiring a TRV will be denied boarding if they do not possess such a visa. Exceptions may be made for holders of a U.S. Alien Registration Card or Canadian Residency Permit. Canadian Residency Permit (CRP) holders who are not in possession of their permanent resident papers, or a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), will be refused boarding if the ship visits any Canadian port during the cruise. Otherwise, the ship is subject to pay heavy fines and the Canadian resident can be refused re-entry into Canada without their proper resident documentation. Cruise passengers who are not U.S. or Canadian citizens should check the following web site for a listing of restricted nationalities to determine if a TRV is necessary: www.cic.gc.ca
“Schengen States”: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden entered into the Schengen Agreement. It is an agreement between several member states of the European Union (EU) to remove immigration controls for travel within their collective territories. This creates a “borderless” region, known as the “Schengen Area” and, therefore, changes the procedures for entering or connecting in all of the Schengen States as well as for traveling between them. There are four types of Schengen visas, but type C is the one typically needed by cruise passengers. It can be issued by any one of the “Schengen States” and is valid for all of the others. Non-U.S. / Canadian citizens who do not require Schengen visas must obtain a multiple-entry type visa before traveling. U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require a Schengen visa.
Special Requirements For Visits To Other Countries: This summary only highlights some of the most common cruise documentation requirements. For complete, up-to-date information, you must contact your national embassy, local immigration office or Visa Central at www.visacentral.com.
NOTICE TO PUERTO RICAN CITIZENS – Effective July 1, 2010 all previously issued Puerto Rican birth certificates will be invalid due to the Puerto Rico Birth Certificate Law 191. It is the responsibility of the passenger to obtain either a valid passport or new birth certificate through their local Vital Statistics Record Office.