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Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise? A Complete Guide

do i need a passport for a cruise

You may be searching over do I need a passport for a cruise. U.S. residents taking “closed-loop” cruises will not be required to have a passport. Nonetheless, any visitor who will be touring with no passport will want proof of citizenship reminiscent. The passport card can’t be used for international journeys by air.

Embarking on a cruise adventure sparks dreams of distant shores, but the need for a passport may hinge on a tapestry of variables like your chosen destination, the departure port you set sail from, and even your citizenship. To shed light on this matter, we present a comprehensive guide that illuminates the labyrinthine world of passport requirements for cruises.

Do I need a passport for a cruise?

1. Closed-Loop Cruises

If your feet rest on American soil and your cruise follows a closed-loop trajectory, commencing and culminating at the same U.S. port, the necessity of a passport might be obviated. Instead, an assemblage of alternative documents, like a certified birth certificate or a government-issued photo ID—such as a driver’s license—combined with a government-issued proof of citizenship, such as a naturalization certificate, may suffice.

2. Open-Loop Cruises

Venturing into the realm of international ports with a cruise that circumnavigates foreign lands, and fails to circle back to the welcoming embrace of a U.S. port, is a voyage that typically demands the presence of a passport. This holds true for alluring destinations spanning the Caribbean’s turquoise tapestry, Europe’s timeless grandeur, Asia’s vibrant tapestry, and South America’s awe-inspiring wonders.

3. Non-U.S. Citizens

For non-U.S. citizens, a valid passport stands as an almost inescapable prerequisite to embarking on a memorable cruise voyage, even if it follows the closed-loop trajectory. To gain clarity on the specifics of documentation, it is vital to consult with the embassies or consulates of the countries that will be graced by your presence during the voyage.

4. Validity and Expiration

Should a passport become an indispensable companion on your voyage, its validity must extend at least six months beyond the planned return date. Certain countries impose this requirement, and failure to meet it can potentially jeopardize your entry. Thus, a thorough review of your passport’s expiration is a prudent step before setting sail.

5. Passport Cards

Certain cruises offer the tantalizing option of utilizing a U.S. passport card in lieu of the traditional passport. It is crucial to note, however, that the passport card’s dominion generally extends solely to land and sea travel within specific destinations like Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. For journeys traversing other regions, the steadfast embrace of a full-fledged passport is indispensable.

6. Identification at Sea

Even in scenarios where the voyage itself doesn’t explicitly demand a passport, carrying this universally recognized identification document is a highly recommended course of action. Beyond the realm of legality, possessing a passport can serve as an invaluable safety net, offering reassurance in the face of unexpected emergencies or the need to swiftly return to the United States.

A guide about passports for a cruise

Under are passport pointers as of April 2019, nonetheless, they’re topics to vary. We strongly encourage all friends to go to the Division of Homeland Safety website ( or the Overseas Affairs & Worldwide Commerce Canada website ( for essentially the most up-to-date traveler data together with passport and visa necessities in addition to journey advisories and security suggestions.

Please ObserveFriends who fail to have the required paperwork as decided by U.S. Customs & Immigration can be denied boarding and such friends shall not be entitled to any refund nor shall Cruise to the Edge, On The Blue Cruises, Inc., and/or Norwegian Cruise Line, have any additional legal responsibility to such friends.

Though a passport just isn’t required at the moment for U.S. residents taking “closed-loop” cruises, we strongly suggest that every friend journey with a passport (legitimate for no less than six months past the completion of the journey). Having a passport will allow friends to fly from the U.S. to an overseas port on the occasion they miss their scheduled embarkation or to fly again to the U.S. if they should disembark the ship mid-cruise as a result of an emergency.


Please additionally observe that as of January 22, 2018, not all driver’s licenses or state IDs could also be used as a type of ID when flying. For extra data on REAL ID and Air Journey, click on HERE.

To seek out out in case your state is REAL ID Compliant you’ll want to click on HERE. BE PREPARED!


The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) Passport Necessities grew to become efficient on June 1, 2009, for land and sea borders. Whereas the WHTI requires a sound passport for land and sea journey, an ultimate ruling was issued permitting leniency for “closed-loop” cruises, i.e., sailings that each originates and terminates in the identical U.S. port.

For each safety and immigration function, every visitor is answerable for bringing all vital journey paperwork and identification required for the cruise itinerary. Solely a sound passport (please observe the exception for closed-loop sailings) or a different WHTI-compliant doc can be accepted for entry or re-entry into the U.S.

U.S. residents taking “closed-loop” cruises aren’t required to have a passport. Nevertheless, any visitor who can be touring with no passport will want proof of citizenship equivalent to one of many following:

  1. U.S. PassportRECOMMENDED – U.S. Passport should be legitimate by means of the dates of the journey of the cruise in addition to not expiring.
  2. U.S. Passport Card – The U.S. Passport Card can be utilized to enter America from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports of entry and is extra handy and cheaper than a passport guide. The passport card can’t be used for international journeys by air.
  3. A unique or Licensed copy of an Authorities Issued Start Certificate with a raised seal or in some circumstances a holographic picture. Neither a notarized copy of the start certificate NOR a Stay Hospital Start Certificate can be accepted by CBP. Please additionally remember the fact that if you’re touring utilizing start certificates and you’ve got had a reputation change (ie: marriage), you’ll need to offer proof of that title change (ie: marriage license).
  4. Consular Report of Start Overseas – Notarized copies are not acceptable.  We extremely suggest that if in any respect potential, friends journey with a Passport.
  5. Certificates of Naturalization – Notarized copies are not acceptable.  We extremely suggest that if in any respect potential, friends journey with a Passport.
  6. Enhanced Driver’s license (EDL) – There are presently solely 5 (5) U.S. States and 4 (4) Canadian Provinces producing EDLs:
    U.S.:               Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington
    Canada:        British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec

Along with proof of citizenship, friends can be required to current a sound, government-issued photograph ID, equivalent to a driver’s license. Kids are additionally required to deliver proof of citizenship, and if 16 and over, a photo ID can also be required.

ONLY US Residents can sail utilizing sound Proof of Citizenship together with a government-issued photo ID.  Canadian and Bermudian residents are required to have a passport for air, land, and sea journeys.

Start certificates from Puerto Rico issued previous to July 1, 2010, aren’t legitimate types of proof of citizenship that are accepted by U.S. Customs and Border Safety. Friends from Puerto Rico both must current a WHTI-compliant doc or a government-issued photo identification with a validated start certificate issued after July 1, 2010.

PLEASE NOTE:  We now have been knowledgeable by the CBP that they are going to NOT settle for the next types of ID:

  1. Notarized Picture Copy of a Start Certificate
  2. Notarized Picture Copy of a Passport
  3. A file of Stay Start from a Hospital / Hospital Start Certificates
  4. World Passport
  5. Social Safety Card
  6. Voter Registration Card
  7. Baptismal Certificates

This paperwork is NOT WHTI-compliant paperwork, subsequently, they’re NOT acceptable proof of citizenship.

For extra data or to acquire a passport utility, go to 


U.S. Alien Residents

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Alien Registration Card (Inexperienced Card)

U.S. Alien Residents require a sound Alien Resident Card and, in some circumstances, a passport (relying on itinerary).  The visitor should verify with their consulate or acceptable authorities authority to find out if their nationality requires additionally they deliver a passport together with their Alien Resident Card.

U.S. lawful everlasting residents will proceed to have the ability to use their Alien Registration Card issued by the Division of Homeland Safety or different legitimate proof of everlasting residence standing to use for entry to America.

Card renewal is a vital matter. ARC holders (United States everlasting residents) with expired playing cards could also be thought of as “out of standing” and could also be denied entry/reentry into America. If y ARC was issued over 10 years in the past, you must verify the expiration date printed on the entrance of the cardboard. In case your card is expired, or it’s about to run out, you must renew your card earlier than you sail.

In case you are holding an outdated version of ARC WITHOUT an expiration date, you’ll not be detained from getting into America however U.S. Customs and Border Safety extremely suggests that you just apply for a brand new card earlier than you sail.

For added data, go to

Different Non-U.S. Residents

All friends of nationalities aside from America will need to have a sound passport for six months past the interval of their meant to keep in America together with any and all legitimate visas (if relevant). Please see below further data concerning the Visa Waiver Program and Six Months Passport Validity Rule excepted nations.

Non-U.S. residents require a sound machine-readable passport and a sound, unexpired U.S. number of Re-entry Visas, if relevant. Friends are suggested to verify with their consulate, or acceptable authorities authority to find out the mandatory paperwork.

Non-U.S. residents who can be eligible to use for admission under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program should nonetheless have a sound unexpired passport. U.S. State Division laws require all friends touring from visa-waiver nations to be in possession of a machine-readable passport that features a biometric identifier – e.g., embedded digital {photograph}. In any other case, friends can be required to acquire U.S. A number of Re-entry Visa. Friends without correct identification could also be refused boarding or entry into America.

Every so often, non-U.S. residents and U.S. Alien Residents could also be requested to give up their passports and/or Alien Resident Cards at the time of embarkation. This paperwork can be returned upon completion of the Immigration inspection at the time of debarkation.

For extra data on the Technical Necessities for passports: CLICK HERE.


You have to have a sound passport and, in some circumstances, a visa. In case you stay within the U.S., additionally, you will want the unique copy of your Alien Registration Card (ARC or “Inexperienced Card”) and some other documentation the nations in your itinerary require as a result of your alien standing.

Residents from the Visa Waiver Program nations would require a machine-readable passport legitimate at some point in their voyage.

A machine-readable passport has a code like this on the underside of the image web page:


Cruise to the Edge and the opposite Launched Events (as herein outlined) assumes no accountability for advising you of immigration necessities. Non-U.S. residents, together with resident aliens, should contact the suitable consulates, embassies, and/or immigration workplace(s) to inquire about vital documentation for the Cruise’s ports of name.

Your title, as listed in your journey paperwork, should precisely match the title listed in your Cruise paperwork.

Residents touring underneath the Visa Waiver Program:

All eligible worldwide vacationers who want to journey to America under the Visa Waiver Program should apply for authorization.

For added particulars about ESTA and/or the Visa Waiver Program please go to:…

For extra data, to see in case your nation qualifies for the Visa Waiver Program, and to use for a journey authorization, see ESTA.

All friends should current the required documentation at embarkation. Friends without the required documentation can be denied boarding and no refund can be issued. Please perceive that the Norwegian Cruise Line will strictly implement this requirement to be in compliance with this necessary U.S. Authorities mandate.

Household Authorized Paperwork: Adults who aren’t the father or mother or Authorized Guardian of any minor little one touring with them are required to current the kid’s legitimate passport and visa (if required) or the kid’s start certificates (unique or licensed copy) and a unique notarized letter signed by no less than one of any little one’s mother and father.

The notarized letter from the kid’s father or mother should authorize the touring grownup to take the kid on the particular cruise and should authorize the touring grownup to oversee the kid and allow any medical remedy that should be administered to the kid. If a non-parent grownup is an Authorized Guardian, the grownup should currently license certificates of Guardianship with respect to the kid.

Which cruise line doesn’t require a passport?

Lauderdale which means you have got many choices for cruises that do not require a passport. On a seven-day Jap Caribbean cruise, set sail and uncover a world of journeys. Go to Princess Cays®, our non-public resort within the Bahamas the place dune buggies and banana boats await.

Do you want a passport for Carnival Cruise?

Carnival Cruise Strains strongly recommends all of our guest’s journeys with a sound passport. … ALL friends want correct proof of citizenship with the intention to journey and failure to current a sound doc at check-in will end in denied boarding and no refund will be issued.

Other Recommended Reading

Are you able to go on a cruise in case you are not a US citizen?

All Non-U.S. Citizen Friends Should Carry A Legitimate Passport, (Not Expiring inside (6) Months of Return Of Your Cruise). As well as, a vacationer visa could also be required for entry into sure nations/ports of name.

Final thought

Bear in mind that the realm of passport requirements remains ever-evolving, subject to the whims of changing regulations. Thus, it is prudent to consult with your cruise line, diligent inquirers of the latest updates, and peruse the official websites of the countries you anticipate visiting. Furthermore, if you already possess a passport, ensuring its validity and pristine condition prior to departure will help guarantee a smooth voyage that brims with unforgettable memories.

Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise? A Complete Guide

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