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Do You Need a Passport for a Cruise?

By Tully Luxury Travel | 01-18-2024 |

Cruise Canada Caribbean Mexico USA

Everyone wants their vacation to roll out as seamlessly as planned. And preparedness is one of the key essentials, including whether or not a passport is required for your dream cruise. Tully Luxury Travel is very experienced with advising what travel documents are needed for luxury cruise vacations, so that your voyage is worry-free.

The bottom line: You can’t board a ship without some kind of identification. What kind of ID will depend on a few factors, which we will review here.

Cruises that don't require a passport

If you are a US or Canadian passport holder, technically, you can usually travel on a ship with an accepted form of identification, such as a state-issued birth certificate plus a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a drivers license. The problem is, you may have to stay on the ship the whole time, as certain countries may not allow guests without passports to set foot on land.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection states that most cruises beginning and ending in the same U.S.
location are considered “closed-loop,” even though they may stop at other international ports. If you are going on a luxury cruise to the Bahamas, for example, and other Western Hemisphere ports of call such as the Mexican Riviera, beginning and ending your cruise in Fort Lauderdale, you are on a closed-loop sailing, for which you can depart and enter the U.S. with proof of citizenship. This proof can include an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate or a government-issued driver's license with picture ID – denoting your name, photo and date of birth.

The Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) allows you to re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Cruises for which a passport is required

Most destination countries on your itinerary will require a passport from you, even though the U.S. customs may not. You need a passport in those instances, or you may be denied boarding or at the very least have to remain on the ship and miss out on all the on-shore fun. Your cruise line and your Tully representative will be able to confirm the requirements needed to enter the foreign lands you’re visiting and advise you accordingly.

A passport is definitely the best option for ID when traveling abroad, full stop. It is the hassle-free way to make sure you board and disembark ships and pass through customs halls with ease. Also, if you run into any problems while on your cruise – such as an unexpected medical air evacuation or the ship docking at an alternate port – it’s best to have your passport on hand.

Keep in mind that your passport must be valid for six months after the day your cruise ends, and ensure that the name on your reservation matches the name on your passport.

We're here to help

The Tully Travel Designers are extremely knowledgeable about any kind of documentation that is required for ports all over the world, having traveled the world themselves. If you ever need any kind of advice on passport requirements, just let us know.

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