Passports are required for all travelers, including citizens of the U.S. and Canada, who enter or re-enter the U.S. by air, land or sea.
There are a few notable exceptions pertaining to land and sea border crossings:
- U.S. citizens on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port (e.g. Inside Passage cruises sailing roundtrip from Seattle, WA) and travel to destinations in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, the Bahamas or Bermuda are able to re-enter the U.S. with proof of citizenship other than a passport or passport card. Acceptable proof of citizenship includes a U.S. state-issued original or certified copy of their birth certificate (hospital certificates are not acceptable) or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization and a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license). Passports are required for cruises that begin in one U.S. port and end in another.
- Children under the age of 16 who are citizens of the U.S. or Canada are exempt from the passport requirement for land and sea border crossings. In lieu of a passport, children are able to use a U.S. state-issued original or certified copy of their birth certificate (hospital certificates are not acceptable) or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization as proof of citizenship for entry into the U.S. by land or by sea. Children entering or re-entering the U.S. by air are required to have a valid passport.
- Princess Cruise Line: When minors are traveling with only one adult, Princess requires that all passengers have a valid passport.
- A new, lower-cost alternative to the passport, called a passport card, is acceptable for entries into the U.S. by land or sea. The passport card is not acceptable for air travel.
- The following cruise lines require a passport for all sailings, regardless of destination or port of departure: Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Cunard, Hurtigruten, Oceania, P&O, Paul Gauguin, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea, Star Clippers and Windstar.
Passport requirements for U.S. citizens on Alaska cruises that begin or end in Canada:
- US citizens cruising to Alaska on a ship that departs from or ends in Canada (e.g. Vancouver) will require a valid passport card or passport if they enter Canada by land or sea. US citizens cruising to Alaska that enter or depart Canada by air need a valid passport.
- Important Note: Canada has issued the following advisory for all U.S. citizens entering Canada. "Anyone with a criminal record (including a DWI charge) should contact the Canadian Embassy or nearest Consulate General before travel." Click here for more information.
Photocopies of required documentation are not acceptable in any circumstance.
Even though passports are not required at this time for U.S. citizens who sail on cruises to the above destinations that begin and end in the same U.S. port, we strongly recommend that all cruise passengers travel with a valid passport anyway. This is because guests who need to fly to or from the U.S. unexpectedly during their cruise will likely experience significant delays and complications related to booking airline tickets and entering the U.S. if they do not have a valid passport with them. For example, a passenger missing a cruise departure due to a late inbound flight to Miami would need a passport to fly to meet the ship at the next port. Similarly, guests needing to fly to or through the U.S. before their cruise ends because of medical, family, personal or business emergencies, missing a ship's departure from a port of call, or a mechanical problem of some sort with the ship, would need a passport. Of course, situations like these are rare, but they can happen.
Passports are not required for U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from Hawaii or a U.S. territory, including Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Passports are required for cruise travel to all International destinations not mentioned above, and for cruises that involve air travel that begins or ends outside of the U.S. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the last day of travel.
Vacations To Go has partnered with CIBT, the largest and most well-established travel visa and passport company in the world, to offer you a fast, easy and reliable way to obtain a passport or other document for travel anywhere in the world. For information about obtaining a passport or passport card for the first time, or about renewing a passport or passport card, click here to visit the CIBT Web site.
Legal U.S. Residents (Non-Citizens)
Legal permanent residents of the U.S. must have a valid passport from their country of citizenship and a valid Alien Registration Card (Green Card) to enter or re-enter the U.S.
Non-U.S., Non-Canada Citizens
The following countries participate in a visa waiver program with the U.S., and citizens of these countries must have a machine-readable passport for entry into the U.S.:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom
Citizens of the countries listed above who do not possess machine-readable passports, and citizens of countries not listed above must present a valid passport and a valid United States visa upon entry into the U.S. For those whose travel plans include multiple entries into the U.S., such as a cruise that begins and ends in a U.S. port, a multiple-entry visa is required.
All travelers, including U.S. and Canada citizens, are responsible for verifying visa requirements with consular officials, and obtaining visas where required, for every country visited during their trip, including countries visited via connecting flights.