Answered: Do You Want a Passport for an Alaskan Cruise?


One of many largest questions we hear is whether or not or not you want a passport to cruise. It looks as if a easy query, particularly in case your cruise goes to Alaska. In spite of everything, you might be probably leaving from the US, visiting the US, and returning again to the U.S.

Do you want a passport to cruise Alaska? In lots of instances, no, nevertheless it’s nonetheless extremely beneficial.

Alas, not every part is reduce and dry in terms of authorities enforcement and guidelines put in place by completely different cruise strains. We’ll cowl the main points, however the backside line is that it’s a lot simpler to cruise to Alaska with a passport.

When you don’t have one, then sure, you possibly can nonetheless cruise to Alaska in most instances. You’ll need no less than an official delivery certificates and picture ID (if 16 years or older) as nearly all Alaskan cruises additionally make a cease in Canada.

Full particulars are beneath…

Are Passports for American Residents on an Alaskan Cruise?

The principles surrounding identification and border crossings might be furry. Fortuitously, for Americans touring on a cruise, there’s a loophole designed to make it simpler for individuals to journey and not using a passport.

It’s referred to as the Western Hemisphere Journey Initiative (WHTI) and the rule has a piece for “closed-loop cruises.” These are cruises that start and finish on the identical port. So if you happen to sail from Seattle, head to Alaska and Canada, after which return to Seattle, you might be on a closed-loop cruise.

U.S. residents touring on these cruises solely have to indicate government-issued ID (usually a driver’s license) and a delivery certificates to re-enter the nation.

Right here’s what the Customs and Border Safety says on the subject:

“As a reminder, since June 1, 2009, all U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years and older, who enter the US at land and sea ports of entry from inside the Western Hemisphere must current both a government-issued picture ID, corresponding to a driver’s license, in addition to proof of citizenship, corresponding to a delivery certificates, or a sound passport or different acceptable doc for WHTI compliance. U.S. residents on closed-loop cruises (cruises that start and finish on the identical U.S. port) are capable of enter the US with a delivery certificates and government-issued picture ID. U.S. and Canadian citizen youngsters ages 16 and below are capable of enter with solely proof of citizenship, corresponding to a delivery certificates. Verbal claims of citizenship alone should not ample to determine citizenship for entry into the US.

There are a few essential factors on this. First, if you happen to have a look at any Alaskan cruise, you’ll discover that there’s nearly at all times a cease in Canada.

That’s as a result of legal guidelines state that foreign-flagged ships (which nearly all cruise ships are) can’t often take passengers from one U.S. port to a different with out making a cease someplace alongside the best way overseas.

Since you can be stopping abroad, you want some kind of citizenship paperwork, like an official delivery certificates or passport. A driver’s license or different picture ID alone gained’t reduce it (besides in a couple of particular cased with the brand new “Enhanced ID“).

Secondly, every cruise line has their very own particular guidelines concerning documentation wanted to journey. This makes it depending on the cruise line itself if it’s important to carry a passport or not.

To be clear, each cruise line recommends you journey with a passport even if you’re on an Alaskan cruise. It’s because ought to something occur and it’s important to get off the ship overseas (medical emergency, ship breakdown, and many others.), it’s a lot simpler to get house with a sound passport. Even the U.S. State Division recommends you journey with one.

However if you happen to don’t have a passport already, more often than not you possibly can sail to Alaska with solely a delivery certificates and picture ID.

Everlasting U.S. Residents, Canadian Departures, International Residents on Alaska Cruises

What if you happen to aren’t an American citizen crusing from the US and returning on a closed-loop cruise? In that case, you’ll nearly at all times want a passport.

For example, say as a substitute of cruising from Seattle you might be crusing from Vancouver, BC. Which means you’ll be flying, driving, or taking a practice into Canada to get to the cruise port. It will require a passport. 

What about everlasting residents of the U.S.? Customs and Border Safety says they don’t require you to have a passport, however that it’s going to probably be required by different nations that you just go to.

And naturally, if you’re a international citizen touring to or from the US you then’re required to have a passport.

For extra on official necessities, you possibly can learn these articles:

Continuously Requested Questions

Do I want a passport to cruise to Alaska?
Usually, no a passport isn’t required, however it’s a good suggestion. In case you are an American citizen and your cruise begins and ends in Seattle, then the journey probably falls below the Western Hemisphere Journey Initiative (WHTI). These guidelines let you sail on “closed-loop” cruises with solely an official delivery certificates and a photograph ID.

That stated, your cruise line or your particular itinerary may require a passport. 

What about children? Do they want a passport or ID?
In case you are taking your Alaskan cruise with children, they may both want a passport or a delivery certificates (if on a closed-loop cruise) as properly. Children below 16 years outdated aren’t required to have a photograph ID.

How a lot does a passport price? How lengthy does it take to get?
Lately you possibly can count on to pay about $160 to get a passport that’s legitimate for 10 years. The common processing occasions are 6-9 weeks, however you will get it expedited and get it quicker.

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