Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise?

Read below for an answer to, “Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise?”

There are some exceptions, and we will go through them all here.

Do I Need a Passport for a CruiseThe Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the United States.

In other words, you will almost always need a passport book or passport card to enter the United States of America.

Passport for a Cruise?

There are certain passport requirements based on the type of travel, as well the specific company or cruise line. Be sure to know the cruise passport requirements before you go!

Traveling to Canada? Visiting Mexico? Cruise to Antarctica?

Know the passport requirements for each trip. See below to find your answer to, “Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise?”


No matter when you need a passport, Fastport Passport can help. We can even get your U.S. passport in 2 weeks or faster!

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Do I Need a Passport to Travel by Air?

Any traveler, no matter their age, must have a valid passport book when traveling internationally by air.

The passport card is not accepted for travel by air, so make sure you have the passport book. See more information about differences between the passport card and the passport book.

Since there is no way around this requirement, we often recommend having the passport book as it is more versatile.


Do I Need a Passport to Travel by Sea?

All adult U.S. citizens arriving by sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean must have a passport.

  • You can use the passport card for travel by land or sea.
  • The passport book is valid for land, sea, and air travel.

It’s a bit more versatile, so again, we recommend the passport book over just getting the card (or get both). There are some times when you may not need a passport with travel by sea. Read below for more answers to, “Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise?”


Do I Need a Passport to Travel by Land?

Yes. The land requirements are similar to the sea requirements. You can use a passport book or passport card. U.S. citizens under 16 years old who arrive by land from Canada or Mexico may present:

  • An original or certified copy of his or her birth certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Citizenship.

Children entering or re-entering the U.S. by air must have a valid passport. Photocopies of required documentation are not acceptable in any circumstance.


Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise?

It depends. There are many cruises that require a passport. However there are some cruises that do not require any passport documentation.

Passports are not a requirement 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.

You must have a passports for cruise travel to all International destinations not mentioned above. This means if you plan to visit any foreign nation, you will likely need a passport.

Also, we recommend you check with the U.S. Department of State in regard to passport requirements, as there are some exceptions to the passport requirement for cruises.

See below for details about passport for a cruise such as Closed Loop Cruises.

NOTE: Moreover, U.S. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. This is also known as the Six Months Passport Validity Rule.


Do I Need a Passport for a Closed-Loop Cruise?

A closed-loop cruise is a sort of “loop-hole” in the passport requirement for a cruise. A cruise that begins and ends at the same U.S. port is a closed loop.

For example, if your cruise begins and ends at the same port in Miami, then you are on a closed loop cruise. Many cruises that have this itinerary may not require a passport. However, as we previously stated, having a passport any time you leave the country is a wise decision. Should something go wrong on your cruise, you won’t be stuck in another country or dealing with hassles overseas without proper documentation. Savvy travelers know you can never over-prepare for a trip.

Travelers planning to go on a closed loop cruise who are U.S. Citizens will be able to enter or depart the country on the cruise with proof of citizenship. Proof of citizenship is an original or certified copy of the birth certificate.

  • If you are 16 years old or older, you’ll need a government issued photo ID.
  • If you have a newborn and have not received the actual birth certificate from the Vital Records Department, it may be permissible to use a hospital issued birth certificate.
    • The United States does not require you to have a passport.
    • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad from the Department of State or a Certificate of Naturalization are also acceptable.

Nevertheless, most cruise lines require a passport. The reason is a destination on your cruise itinerary may require all travelers to have a valid passport.

Additionally, cruise lines do not want to be help liable if you are denied entry to a destination on your cruise because you did not have proper documentation.


Do I Need a Passport for a Disney Cruise?

The following guidelines for Disney Cruises are based on government regulations, which are subject to change at any time.

Disney Cruises recommends their passengers all have valid U.S. passports.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to check with your travel agent, government agency, U.S. embassy or consulate to ensure you have all the proper documentation to board the ship and enter each country on the ship’s itinerary.

The cruise will deny boarding for all guests without proper documentation.


Do I Need a Passport for a Princess Cruise?

The Princess Cruise Line strongly recommends all passengers to have possession of a passport. When minors are traveling with only one adult, Princess Cruises has a requirement that all passengers have a valid passport.

You must have a passport for all non-domestic itineraries including Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, India, Central and South America, South Pacific and Tahiti.

Domestic Itineraries

For domestic itineraries, if your cruise requires air travel between the U.S. and the Americas, Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Mexico, you will have to present a passport when departing from or returning to the U.S. by air. Without a passport, the airport will deny you from boarding your flight.

For itineraries where a passport is not necessary to sail, U.S. and Canadian citizens who do not have a valid passport must provide proof of citizenship :

  • Naturalization certificate OR an original certified birth certificate from the state/province of their birth.
    • NOTE: A hospital certificate will not suffice.
  • A current, valid government-issued photo ID (e.g. a driver’s license).

U.S. citizens may also present a U.S. Passport Card or an Enhanced Driver’s License. Neither oral nor written declarations of citizenship will be acceptable.

Although recommended, photo identification is a must for those 18 years old and younger at the time of this printing.

U.S. Resident Aliens

U.S. Resident Aliens must present, in addition to a valid passport, a current and valid Alien Resident Card. Canadian Permanent Residents are required to present a valid Permanent Resident Card in addition to a valid passport.


Do I Need a Passport for a Royal Caribbean Cruise?

Royal Caribbean International recommends all guests travel with a valid passport during their cruise. It greatly assists guests who may need to fly out of the United States to meet their ship at the next available port should they:

  • Miss their scheduled embarkation in a U.S. port.
  • Be entering the United States at the end of their cruise.
  • Be needing to fly to the United States before their cruise ends.
  • Need to tend to medical, family, personal or business emergencies.
  • Miss a ship’s departure from a port of call.
  • Face involuntary disembarkation from a ship due to misconduct.
  • Various other reasons.

Do I Need a Passport for a Carnival Cruise?

Carnival cruise lines does not have an explicit requirement for travelers to have a passport. However they defer to the requirements set by the U.S. Department of State and any foreign nations on the cruise itinerary. In other words, you’ll need to bring your passport.

Importantly, Carnival requires guests to provide proper travel documentation in order to travel.  However, Carnival assumes no responsibility for advising guests of proper travel documentation and/or immigration requirements.

Be sure to have proper travel documentation at embarkation and throughout the cruise. Even if you complete the registration using Online Check-in, it is still the responsibility of the guest to present the required travel documents at the time of embarkation.

Also, be sure to check with your travel agent and/or government authority to determine all the travel documents you’ll need for each port of call. Any guest without proper documents will not be able to board the vessel, and the cruise line will not issue you a refund of the cruise fare.

Carnival recommends that all guests travel with a valid U.S. passport during their cruise and possess a valid one with at least 6 months beyond the completion of travel.


Do I Need a Passport for a Norwegian Cruise Line?

If you ask the question, “Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise?” for your Norwegian Cruise Line trip, the answer will  depend on where you are traveling.

Notably, you must have a valid passport for travel to Europe and Trans-Atlantic destinations. In some cases, you may also need to obtain a tourist visa.

Also, you do not need a passport when sailing on a Hawaii inter-island cruise. If your ship never sails beyond the islands of Hawaii, all you need is a government-issued photo I.D. (e.g., a passport or a driver’s license with a photo). U.S. citizens under 16 years old do not need a government-issued photo ID.

For destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Or Canada & New England Cruises, you may sail with either a valid passport, proof of citizenship and a valid government-issued photo I.D. (driver’s license with a photo), OR any other W.H.T.I. compliant document.

NOTE: If you miss your ship at its scheduled U.S. departure port and need to travel outside of the United States to meet your ship (or should you unexpectedly need to depart the ship from a foreign port early), you’ll need a valid U.S. passport to leave or re-enter the United States by air.

To that end, Norwegian Cruise Line strongly recommends all guests to obtain a passport for their voyage on any Norwegian Cruise Line vessel.


Which cruise lines require a passport?

Here is a short list of cruise lines that now require a passport for a cruise, regardless of your destination or port of departure:

Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Cunard, Fred, Olsen, Hurtigruten, Oceania, P&O, Paul Gauguin, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea, Star Clippers, Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery and Windstar.

Finally, please contact your cruise line to make sure you have all documents. If you need an expedited passport for a cruise, Fastport Passport can help!

Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise

If you did not find your answer to, “Do I Need a Passport for a Cruise?,” feel free to call us or submit an inquiry via our Passport Help Desk.

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