Immigration and Documentation for Cruise Vacations

All cruise ships are required to file a passenger manifest with the National Immigration Naturalization Service (I.N.S) prior to sailing. The government asks for key personal information from each passenger including, but not limited to, names, gender, dates of birth, residency, citizenship and passport details, if applicable. The Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) is standard for all airlines and cruise reservations. Failure to provide this information to your cruise line in advance of your cruise may result in delayed or denied boarding without a refund. You will receive additional information with your cruise documents.

Passport Requirements

Passport requirements vary by destination and your citizenship. Please review the section below to determine your passport requirements.

U.S. Citizens

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government implemented the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative). The rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

CHILDREN: U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificate, or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card.

Groups of U.S. citizen children ages 16 through 18, when traveling with a school or religious group, social organization, or sports team, will be able to enter under adult supervision with originals or copies of their birth certificates or other proof of citizenship. See the Department of Homeland Security's website for more information on the changing travel requirements.


  • U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States when traveling via air, land or sea from outside the country.
  • U.S. Passport Card: The passport card is only valid for re-entry into the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda.

WHTI-Compliant Travel Documents for U.S. citizen travel via land or sea, as of January 31, 2008:
  • Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
  • State Issued Enhanced Driver's License (when available)
  • Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
  • U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
  • Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
  • Form I-872 American Indian Card

Please Note:

If your cruise requires air travel between the U.S. and the Americas, Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Mexico, you will be required to present a passport when departing from or returning to the U.S. by air.

Even if your cruise does not involve air travel outside the U.S., should you be required to unexpectedly depart a vessel prior to the end of the sailing, a passport would be required to re-enter the U.S. by air. As such, all cruise lines continue to strongly recommend that all passengers are in possession of a passport.

Lawful Permanent Residents

Air Travel

All travelers including children must present a passport or secure travel document when entering the United States by air.

Land/Sea Travel

Lawful permanent residents may continue to present their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card. More information available at

Citizens from Other Countries

Air Travel

All international visitors regardless of country of origin must present a passport or secure document when entering the United States by air.

US-VISIT biometric procedures apply to international travelers holding a non-U.S. passport or visa with limited exceptions. Find out how US-VISIT works.

Land/Sea Travel

Canadian Citizens - Beginning June 1, 2009

  • Canadian citizens will need to present a single document that complies with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). See the WHTI Program for more information.

Bermudian Citizens - Beginning June 1, 2009

  • Bermudian citizens will need to present a single document that complies with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). See the WHTI Program for more information.

Mexican Citizens - Mexican citizens, including children, must present a passport with a non-immigrant visa or a laser visa border crossing card.

  • Document requirements for most Mexican citizens, including children entering the United States, do not change under WHTI. See the WHTI Program for more information.
  • US-VISIT biometric procedures may apply to some Mexican citizens. Find out how US-VISIT works.

All Others

  • Travel Document Requirements - Visitors Traveling Under the Visa Waiver Program: International travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program need to present an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006.
  • US-VISIT: Entry and exit process for visitors requiring a visa, using biometrics such as digital fingerscans and digital photographs, to ensure the person crossing the U.S. border is the same person who received the visa.
  • ESTA: Internet-based Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to screen Visa Waiver Program (VWP) applicants prior to traveling to the United States.
  • e-Passports: The United States requires that travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006.
  • Travel For Non-U.S. Citizens: (CBP) Information for visitors to the United States that are visiting for the purpose of working, studying, business travel or immigration.


All travelers are responsible to learn of the documentation requirements for your vacation. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, you must contact the embassy or consulate representing the country of your citizenship. Due to changing security conditions, neither the cruise line nor WMPH Vacations is able to provide complete information.

ALL DOCUMENTATION, INCLUDING VALID PASSPORTS, BIRTH CERTIFICATES, VISAS, ETC. IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TRAVELER. You will be denied boarding by the cruise line without recourse for failure to present proper documentation and no refund will be given by the cruise line or WMPH Vacations.


The Canadian government requires foreign citizens from most countries other than the U.S. to obtain a visa for entry into Canada. This law affects travelers on all cruise itineraries that begin or end in Canada, as well as those that make a port of call in Canada. Failure to present the required visa will result in denied boarding with no refund. To learn if Canada requires a visa for citizens of your country, please call your embassy or consulate.

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