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Do I Need A Passport?

Each country has its own entry requirements, and guests assume personal responsibility for having the necessary documents when boarding. Holland America Line highly recommends that all guests carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the completion date of your travel. Having a passport will enable you to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port in the event you miss your scheduled embarkation or to fly back to the U.S. if you need to disembark the ship mid-cruise due to an emergency.

Passports are normally surrendered to and held by the pursers on board to facilitate clearances in ports of call. It is prudent to photocopy the identification page of your passport and pack it separately, in case of loss or damage to the original.

Your name on your travel documents (passport, Alien Resident card, birth certificate, etc.) must be identical to those on your cruise documents. Otherwise, proof of name change (e.g. a marriage license) with a valid driver’s license (or other government issued photo ID) must be presented. Any discrepancies may prevent travel.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition, visas or other documents may be required, depending on your citizenship or residency and the itinerary. It is your sole responsibility to obtain all necessary documents for all ports of call on your itinerary. Requirements for your voyage may be found on Holland America Line’s website or by calling your travel professional, Holland America, or a professional visa service. Boarding may be denied or fines may be levied against those guests without proper documentation. Payment of any fines levied is the responsibility of the individual guest.

For U.S. and Canadian Citizens:

Travel by Land or Sea : Travel document requirements vary based on cruise itinerary and whether international flights are required. Passports or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant documents are required for cruises to Alaska, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico and the Panama Canal. U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 16 and above may present one of the following valid WHTI-compliant documents:

  • Passport (recommended travel document) (valid for travel by air, land and sea)
  • Passport Card (valid for land and sea border crossings only)
  • U.S. or Canadian Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – (valid for land and sea border crossings only, not valid on Yukon Land+Sea Journeys due to air travel included in the journey)*
  • Other documents approved by the Department of Homeland Security

For a list of approved documents visit: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative

*The EDL driver's license, or non-driver photo identification, is offered in the U.S. states of Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington and in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, to applicants that can prove identity and citizenship. Please note the EDL is not the same as an Enhanced (or Endorsed) Commercial Driver's License.

U.S. citizens on U.S. roundtrip or "closed-loop" cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a valid US passport, U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License or Trusted Traveler Program Card such as Nexus, Sentri or Fast Cards.

However, in the absence of any of the documentation listed above, U.S. citizens can present a government issued photo ID, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her government issued birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). A passport is still the preferred document.

PLEASE NOTE –WHTI-compliant documents are only acceptable for entry or re-entry into the United States. You may be required to present additional or different travel documents, such as a passport when entering foreign countries, including some countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Birth certificates from Puerto Rico issued prior to July 1, 2010 are not valid forms of proof of citizenship that is accepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Guests from Puerto Rico either need to present a WHTI-compliant document or a government-issued photo identification with a validated birth certificate issued after July 1, 2010.

Children: U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 traveling on a closed-loop cruise (a cruise in the Western Hemisphere which originates and ends in the same U.S. port) will be able to present their government issued birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card to sail. Birth certificates can be an original, photocopy or certified original.

It is recommended that all minors have their own passport if traveling with only one adult to ensure they can all stay together if there is an emergency and they have to disembark early to fly home (including on Closed Loop voyages).

NOTE: If you are not the parent or Legal Guardian of any minor child traveling with you, you must present an original letter signed by at least one of the child’s parents. The letter from the child’s parent must provide contact information and authorize the traveling adult to take the child on the specific cruise.

For more information regarding passports and WHTI-compliant documents, please visit https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative or call the National Passport Information Center toll free at 1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TYY at 1-888-874-7793.

Travel by Air : Passports are required for all international air travel to and from the United States, regardless of age or citizenship. This includes air travel to and from Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Mexico.

FOR NON-U.S./NON-CANADIAN CITIZENS: Holland America highly recommends that all guests carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the completion date of your travel. Please carefully verify the existing identification requirements for your particular travel situation.

In addition, non-U.S. citizens who have previously been admitted to the United States for permanent residence must carry their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), commonly known as a Green Card. Resident aliens not in possession of this must obtain one at the nearest office of the U.S. Immigration Service.

19 July 2016