Do I Need a Passport to Cruise?

Cruises.com recommends that you have a passport to cruise

One of the most popular questions we get here at Cruises.com is, “do I need a passport to cruise?” The simple answer is no, but that does not apply to all cruises. For cruises where a passport is not required, you will need other forms of documentation such as your birth certificate AND a drivers license. Read on to learn more about the requirements of needing a passport to cruise.

You Do Not Need a Passport to Cruise on Closed Loop Cruises

A closed loop cruise where you do not need a passport to cruise is one that travels to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda and starts and ends in the same U.S. port. For example, you are able to travel to the Caribbean islands and back from Miami as long as you have a certified copy of your birth certificate and a drivers license. You should always double check with your travel agent prior to booking however as some cruise lines and islands still require a passport. Martinique and Guadalupe are two of the Caribbean islands that require a passport for travelers entering on a cruise ship.

When is it Required to Have a Passport to Cruise?

It is required to have a passport to cruise when sailing from a foreign country (including sailings from Canada) as well as any sailing that starts and ends in a different U.S. port. It’s important to remember that some shore excursions may require a passport as well. If you are in Alaska and take an excursion that requires you to cross the border into Canada, you will be required to show your passport at the border. In some cases, a passport card may suffice but it’s important to check entry requirements of the individual ports on your itinerary if you  are traveling without a passport.

Our Recommendation: You Should Have a Passport to Cruise

Yes, you technically do not need a passport to cruise, but we do not recommend sailing without it. Without a passport you are unable to fly home from a foreign port should any type of emergency come up while on your vacation. If for some reason you miss the ship and it leaves port without you, you will have more trouble getting home with only a birth certificate and driver’s license than if you had a passport with you. In our opinion the passport is worth the cost. Plus, it is valid for 10 years which gives you plenty of time to put it to use!


Have your passport ready to go? Book your next cruise with Cruises.com — we can help you book the smart way and answer any passport related travel questions for you! We give you our exclusive bonus offers and all qualifying cruise line offers, plus all of the cruise line loyalty program benefits. Book online at Cruises.com or call 800-288-6006 today.

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