For those individuals thinking about traveling internationally via cruise ship, it’s important to know the truth about passports and their requirements during international travel of this type.
For starters, keep in mind that it is important to have a valid passport when you’re doing any kind of international travel as a Canadian or US citizen. If you intend to re-enter or enter the United States of America by any means of travel including sea, air, and land, then a valid passport ID is a requirement.
There is one major loophole around the rule as far as cruises are concerned, and there are also a couple of exemptions that also take place. So we will provide detailed information about both of these situations below.
Situations When a Valid Passport ID Is Not Required but Highly Recommended
As mentioned, there are two situations where a valid passport ID is not necessarily a requirement.
In the first situation, you will be taking an international cruise, but you’re going on a cruise that is called a closed loop cruise. In this scenario, your ship will leave from a United States port and return via the same United States port. When this happens, you are not technically required to provide a valid passport ID.
Into the other situation, if you plan to call on ports in Costa Rica (we talk more about this country here), Panama, Honduras, and Belize, passport requirements are an exemption in this situation. So you do not need to have a passport if you’re visiting any of these loca.tions by sea.
Before we wrap this up, please consider bringing a valid US passport with you anyway. On many cruises, the ship will stop to visit other countries. If you accidentally miss your embarkation, you could end up stuck in another country without a valid passport and no way to legally re-enter the US if you have to take a plane home, so keep this in mind.