U.S. Passport Regulations as of 7-01-07
Cruise Travel Within the Western Hemisphere from U.S. Ports
While U.S. residents are not yet required to obtain passports for cruise travel from U.S. ports within the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and Mexico, they still must show proof of identity and citizenship in order to board a cruise ship.
At the point of embarkation, cruise passengers are asked to present a government-issued photo ID (such as a driverís license) along with proof of citizenship in the
form of a:
- Passport (or official proof of application*)
- Original or certified copy of birth certificate
- Naturalization papers (for U.S. Naturalized citizens)
*Cruise lines are allowing official proof of passport application as an acceptable proof of citizenship; this has changed since a previous e-mail.
Cruise Travel with Air Component outside the U.S., within Western Hemisphere
For those cruise passengers flying to board their ship in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico or Canada (such as Alaska cruises out of Vancouver or Hawaii cruises out of Ensenada), they also need to be aware of current air documentation requirements.
Since Jan. 23, 2007, a passport is required for all air travel within the Western Hemisphere and abroad for citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda.
On June 8, the U.S. government announced that U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for but not yet received passports can nevertheless temporarily enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport through September 30, 2007.
Official proof of a U.S. passport application can be obtained at http://travel.state.gov/.
Cruise Travel Outside the Western Hemisphere (such as Europe)
U.S. residents are required to hold a valid passport. Note: Some countries require that the passport be valid a full six months upon completion of travel.
Future Requirements for Cruise Passengers
The U.S. government has not yet issued a final deadline for implementation of travel document deadlines for sea travel within the Western Hemisphere, but it is expected as early as summer 2008. The current proposal suggests that U.S. citizens on roundtrip cruises from U.S. ports may be exempt from requiring a passport, but the final rulemaking has not been determined. CLIA advises that a passport will give cruise passengers the greatest travel flexibility.
Donít Delay, Apply Today
As the government continues to revise the travel document deadlines for U.S. citizens, CLIA will keep you informed. The best advice to pass along to your clients is to not delay, and apply for a passport today.
For more information, visit: http://travel.state.gov/.