Required Travel Documentation and Information for Cruise Vacations
Required Travel Documentation
Carefully read the documentation that each guest must present at the pier prior to boarding. Travel to some destinations require special visas and travel authorizations. The information below explains what is required when travelling to each destination and how to obtain this documentation.
Caribbean, Bahamas & Florida, Bermuda, Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Canada & New England, Pacific Coastal
You’re required to carry:
A Valid Passport
Proof of Citizenship (see below) AND Government-issued photo ID
(Baptismal paper, hospital certificates of birth, and Puerto Rico birth certificates issued prior to 7/1/10 are not acceptable.)
WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative)-compliant documents (click here to for more information.)
*A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 does not require a government-issued photo ID.
Norwegian Cruise Line strongly recommends all guests to obtain a passport for their cruise vacation for the following reasons:
If you need to obtain a passport quickly, please contact VisaCentral at 844-834-5702 and reference account 75006 for discounted VisaCentral service fees. VisaCentral can obtain a passport in as little as 48 hours.
There's no need for a passport when you sail on any Hawaii inter-island cruise. If your ship never sails beyond the islands of Hawaii, all you need is a government-issued photo I.D. which includes a passport or a valid driver's licence with a photo.
For Cruises Leaving a Non-U.S. port (Europe, Asia, South America Australia itineraries)
You’re required to carry a valid passport, not expiring within six (6) months of the return of your cruise.
Specific visas may be required for entry into some European, Asian, Australian and South American ports. Some must be obtained in advance; some can be obtained onboard; some will be handled by Norwegian Cruise Line. Click here for more information on obtaining visas.
ALL GUESTS MUST CARRY A VALID PASSPORT.
All Non-U.S. Citizen Guests Must Carry A Valid Passport, (Not Expiring within (6) Months of Return Of Your Cruise). In addition, a tourist visa may be required for entry into certain countries/ports of call. To confirm the specific documents required, please be sure to check with the proper authorities (such as your local immigration office) for each port that you are entering. You can also contact VisaCentral to answer your questions.
U.S. Alien Resident Card (ARC) Holders
U. S. Alien Residents holding an ARC, also known as a "Green Card" may travel to Mexico and the Caribbean with just their valid ARC and Proof of Identity. However, it's recommended that these guests also carry their passports from their country of citizenship if available. In some instances, ARC holders may still be required to have travel permits and/or visas to enter countries Norwegian Cruise Line visits in these destinations.
Canadian Residency Permit (CRP) holders
Canadian Residency Permit (CRP) holders who are NOT in possession of their permanent resident papers or a valid Temporary Resident Visa will be denied boarding if the ship visits any Canadian port during the cruise. In addition, the Canadian resident can be refused re-entry into Canada without their proper resident documentation.
Important Information for Guests Cruising and/or flying through Canada:
(Applicable for Alaska, Pacific Coastal, Hawaii & Canada New England Itineraries departing from a Canadian Port City – ie: Vancouver and Quebec City)
New Entry Requirements Effective September 29, 2016: Visa-exempt foreign nationals who enter Canada by air, must obtain and have in their possession a Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
The eTA is not required by the following:
- US passport holders
- Canadian passport holders
- Dual citizens (citizens of Canada and a visa-exempt country)
- Canadian permanent residents (Guests with permanent residency status granted by the Canadian government which are not citizens of Canada)
- Passengers arriving in Canada by land or sea
To apply for a Canadian eTA, please click on the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp. Guests may be denied boarding by the airline carrier or Norwegian Cruise Line without having proper documentation upon check-in.
For additional information regarding Canada’s new eTA requirement, please visit the following website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
Visa Restrictions for Canada
Based on Canadian entry requirements, some passengers may require a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in order to visit or travel through Canada. Click here for more information.
Important Information for Guests Cruising to Cuba:
Is it legal for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba?
Yes. OFAC regulates travel to Cuba pursuant to the Helms-Burton Act and other pertinent regulations. Currently, there are 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba.
People-to-people travel is one of the ways for Americans to visit Cuba and gives you an opportunity to discover Cuba through its people and from a local perspective. All guests will be required to self-certify that their activities meet the requirements above, so you must retain records of your activities whether or not they are offered by Norwegian for a period of 5 years. For additional information on people-to-people exchanges, please refer to FAQ "What is a people-to-people exchange?" above.
Click here for a document from the FAQ from the U.S. Department of the Treasury covers many of the questions directly related to regulations regarding travel to Cuba.
Do I need a passport to travel to Cuba?
Yes. A valid passport is required for all guests to travel to Cuba. We recommend guests review the passport requirements of travel to Cuba from their home country and that the expiration of your passport be greater than six months from the date of your voyage.
How do I certify that I am travelling under one of the OFAC-approved categories of travel?
All guests must complete a certification form which sets forth and confirms that they will be participating in OFAC-compliant activities. Please click here to download the the certification form.
A completed certification form for each guest must be received by Norwegian no later than 60 days prior to the departure date and may be sent by email to NCLVISA@ncl.com.
All guests will be self-certifying which means that they are solely responsible for arranging a full-time schedule of OFAC-compliant activities, as explained above. These activities may include excursions provided by Norwegian or activities arranged by guests themselves.
How do I prove compliance with OFAC requirements during my cruise?
All travellers to Cuba must be able to prove that their trip was comprised of OFAC-compliant activities. Guests should keep a log of their activities and keep the log for 5 years.
Will non-U.S. guests be allowed to travel on these sailings?
Yes. As with travellers from the United States, non-U.S. guests will need to certify that they are travelling under one of the approved OFAC categories, keep records of their activities and sign affidavits confirming they are doing so.
Visa Considerations for Guests Cruising to Cuba
Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba?
The Cuban government requires anyone who is travelling to Cuba on a passport other than a valid Cuban passport to obtain a visa prior to their arrival into Cuba. For all visitors who were not born in Cuba, this visa, also known as a "tourist card" (or "rosada" which must have a pink and blue background irrespective of your country of residency), is required to enter (and depart from) Cuba for non-business purposes. The Cuban visa is valid for a single entry and allows the holder to stay in Cuba for 30 days. You may obtain this visa through Norwegian for a separate processing and procurement fee of $75 or on your own. Please note that you will not be allowed to board the vessel without proof of acquiring this visa.
The Cuban visa is a two-part card. Cuban immigration officials will take one half upon arrival in Cuba, and guests will surrender the other half to Cuban immigration officials upon departure. Guests should be sure to keep the Cuban visa in a safe place during the trip so they have it at the time of departure from Cuba.
For information on requirements for persons born in Cuba, please refer to FAQ "Requirements for Travellers Born in Cuba" below.
Requirements for Travellers Born in Cuba
Guests born in Cuba who emigrated before January 1, 1971 and reside in a country outside of Cuba are required to carry either (i) a valid Cuban passport or (ii) a valid passport from your country of citizenship along with an HE-11 visa obtained from the Cuban embassy or consulate in your country of residency (except in those cases where such country has entered into a visa exemption agreement with Cuba) for entry to and departure from Cuba. The estimated processing time for an HE-11 visa is up to 90 days.
Guests born in Cuba who emigrated on or after January 1, 1971 and reside in a country outside of Cuba are required to carry a valid Cuban passport for entry to and departure from Cuba. These guests do not need a Cuban visa. The estimated processing time for a Cuban passport is up to 6 months.
Guests born in Cuba who require a visa or passport should contact the Cuban embassy or consulate in their country of residency. Those residing in the United States may contact the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC:
Embassy of the Republic of Cuba
2630 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 797-8518 extension 600
In addition, there are several companies that offer visa/passport processing services to guests to assist in obtaining a visa and/or a Cuban passport, including:
On Cuba Travel
Air Line Brokers
The website of the US Embassy in Cuba http://havana.usembassy.gov/service.html states that U.S. citizens who are Cuban-born will be treated in Cuba solely as Cuban citizens and the Cuban government may require these individuals to enter and depart Cuba using a Cuban passport. Using a Cuban passport for this purpose does not jeopardize one's U.S. citizenship; however, such persons must use their U.S. passports to enter and depart the United States. Citizens of countries other than the United States should check with their embassies in Cuba for regulations pertaining to their citizenship and use of passports.
Click here for more Cuba FAQs.
Travel Visa Requirements
Norwegian Cruise Line has partnered with VisaCentral to provide our guests with comprehensive, accurate information regarding travel visas. Some of VisaCentral’s guest travel services include visa application kits and assistance with obtaining other visas where required. Visit the Global Visa Support Centre on the VisaCentral (http://visacentral.com/Norwegian-cruise-line-splash?login=103407) page for assistance with visa applications.
Electronic Travel Authorization
Per the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) requirements, all VWP travellers must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a travel carrier to enter the United States. This can be done by completing the online application on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website. Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. However, DHS recommends that applications be submitted no less than 72 hours prior to travel.
The Schengen Agreement (effective March 26, 1995) is an agreement between several member states of the European Union (EU) to remove immigration controls for travel within their collective territories. This creates a "borderless" region known as the Schengen Area, which changes the procedures for entering, connecting or travelling between any of the Schengen States. Click here for more information.
There are four types of Schengen visas; Type C is the one typically needed by passengers, which can be issued by any one of the Schengen states and is valid for all the others. Due to the type of itineraries in Europe, The Schengen Agreement maintains that certain nationalities require a visa to enter the EU zone. Guests who are not US, Canadian, or European nationals are strongly encouraged to contact the nearest EU-member country embassy to determine if a Schengen visa is necessary.
Asia, Australia and South America Itineraries
For sailings that visit Asia, Australia, and South America, a specific visa may be required for entry. Some must be obtained in advance; some can be obtained onboard; some will be handled by Norwegian Cruise Line.
Please visit Visa Central for support with obtaining these required visas.
Visas must be obtained in advance of departure if your cruise is visiting any of the destinations listed below.
Visas for the following countries will be obtained for U.S. and Canadian passport holders with the help of the cruise line while you are onboard. Any fees related to securing these visas will be charged to your onboard account."
- Sri Lanka
Contact VisaCentral for more information or for assistance with obtaining any visas that are required in advance of your cruise.
Visa Restrictions for Canada
Click here for more information on Cruising and/or flying through Canada.
Visa Restrictions for Bermuda
Based on Bermuda's immigration regulations, some passengers may require a visa to visit the country. Effective March 1st, 2014, guests who require a visa for Bermuda may enter Bermuda visa-free as long as they have a valid multiple-entry U.S. visa or U.S. Residence Card.
Visa Restrictions for China
It is not necessary to obtain a China visa if the only port you are visiting is Sanya. Furthermore, a visa is not required for travel to Hong Kong. If you are travelling to any other part of China, you must obtain a visa in advance.
Visa Restrictions for Cuba
Click here for more information on cruising to Cuba.
Travel Documentation Resources
To obtain an original or state certified copy of a birth certificate, you can contact your hospital of birth or the Vital Statistics Department of the County where you were born.
Government-issued Photo I.D.’s
You can usually obtain a state-issued photo I.D. from your local driver's licence/Division of Motor Vehicles office. Contact your local office or visit your state’s DMV website for more information and instructions. You can also refer to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to access their list of State Departments of Motor Vehicles.
Electronic Travel Authorization
Per the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) requirements, all VWP travellers must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a travel carrier to enter the United States. This can be done by completing the online application on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website. Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. However, DHS recommends that applications be submitted no less than 72 hours prior to travel. In most cases you will receive a response within seconds. Potential responses include:
- Authorization Approved
- Travel Not Authorized: Travellers must obtain a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before travelling to the U.S.
- Authorization Pending: Travellers should check the ESTA website for updates and final response.
An approved travel authorization will be:
- Required for all VWP travellers prior to boarding a travel carrier to enter the United States under the VWP.
- Valid unless revoked, for up to two (2) years or until the traveller's passport expires, whichever comes first;
- Valid for multiple entries but not a guarantee of admissibility to the United States at a port of entry.
VisasNorwegian Cruise Line guests can contact VisaCentral for visa inquires or assistance with the visa application process. Norwegian Cruise Line guests receive discounted VisaCentral service fees. Be sure to access the VisaCentral website at http://visacentral.com/Norwegian-cruise-line-splash?login=103407 or calling (844) 834-5702 and reference account 75006 when calling to receive the discounted rates.
Age Requirements for Travel
Note: These terms are effective at the time of boarding.
Travelling with Infants:
- At least six (6) months of age on the day of boarding
- At least twelve (12) months of age on the day of boarding if your cruise has 3 or more consecutive days at sea.
Travelling with Minors and Young Adults:
Norwegian Cruise Line’s policy dictates that a minor or young adult must be accompanied in the same stateroom (or connecting stateroom) by a passenger 21 years of age or older at the time of boarding.
- Minors – an individual under the age of 18 on the day of embarkation/boarding.
- Young Adult– an individual between the ages of 18 and 20.
Note: Two people under the age of 21 may travel together in the same stateroom if they are a married couple and provide proof of marriage to a Norwegian Cruise Line representative at the pier prior to boarding.
Travelling with Minors Unaccompanied by Parent or Legal Guardian*:
The following documents must be supplied at the pier during check-in:
- 1) Download and Complete the Parental Consent Release form (PDF)
Minors or the same parent(s)/legal guardian(s) may be listed on the same form
- 2) Copy of both parents/legal guardians Driver's Licence or other Government Issued ID
Adoptive parents, legal guardians or persons separated or divorced are advised to keep legal and other relevant documents available in order to clarify custody rights.
*If travelling to Canada, you’ll the following document in addition to items #1 and 2 (Alaska, Pacific Coastal, and Canada/New England Itineraries):
Canadian entry requirements stipulate that a child under the age of 18 travelling alone, or with person(s) other than both parents, should be in possession of a letter (preferably notarized) from the parents or legal guardian containing:
- Authorization for the child to travel with another person and to be outside the country;
- The name and a 24-hour contact telephone number of the parents or guardian;
- The destination and length of stay in Canada.
Travel Sanctions and Regulations
The United States Department of the Treasury through the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") has issued a series of comprehensive sanctions against various countries, specifically:
- North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
These sanctions limit the ability of cruise lines to conduct business with these countries and their citizens, which includes allowing certain citizens of those countries to sail onboard our ships. Accordingly, it is Norwegian's policy that if you are a citizen or resident of one of these sanctioned countries, we will be unable to accept your cruise reservation unless you can satisfy the following conditions:
- Provide proof of citizenship in a non-sanctioned country; OR
- Provide proof of residency in a non-sanctioned country AND evidence that you are funding the cruise, including all onboard charges, through a bank associated with a non-sanctioned country.
You must be able to satisfy all of the above criteria in order to sail onboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.