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mmmenjou
June 11th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Hi there, I am leaving for an Alaskan cruise in 1 week on Royal Caribbean International and I just had a quick question. If we are leaving from Seattle and ending in Seattle, with one stop in Victoria British Columbia Canada, is a passport required? I was told by booking agent all I needed was a birth certificate and I.D., but got mixed answers when doing a google search. Also if a birth certificate is the only document required, how will excursions in Canada work? Would I even be able to get off the boat in Canada? Thanks.

kitty9
June 11th, 2010, 06:06 PM
You may need a passport if you take certain excursions, like the railroad one that goes into Canada. But since this is what's known as a closed loop cruise, one that starts and ends in the same US port, a passport is not required.

DonnaK
June 11th, 2010, 06:17 PM
You have to make sure that your birth certificate is a certified one (issued by a government agency and not by the hospital).

The only problem you will have is if you take an excursion that orginates in an Alaskan port and crosses the border into Canada, because crossing the border by land/air does require a passport.

You can get off the ship at the port in Canada because you didn't cross the border by land or air.

LHT28
June 11th, 2010, 06:36 PM
this may help

Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card or NEXUS card (see below) satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. If U.S. citizen travelers to Canada do not have a passport, passport card or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. Children under 16 need only present proof of U.S. citizenship.


http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1082.html#entry_requirements

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

Unless you are flying into or out of Canada then you need a passport

LHT28
June 11th, 2010, 06:46 PM
When you enter Canada, a border services officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa (if you are arriving from a country from which one is required). If you are a United States citizen (U.S.), you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a photo ID. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you must bring your permanent resident card with you.
All travellers, including U.S. citizens, are encouraged to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Web site at www.cbp.gov (http://www.cbp.gov/) for information on the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and its traveller requirements to enter or return to the United States.


http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5082-eng.html#s1x1

If in doubt contact the the proper authorities for the rules as they apply to you

paul929207
June 11th, 2010, 06:58 PM
Are you a US citizen? If so, you do not need a passport. You will need a certified copy of your BC and a goverment issued photo ID.

mmmenjou
June 12th, 2010, 09:50 AM
Yes we are both U.S. citizens. Thanks again for the clarification, I will make sure to avoid the train excursions. :)

LHT28
June 12th, 2010, 09:56 AM
Yes we are both U.S. citizens. Thanks again for the clarification, I will make sure to avoid the train excursions. :)
Why??
Just take the proper I.D. with you

Putterdude
June 12th, 2010, 12:44 PM
In Skagway you can take the YP&YR to the summit as you only enter into British Columbia by a few yards and do not clear customs.

The reason that it is a good idea to have a passport is if you had to return to the US for unforseen reasons from Canada is that the US requires a passport, even for US citiizens, to re-enter the US from Canada.

trophy_23
June 12th, 2010, 01:39 PM
We didn't even get asked for a passport when we stopped in Victoria. It sat in the safe from the minute we got to our cabin until the minute before we left at the end of the trip.

mr green
June 12th, 2010, 03:30 PM
you will probably need a passport if you enter BC or the Yukon by bus from Skagway.

john

LHT28
June 12th, 2010, 03:31 PM
you will probably need a passport if you enter BC or the Yukon by bus from Skagway.

john
If you are a United States citizen (U.S.), you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a photo ID. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you must bring your permanent resident card with you.

runnerandme
June 12th, 2010, 04:03 PM
Round Trip train in Skagway does not require a passport.

ActiveTraveler
June 13th, 2010, 12:42 AM
What I am seeing here is some travelers who are unaware of the new border security in the United States. It looks to me like people completely missed the report that now if a United States citizen crosses the Canadian or Mexican border by air, land, or sea, that movement will require a passport. That also applies to the Bahamas, Bermuda, etc. if a cruiser is going to the Caribbean (except for the USVI and Puerto Rico, of course). This is what I read in my local newspaper when the final portion of the law became effective, so if I am wrong, blame the reporters. I can't remember when this law took effect.

My guess would be you do not need a passport as long as you stay on the ship, but to be sure, you should talk to your travel agent. There is no reason a TA would not know if a passport is needed if he or she specializes in cruises. I hope you will not need one in Canada because it would cost nothing to just bring your BC and DL instead.

cherylandtk
June 13th, 2010, 01:39 AM
What I am seeing here is some travelers who are unaware of the new border security in the United States. It looks to me like people completely missed the report that now if a United States citizen crosses the Canadian or Mexican border by air, land, or sea, that movement will require a passport. That also applies to the Bahamas, Bermuda, etc. if a cruiser is going to the Caribbean (except for the USVI and Puerto Rico, of course). This is what I read in my local newspaper when the final portion of the law became effective, so if I am wrong, blame the reporters. I can't remember when this law took effect.

My guess would be you do not need a passport as long as you stay on the ship, but to be sure, you should talk to your travel agent. There is no reason a TA would not know if a passport is needed if he or she specializes in cruises. I hope you will not need one in Canada because it would cost nothing to just bring your BC and DL instead.Andrea, Blame the Reporters. A round trip cruise from a US port does not require a passport for a US citizen. It was one of the major exceptions that your reporter failed to report when this took effect June 1 2009. ;)
Here is the Homeland Security website, look under "Special Groups"
http://getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/eng_sa.html

chipmaster
June 13th, 2010, 01:55 AM
My 2 cents on this:

My father just sent his passport out for renewel and will likley be without. IN talking with Princess rep they told us in his case his naturalization papers or birth certificate would be enough to board the ship. The one detail, he CAN'T of course every leave the country or get of the ship in Victoria.

Enjoy the cruise but foget any plans in Victoria or ones that involve leaving the US borders

Hi there, I am leaving for an Alaskan cruise in 1 week on Royal Caribbean International and I just had a quick question. If we are leaving from Seattle and ending in Seattle, with one stop in Victoria British Columbia Canada, is a passport required? I was told by booking agent all I needed was a birth certificate and I.D., but got mixed answers when doing a google search. Also if a birth certificate is the only document required, how will excursions in Canada work? Would I even be able to get off the boat in Canada? Thanks.

Donder1
June 13th, 2010, 07:30 AM
Round Trip train in Skagway does not require a passport.

But if you drive, which is way more fun, you need a passport. We rented an Avis last year for the day (in Skagway) for $79.

fann1sh
June 13th, 2010, 08:43 AM
WOW! There's a lot of bad info around, isn't there?

CherylandTK gave you the one and only completely correct source of info about this.

Please note this sentence in the section "Closed Loop cruises" which reads:

"Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting."

U.S. citizens entering Canada must have a passport (see exception in the next paragraph). Reason? The U.S.A. won't let their own citizens back into the country without one, and Canada doesn't want to get stuck with them! Sorry, LHT28, but you're mistaken about those Alaska land crossings which go to Emerald Lake or other points in the Yukon. Passport required.

Often in Victoria, Canada Customs and Immigration don't bother to check passports. This is not laziness or a hole in the North American security grid. The ship's manifest is sent ahead, and Customs and Immigration know if there are any "persons of interest" aboard. This includes people with drunk driving convictions and non-payment of child support to a Canadian child. Also, as Putterdude points out, you don't need a passport for the Y&WPRR summit trip, because you don't get off the train and enter Canada.

I know a tiny percentage of the people reading this page can't get passports. mmmenjou, are you one of them? Did you honestly not even think about the possibility of a passport being required until a week before the cruise?

Or, did you decide you wanted to cruise, but didn't want to spend the money on something you don't "need"?

If you're reading Cruise Critic, you now need a passport.

As Putterdude points out, you can't fly home from anywhere outside the U.S. without one. Those who've said, "In an emergency, I'll just visit a U.S. Embassy, and they'll get me home in a jiffy!" have found how wrong that is. Since you're new to CruiseCritic, you probably haven't read those heart wrenching stories, nor do you have any idea how much $$$$ can be spent trying to get home.

Spending money to cruise, then completely avoiding a port of call or one of the best excursions on the trip?.....Well, it's still not too late to get those passports.

cherylandtk
June 13th, 2010, 10:41 AM
My 2 cents on this:

My father just sent his passport out for renewel and will likley be without. IN talking with Princess rep they told us in his case his naturalization papers or birth certificate would be enough to board the ship. The one detail, he CAN'T of course every leave the country or get of the ship in Victoria.
Enjoy the cruise but foget any plans in Victoria or ones that involve leaving the US bordersI am not sure why you think this, but he most certainly CAN get off the ship in Victoria. If one's documents are incorrect they don't just hold you on the ship for that port, they don't let you on AT ALL. If you get on the ship, you can get on and off in every port the cruise stops at.

I think you may be mixing up the rules between cruising and land crossings. For cruising, including getting on and off at ports, your father falls under the WHTI exception and may visit Victoria. But if he loves the city so much he wants to drive back across the border or take a ferry back after he gets to Seattle, he cannot do that without a passport.

colomom
June 13th, 2010, 10:49 AM
I think I would rather just get a passport than deal with all the ifs, what ifs, maybes or possibilities.

But that's just me...

mr green
June 13th, 2010, 11:32 AM
If you are a United States citizen (U.S.), you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a photo ID. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you must bring your permanent resident card with you.

US citizens were checked by passport when returning to the States, [Skagway]. One US couple on a tour had to return to the ship for passports before they could get on the bus.

john

Putterdude
June 13th, 2010, 01:00 PM
I think I would rather just get a passport than deal with all the ifs, what ifs, maybes or possibilities.

But that's just me...

That is the 100% solution and I fail to see how anyone who cruises or travels would not want one. We started to get one years ago when our children started to travel to Europe...just in case we had to go over to bail them out ;) and still keep renewing them. (thats the passports not the kids)

LHT28
June 13th, 2010, 01:12 PM
US citizens were checked by passport when returning to the States, [Skagway]. One US couple on a tour had to return to the ship for passports before they could get on the bus.

john
Did they show other I.D. as stated on the Government website or was that not taken into consideration?

I would print out the requirement & show the border guards in case they to are confused by their governments rules
Would not surprise me they keep changing the rules

We have a passport so just show it when entering the USA or returning to Canada

mr green
June 13th, 2010, 01:56 PM
Did they show other I.D. as stated on the Government website or was that not taken into consideration?

I would print out the requirement & show the border guards in case they to are confused by their governments rules
Would not surprise me they keep changing the rules

We have a passport so just show it when entering the USA or returning to Canada

All had to have passports to get on the bus, and were shown to both Canadian, and US customs. No other ID was produced.

john

LHT28
June 13th, 2010, 02:42 PM
All had to have passports to get on the bus, and were shown to both Canadian, and US customs. No other ID was produced.

john

seems strange they border authorities do not follow their own rules
well maybe not so strange ..do they even read the rules:confused:

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/whti_bg/

mmmenjou
June 13th, 2010, 04:06 PM
To answer fann1sh, we are fully able to get passports. The issue is that the cruise was booked around 5 weeks before the departure date, and we did not want to get a passport if A) It wasn't going to arrive in time. B) We did not need it. Now before we booked the travel agent from expedia told us we did not need a passport for this particular cruise because it was going to alaska. As far the the train excursion, we are not even considering taking this excursion so its not really an issue anymore. The only excursion in question is the one in Victoria to the Buchart Gardens. But now after reading this thread, there is only more confusion. We have some people saying we can't go on the cruise at all, some saying we can't get off in Victoria, and some saying we can?? Just want to get to the bottom of this before friday, and yes I understand the passport would have made the most sense but at this point I think 4 days is far to short notice to get a passport.

njhorseman
June 13th, 2010, 04:36 PM
To answer fann1sh, we are fully able to get passports. The issue is that the cruise was booked around 5 weeks before the departure date, and we did not want to get a passport if A) It wasn't going to arrive in time. B) We did not need it. Now before we booked the travel agent from expedia told us we did not need a passport for this particular cruise because it was going to alaska. As far the the train excursion, we are not even considering taking this excursion so its not really an issue anymore. The only excursion in question is the one in Victoria to the Buchart Gardens. But now after reading this thread, there is only more confusion. We have some people saying we can't go on the cruise at all, some saying we can't get off in Victoria, and some saying we can?? Just want to get to the bottom of this before friday, and yes I understand the passport would have made the most sense but at this point I think 4 days is far to short notice to get a passport.

Cherylandtk (and those who agree) have given you the correct information. To recap:

As US citizens you do not need a passport for a closed loop cruise to Alaska departing from a US port. An original or certified copy of your birth certificate plus a government-issued photo ID such as a drivers license suffices.

You will be able to get off the ship in Victoria.

The only shore excursions you would not be able to do are those that start in Alaska, enter Canada, and return again to Alaska, by either land or air.

tashabells
June 18th, 2010, 01:07 PM
I think why take the chance? I find that it is just easier to take a passport and be prepared for anything. :)

Jahla Jahla
June 19th, 2010, 12:38 AM
If you plan on taking the train excursion, you will need your passport. You leave Alaska, and return either by bus or train depending on which one you take.

Putterdude
June 19th, 2010, 01:06 AM
If you plan on taking the train excursion, you will need your passport.

But not if they are only going to the summit rtn.

kcteach12
June 19th, 2010, 11:47 AM
I was on a cruise 2 years ago in Alaska. My TA said that I would need a passport. We were boarded at a stop on the train from Skagway and everyone had to show their passport. Everyone had to show their passport in Victoria too.