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Passport question?


Isasprings

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When going on the Alaska cruise, embarking and disembarking in seattle, washington.. do you need a passport or are you able to travel with US birth certificate and proper ID? My only concern is because one of the ports of call is in canada.. please help. thank you in advance.

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You will need your passport if and only if your excursion(s) take you into Canada. I know this because we're doing the White Pass and Yukon Railway excursion in Skagway, and the first line of the confirmation email states that all passengers MUST have their passports with them. I would assume that this also applies to those who travel with Birth Certificates/Marriage Licenses/Alternative IDs.

 

Your best bet is to check with the company who you are planning on booking excursions with.

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Is it a closed loop cruise? If it is, then no...you do not need a passport.

BUT you cannot cross the border into Canada on an excursion without one. You CAN do the round trip White Pass and Yukon ride because you do not get off the train at the top, even though you will be in Canada.

EM

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You need to check Canadian entrance requirements if planning on getting off the ship in Canada. DO NOT RELY on what the US government says, you are dealing with aanother country.

 

"Closed Loop" Cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.

 

http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/eng_sa.html

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Oh please, you know full-well that Canada does not require a passport to get off the cruise ship. It is not some obscure foreign potentate that changes the rules every five minutes.

 

Really? According to the US state department web site you do need a passport to enter Canada, or to enter the US from Canada.

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<Sigh> There are two issues at hand here;

 

#1. RT Cruises

For which the State Dept site is conveniently incomplete. They get around it by saying in small print, below the big chart:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will allow certain groups of travelers to re-enter the United States without a U.S. passport, like members of the military and certain supervised groups of children. WHTI travel requirements for these groups and the general public can be found at http://www.GetYouHome.gov.
the bolding is mine.

 

#2. Canada does not give a whit about US citizens having passports or just a Birth Certificate and ID. It is the US that made it more complicated. Canada has, very nicely, agreed to inform US land and sea border crossers that they must have a passport (or WHTI documents) to re-enter the US, and therefore generally don't let a US citizen into Canada without a return document. But when WHTI went into effect for the US, Canada did not change their laws. (As so many of our wonderful neighbors to the north will often point out.) So if the US will let a US citizen on a RT cruise back into the US with a BC and ID, Canada is just fine with that.

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