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India - e-visas

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I am travelling on QM2 which visits only one port in India - Cochin for a day. I have bought an e-visa and am concerned after reading all the documentation that it may be a problem for me to leave the ship. Does anyone have any experience with this.


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I have just received my e-visa. It is just a printed sheet of paper which says my application has been granted with other information. It does not include my application or my photo. Am I missing something or is this sufficient?


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Hi Everyone,

I think I have just clarified the e-visa for India issue with a great deal of difficulty. The confusion has arisen because the Indian government has been in the process of extending the e-visa over the past year or two. It can now be used for entry at the following ports: Cochin, Goa and Mangalore. The disadvantage of the e-visa is that you have to go through immigration at the terminal which may or may not have a long queue. Since most people are getting full visas it may not be too bad. However, if you have the full visa you can go straight from the ship which organises it and you don't have go through the immigration queue. This is obviously important if you have booked an early morning tour with the ship. QM2 has some tours leaving Cochin port at 12.30pm so that might work with an e-visa. I am going to try that and will post the outcome. Incidentally, you do not need any type of visa if you don't disembark. Marie2006

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Unfortunately that link doesn't help as for some reason it doesn't take me to anything except a home page, and searching hasn't given any information.


Notwithstanding that, my understanding is that the cruise lines are beginning to update their guidance on what is needed for the particular itinerary so as always be guided by your cruise line and it's latest advise.


Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Forums mobile app

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The link provided by Domingo...


... works perfect for me.


For those having difficulty, here's what it says, with the pertinent bits in bold:


In order to promote cruise tourism in the country, and make India an attractive cruise tourist destination, the Ministry of Home Affairs has, on request of the Ministry of Shipping, exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till 31.12.2020. This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore. This is also an important factor that helps cruise lines decide whether or not to include a destination in their itinerary.


The Ministry of Shipping has been working towards simplifying the immigration clearance procedure and providing passengers with a customer friendly and hassle free logistics process when they embark on or disembark from their cruise at the Indian ports. E-Visa has been in place in the five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin & Chennai. Till now biometrics of passengers were required at port of first arrival for immigration clearance. However, with the existing facilities at the cruise terminals at these ports, the immigration procedure was taking more than the internationally accepted norm of clearing immigration for all cruise passengers in a maximum of 90 minutes. This is especially significant because, as per the schedule of arrivals of cruise ships for the current cruise season 2017-18 and 2019-20, many of the cruise ships coming to India are mega ships with 2000-4000 passengers on board. Most of these cruise passengers are expected to arrive on E-Visa, and biometric enrolment of all these passengers would slow down immigration clearance. Hence the need for the exemption.



Currently the following cruise lines are now accepting the e-visa for certain India itineraries.




Royal Caribbean


Contact your cruise line for their latest guidance for your particular itinerary if it visits India.

Most cruise lines will refer their guests to their preferred visa professional for the latest advice.

In the case of the three above it is Visa Central or CIBT (same company)

Edited by icsys
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To stick my penny's worth in, I detail below a copy of an exchange of emails between me and P&O regarding our one day stop at Goa. If like me all you are doing is stopping at one port in Indian for a few hours then a evisa is acceptable. The MAIN reason they want you to buy a full tourist visa is so that they can preclear you enroute to the port. Its all about the ship running their excursions and not the most cost effective option for you. We have bought an evisa and arrive in India in March 18 as a one port stop, you will also note that P&O are asking ME for the web link that advises that bio-metric data is no longer being collected at cruise ports.

Good afternoon

There are numerous sources that state it is acceptable to arrive in certain seaports India on a cruise ship with an evisa and be exempt from providing biometric data.

The most important one is this direct link to an Indian Embassy


The next one is this link to the Indian Ministry of Shipping




Another is to the Indian Economic Times



Also on various cruise review sites contributors state that your sister Company Princess Cruises have changed the information they give passengers

Whereas you and Sovereign both try and push us down the Tourist Visa route using CIBT with their extortionate fees. Plus the CIBT website does not reflect current Indian legislation as P&O suggest.

For a VISA for a few hours in India CIBT fees are £120.44 Consular Fees per person plus £104.40 CIBT arrangement fee per person making a total charge of £224.84 per person.

DIY on the official India website is $75pp (about £55) for an eVISA or $125pp (about £92) for a full VISA so CIBT are ripping us off by at least £30 on the consular fee alone on a Tourist Visa.

P&O are advocating me spending £450 for a few hours in India whereas the India government says I can save £340 by a DIY eVISA. £340 is a helluva lot of money!!!

The website Cruisetimetables.com does not show any P&O ships having visited any port in India since the new ruling was made so how P&O can say there are still delays defeats me.

Sovereign & P&O opting for an easy life instead of giving its customers accurate information leaves a very bitter taste




On behalf of PO Reservations <customerservices(at)pocruises.com>

Sent: 26 January 2018 13:21


Subject: Fw: Customer Support: I've already booked my holiday | Other |


Dear Mr


Thank you for your email. Whilst it is our intention to respond to all correspondence as soon as possible, I’m sorry I have been unable to do so until now.


Regardless if you wish to go ashore independently or on a P&O organised tour you require a visa.


We recommend a Tourist Visa for you to proceed ashore quickly however should you choose to obtain an E-Visa, you must bring a print out of your E-visa showing "GRANTED", and you will undergo a longer passport check at the port of entry, delaying your entry into India and restricting your time ashore.


This is the information we have at present however this is subject to change. Please advise the web address for this source of information so this can be investigated further.


I hope this information has helped to answer your enquiry and we look forward to welcoming you on board soon.


Kind regards


Guest Services

P&O Cruises


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For our Celebrity cruise in April - 3 Indian ports of Cochin, Goa and Mumbai - I was preparing to get the full visas and rang Celebrity direct (for advice on the reference required). After talking to her supervisor, the call handler came back and said ' good news - for that trip, as of yesterday (ie about last Thursday) all you need is an e-visa'.


so that is what I have applied for - and received already.


However, there is clearly confusion out there as our travelling companions - from Aus (we are UK) - went for their booked embassy appointments and were told that 'no, e-visas were not adequate for the itinerary'.


The whole confusion is a farce... had I have not phoned Celebrity direct, I wouldn't have known, and until we actually get there, who knows what the correct call really was? (To be honest, I'm not that worried....Celebrity wouldn't say its OK, if its not....)

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hello All

We are going on cruise 29th of April with Oceania from Mumbai to Rome.

In relation to the visa, I contacted Oceania and informed them about the press release that the ministry of shipping from India did on January second this year.


Today I received an e-mail from my travelagent with attached the written approval that Oceania also accepts E-visa.:D

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I've read that cruise passengers are having issues arriving in India by ship using the new e-visas. One report had all those with e-visas going through extensive biometrics and immigration checks thus delaying organised tours for several hours.


Does anyone have personal experience to report? I want to make sure we have no delays with our visit next year but the e-visas are so much easier to obtain.



We are going on cruise with oceania 29th of April from Mumbai to Rome.

I contacted Oceania and informed them about the press release that the ministry of shipping from India did on 2th january tis year.


Today I received a written confirmation from Oceania that they accept E-Visa.:)

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We are going on cruise with oceania 29th of April from Mumbai to Rome.

I contacted Oceania and informed them about the press release that the ministry of shipping from India did on 2th january tis year.


Today I received a written confirmation from Oceania that they accept E-Visa.:)


Well isn't that great. We are on the same Oceania cruise as you are. We were specifically told, via our TA, that Oceania would only accept a full visa at embarkation. If you only had an E-Visa, then you/we would be denied boarding. I wish they would make up their minds both in India and Oceania. We wanted to obtain an E-Visa because we are doing an extended land tour in India, unrelated to Oceania. An e-Visa is much less expensive and easier to get. But we went through the whole process and obtained ten year multiple entry visas, cost $155/each, anyway and we are now good to go.


I suggest that you join the board for this cruise at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2365659


Perhaps you can tell our fellow passengers about this issue. Some of the other passengers have already gone through the process of getting a full visa.


However, this may be because you live in Spain. I don't know.




Bill and Kathi

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