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Pat317

Vietnam Visa Required for Independent Excursions

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I just posted this topic under “PrincessCruises” but afterwards decided it is best to ask the cruisers on “Asian Ports” forum instead:

Hi, my group of 8 will be cruising  2 weeKs on Diamond Princess Asian cruise this coming January 6th.  One of the group traveler was just informed by the TA that because we booked independent shore excursions in Vietnam (with Tours with Xuan) that we will need to get our own Vietnam Visas b/c Princess will apply short term visa for us ONLY if we booked the ship excursions with Princess. Is this true? I am currently in Turkey, so I can’t call Princess to verify. We were hoping to get our visa through Princess b/c it is cheaper (?) and more convenient. Thank you in advance for any info you can help me with.”

 

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There are telephones in Turkey.

You can call Princess to verify.

Any information you get on this website will be anecdotal stories or guesses.

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That's too bad PCL is taking this stance....We had no trouble having RCI onboard to provide our Vietnam Visa for $6.00pp for everyone onboard regardless of their excursion plans.

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I will call Princess to verify when I return home. 

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2 hours ago, Pat317 said:

I will call Princess to verify when I return home. 

I wish you well and best of luck.

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7 hours ago, Ashland said:

That's too bad PCL is taking this stance....We had no trouble having RCI onboard to provide our Vietnam Visa for $6.00pp for everyone onboard regardless of their excursion plans.

How long ago was your cruise as $6.00 is cheap.   Princess wants  US $55 for my upcoming cruise in February.   

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21 minutes ago, datone said:

How long ago was your cruise as $6.00 is cheap.   Princess wants  US $55 for my upcoming cruise in February.   

That is because Princes chooses to fleece its passengers when the actual cost of the Visa is US$5.  Most other cruise lines just add an extra processing fee of $1 or so.

 

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12 hours ago, Pat317 said:

I just posted this topic under “PrincessCruises” but afterwards decided it is best to ask the cruisers on “Asian Ports” forum instead:

Hi, my group of 8 will be cruising  2 weeKs on Diamond Princess Asian cruise this coming January 6th.  One of the group traveler was just informed by the TA that because we booked independent shore excursions in Vietnam (with Tours with Xuan) that we will need to get our own Vietnam Visas b/c Princess will apply short term visa for us ONLY if we booked the ship excursions with Princess. Is this true? I am currently in Turkey, so I can’t call Princess to verify. We were hoping to get our visa through Princess b/c it is cheaper (?) and more convenient. Thank you in advance for any info you can help me with.”

 

Good luck in getting a straight answer even from Princess direct.

My feeing is that providing you are not staying on land overnight in Vietnam, the visa will be organised on the cruise, abiet at an inflated price because Princess chooses to fleece their passengers on visa costs.  But probably the easiest way to do it.

 

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1 hour ago, Bpos said:

My feeing is that providing you are not staying on land overnight in Vietnam, the visa will be organised on the cruise,

Correct - the landing card for Vietnam provided by the cruise line is also valid for independent tours except for overnight stays - cruise line can also provide the visa for overnight stay but at a higher price ($6 for landing card for RCCL, Celebrity and probably others)

Edited by hallasm

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You need to change your T/A.

Or your cruise line.

 

I doubt that Ashland's $6 is out-of-date.

The cost of a visa on-board is somewhere under $15 but  as Bpos' post,  Princess fleece their passengers somewhere around $50. (I'm not anti- anti-Princess, for instance their transfers London or its airports to Southampton are significantly cheaper than other cruise lines).

 

Visas provided on-board are not regular tourist visas - they're only good for arriving and departing on the ship. So for instance someone planning  a mid-cruise visit to Siem Reap (Cambodia) & catching up with the ship on Vietnam would need a full tourist visa.

 

But any cruise line providing a ship-bought Vietnam visa only for those taking ship's tours is something I've not heard of.

Either this is a new policy, or your T/A has got it wrong.

 

Phoning Princess from Turkey may be expensive, but an e-mail should do the trick.

 

BTW, I think (I haven't checked) that Princess'  $55 is about the same cost as a regular govt-issued  Vietnam tourist visa for Americans  - probably the reason Princess hit on that figure.

So by providing visas only for those on ship's excursions would be shooting themselves in the foot - passengers could get a  full govt-issued tourist visa and no worries about having to take ship's excursions. Net loss  to Princess of about $49 per independent passenger.

So I suspect that your TA has provided duff information.

 

(No Vietnam visa needed for Brits :classic_tongue:)

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull

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Some individual data points from my recent experience [with an American passport]:

  1. Vietnam evisa is $25 (single entry only, not all entries/ports allowed- check with the consulate website).
  2. Our Azamara provided visa was $6 or $7 in 2016.
  3. The multiple entry visas we had for our Aug 2019 Vietnam & Cambodia trip were $135 per person + $20 fedex - I did the application online and emailed the consulate (instructions are online). 
Edited by Hoyaheel

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Thank you all who responded to my question. I will call Princess next week when I come home in CA. And I will let you know the response from PCL. I was just caught off guard when I heard about the visa situation. Fortunately we have 3 months to either apply for our own visa or have Princess do it. Thanks all.

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2 hours ago, Pat317 said:

Thank you all who responded to my question. I will call Princess next week when I come home in CA. And I will let you know the response from PCL. I was just caught off guard when I heard about the visa situation. Fortunately we have 3 months to either apply for our own visa or have Princess do it. Thanks all.

This gouging by PCL and a few other cruiselines has been widely discussed among a few other subjects that set's them apart.

Best of luck...but do make sure that PCL doesn't try to process your landing card if you choose to secure your own also.

 

Some on our Asia cruise had the situation of a TA having them secure their own Vietnam visa ($$'s) prior to cruising and then the ship per policy applied for every passenger onboard ($6.00pp) ...Many were up set that they would have to go home and try to get a refund for the on their own purchase.

 

This may not apply to PCL but something to be aware of.

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In December, X charged us 6$ pp for the "landing card". We took independent excursions, not through the ship.

Only those overnighting in Hanoi had to pay 28$.

 

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20 hours ago, Bpos said:

That is because Princes chooses to fleece its passengers when the actual cost of the Visa is US$5.  Most other cruise lines just add an extra processing fee of $1 or so.

 

 

Fleece, daylight robbery, price gouging - where do I start with Princess over this visa.   10 times the price is ridiculous.  And what makes it worse is that US $55 is about $80 Aus so $160 just for us to step off the ship.   Will have to see if I can get it cheaper going direct then.

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57 minutes ago, datone said:

 

Fleece, daylight robbery, price gouging - where do I start with Princess over this visa.   10 times the price is ridiculous.  And what makes it worse is that US $55 is about $80 Aus so $160 just for us to step off the ship.   Will have to see if I can get it cheaper going direct then.

The cost for a 30 day visa from the Vietnamese consulate in Perth is now in excess of $100 per person and I do not think an e visa can be used if arriving by ship.  If going with Princess it is probably best to factor the cost in, some have suggested that the got one from Princess recently fo $35 but do not count on that.  

 

Please note that that even if you do not get off the ship you will probably still be charged the visa fee so you cannot win whichever way you go

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On 9/17/2019 at 7:39 AM, Hoyaheel said:

Some individual data points from my recent experience [with an American passport]:

  1. Vietnam evisa is $25 (single entry only, not all entries/ports allowed- check with the consulate website).
  2. Our Azamara provided visa was $6 or $7 in 2016.
  3. The multiple entry visas we had for our Aug 2019 Vietnam & Cambodia trip were $135 per person + $20 fedex - I did the application online and emailed the consulate (instructions are online). 

 

We are staying before and after in Vietnam, so we just did our 30 day multiple entry visas and they were also $135 pp.  We elected to send our passports to the embassy in DC and received a sticker visa(because we had time and prefer to have it in our passport for the memory).  

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55 minutes ago, originolsin said:

we had time and prefer to have it in our passport for the memory).  

 

Cambodian immigration stapled my vietnam visa into my passport, so now it's there 😉

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The OP was asking about Princess Cruise. My wife & I have done 3 Princess Cruises with Vietnam port stops in the last two years. Princess will process your visa even if you are on a independent tour.  The price was USD$33 dollars with port fee or AUD$55 dollars with port fee depending upon the cruise.  The visa they provide is good for all ports. If you are planing upon leaving the ship overnight and or rejoining at another Vietnam port Princess says you need a regular visa (Single Entry). 

 

You can get this Visa directly from the Government or if you type in Vietnam Visa to a Google search, you will get hundreds of agencies many trying to look like Official Vietnam Government Visa Offices.  They are not and  based upon living the last 20 years in SE Asia I would say do not use them.

 

If you want a e-visa it is easy to do takes about three days and costs USD$25.00  dollars. The only site anyone should use is  The National Web Portal on Immigration

Here is the home page link  https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/home

This above link is the home page the page to apply for a visa is a few links into the site here is that link.

 https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/khai-thi-thuc-dien-tu/cap-thi-thuc-dien-tu

 

If you are on any site that does not have  .gov.vn  in the web address do not use it, you are dealing with a agent.

 

I have done at least 15 visa for myself using this site. My last cruise at least 30 people in our roll call used this Government site and no issues; US, UK  Canada, AU, and EU passports.  No reason to overpay Princess for a visa. You can get your own and be all set.  Once the email with the confirmation is sent make two copies one to give to Guest Services and one for your records. 

 

Have a great trip, have been on the Diamond Princess it is a nice ship.

 

 

 

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Cruiselines, incl. Princess, provide a group visa for a charge for ALL passengers, regardless of tour. Princess was and is known for charging more than other cruiselines.

 

However, the fee which used to be 6 USD a while ago on Celebrity, Royal etc. is now around 25 USD because Vietnamese officials increased the cost. It still is the easiest way though.

Edited by Miaminice

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$6 is for a visa where you are sleeping on the ship.  If you do an overnight on a junk in Halong Bay, the charge goes up.  I believe Azamara is charging us $24 or $26 a person for the "expanded" visa.  This is very poor form for Princess, making a profit for procuring visas.  

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3 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

$6 is for a visa where you are sleeping on the ship.  If you do an overnight on a junk in Halong Bay, the charge goes up.  I believe Azamara is charging us $24 or $26 a person for the "expanded" visa.  This is very poor form for Princess, making a profit for procuring visas.  

it is the same visa, a single entry visa. The visa issued by the ships is a group visa, the government charges the ship $6.00 per person plus port fees. If you are not staying on the ship overnight, extra accounting is required, which means more work for the ship. When you are on a ship's group visa the ship is responsible.

 

Much better to just apply for your own visa directly online and pay $25 dollars,  that way you are in control. But you still will pay the port charges, $3 to $5 dollars depending upon the port.

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11 hours ago, Miaminice said:

Cruiselines, incl. Princess, provide a group visa for a charge for ALL passengers, regardless of tour. Princess was and is known for charging more than other cruiselines.

 

However, the fee which used to be 6 USD a while ago on Celebrity, Royal etc. is now around 25 USD because Vietnamese officials increased the cost. It still is the easiest way though.

I believe there was push-back and the visa fee for cruise ship passengers (RCI & Celebrity) is now back again to $6.00pp.

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20 hours ago, Expat Cruise said:

The OP was asking about Princess Cruise. My wife & I have done 3 Princess Cruises with Vietnam port stops in the last two years. Princess will process your visa even if you are on a independent tour.  The price was USD$33 dollars with port fee or AUD$55 dollars with port fee depending upon the cruise.  The visa they provide is good for all ports. If you are planing upon leaving the ship overnight and or rejoining at another Vietnam port Princess says you need a regular visa (Single Entry). 

 

You can get this Visa directly from the Government or if you type in Vietnam Visa to a Google search, you will get hundreds of agencies many trying to look like Official Vietnam Government Visa Offices.  They are not and  based upon living the last 20 years in SE Asia I would say do not use them.

 

If you want a e-visa it is easy to do takes about three days and costs USD$25.00  dollars. The only site anyone should use is  The National Web Portal on Immigration

Here is the home page link  https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/home

This above link is the home page the page to apply for a visa is a few links into the site here is that link.

 https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/khai-thi-thuc-dien-tu/cap-thi-thuc-dien-tu

 

If you are on any site that does not have  .gov.vn  in the web address do not use it, you are dealing with a agent.

 

I have done at least 15 visa for myself using this site. My last cruise at least 30 people in our roll call used this Government site and no issues; US, UK  Canada, AU, and EU passports.  No reason to overpay Princess for a visa. You can get your own and be all set.  Once the email with the confirmation is sent make two copies one to give to Guest Services and one for your records. 

 

Have a great trip, have been on the Diamond Princess it is a nice ship.

 

 

 

Thank you very much for this information.   Very helpful.   When they say single entry visa does that cover you for 2 ports as we go to Nha Trang one day followed by Ho Chi Minh City the next day?   

 

By the way, if you have been to Cambodia, did you go direct or use Princess?

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5 minutes ago, datone said:

Thank you very much for this information.   Very helpful.   When they say single entry visa does that cover you for 2 ports as we go to Nha Trang one day followed by Ho Chi Minh City the next day?   

 

By the way, if you have been to Cambodia, did you go direct or use Princess?

The single entry visa covers you for all your time in Vietnam, you will list your first port as the entry port and the last port is the exit port. Note: Phu My is not listed in the seaports, it is covered under HCMC Seaport, several ports are used including Phu My.  Also be sure to select the start date, visa is good for entry anytime from the start day for 30 days. If you do not select a start date the system will select today as the start date.

 

Yes I have been to Cambodia but not with  Princess. If I fly or drive in I just get the visa at the airport or border. but you can get a e-visa again from the real Government site it is $37.00 dollars, valid to enter for 6 months and stay up to 30 days.

 

The web site is  https://www.evisa.gov.kh/

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