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Vietnam Cruise Stops and E-visa


cruisinsusin
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It appears that, pre-Covid, "looseleaf visas", or visas on arrival were arranged by some cruise lines. I cannot find any info on the Celebrity site as to whether that will be arranged for stops this season but we dont cruise until early 2024. I know that there have not been that many ocean cruises that have called on Vietnam since Asia reopening but wonder if anyone on the cruises later this year has gotten information regarding this?

Thanks in advance, Susan

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NCL is arranging visas for Vietnam. From the NCL website: Passport holders from all nationalities require a visa to go ashore in ports in Vietnam. The visa on arrival will be arranged by the onboard team. Guests will be charged $99 USD per person. This visa is mandatory and will be charged to the onboard account for all guests on the ship. The visa is required for both guests who go ashore and guests who choose to remain onboard. The cost of the visa will not be waived for guests who remain onboard in Vietnamese ports.

 

It is less expensive to arrange your own visa (there is an e-visa available for Vietnam): Vietnam evisa - National portal on Immigration (xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn)

 

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2 hours ago, lfplenore said:

NCL is arranging visas for Vietnam. From the NCL website: Passport holders from all nationalities require a visa to go ashore in ports in Vietnam. The visa on arrival will be arranged by the onboard team. Guests will be charged $99 USD per person.

 

It is less expensive to arrange your own visa (there is an e-visa available for Vietnam): Vietnam evisa - National portal on Immigration (xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn)

 

 

So it seems that ship-issued "visas" are still valid post-Covid. They are not regular tourist visas, they're only good for arriving & departing on the ship and not valid for overnights ashore. So they're no good if you want to fly in or out - some folk do, in order to visit Ankor Wat or elsewhere outside Vietnam by missing a port or two in Vietnam and playing catch-up in or beyond Vietnam. Those folk will need a full visitors' visa (from the link in ifplenore's post).

For those who stick to ship's itinerary, ship-issued "visas" are fine. There doesn't seem to be any differentiation between nationalities, certainly not the mainstream ones including US, Canada, UK, Aus. etc

 

But $99 ???????????????

The Vietnamese govt used to charge cruise lines about $5 per person, some cruise lines simply charged that to cruisers' on-board accounts, some added a realistic handling charge of about $10 to $15, some who charged their cruisers more like $50 to $60 were considered to be fleecing them.

No doubt that Viet, govt. charge has risen - but not by 2,000% 

It doesn't surprise me - but does grieve me - that ifplenore has calculated that a full tourist visa is cheaper than NCL's charge.

 

JB 🙂.

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Thanks to @Ifplenore and @John Bull. I had reviewed the official government site but still wasn’t clear about cruise stops as opposed to air/ land entries or embarkation/ disembarkation. We have 3 different stops on our Celebrity cruise- does that require 3 e visas or would one for the first port stop suffice? We are not doing overnights away from the ship but do have private tours at 2 of the stops.

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We were on a Seabourn cruise last month that stopped at Saigon for one day.  The ship arranged our visas and they cost us $55 each.

 

However, we were told that if we wanted an overnight visa or longer, we should contact the front desk.  Perhaps that would have increased the price?

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4 hours ago, Mrs. Claypool said:

 

 

However, we were told that if we wanted an overnight visa or longer, we should contact the front desk.  Perhaps that would have increased the price?

This is an excellent question.  We are overnight in HCMC (Saigon) next February on the Oceania Riviera.  We were thinking of staying overnight in HCMC and, instead of trooping back to the ship, staying in the city, exploring the night life, dinner, and getting up early to do another tour.    BTW, Oceania is charging $69/pp and is included in the total cruise fare.

 

Maybe it depends on the cruise line if they will charge "extra" for an overnight stay.  I really can't see Immigration chasing us down and deporting us.  

 

Bill

 

 

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8 hours ago, cruisinsusin said:

Thanks to @Ifplenore and @John Bull. I had reviewed the official government site but still wasn’t clear about cruise stops as opposed to air/ land entries or embarkation/ disembarkation. We have 3 different stops on our Celebrity cruise- does that require 3 e visas or would one for the first port stop suffice? We are not doing overnights away from the ship but do have private tours at 2 of the stops.

I agree with you that it is all rather confusing.  I am not an expert but my reading is that you can come and go within VN at different ports of entry within the validity of the evisa, 30 days.  I hope someone can clear all of this up for us.

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From the Vietnam e-visa website: An electronic visa (E-visa) is one of visa types issued to foreigners by Vietnamese Immigration Department via electronic system. Vietnam E-visa is valid for maximum of 30 days, single entry.

 

Single entry should indicate entry into the country, rather than port by port. In other words, if you are stamped in on your first port, the visa should remain valid until you leave the country; not that particular port. So, if you have 2 or 3 port stops in Vietnam, your visa should remain valid for the entire time unless your ship leaves Vietnam and then returns.

 

I plan to verify this with NCL. Worst case scenario is that I get my own visa and then find out it doesn't work. At that point, I pay my $99 to NCL. 

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5 hours ago, Goldconnection said:

That is exactly my case. The ship leaves the country and then returns. I also plan to reach out to see exactly how many time we will be charged for visas.

For $99, hopefully only once! Are you doing a B2B? If so, they may charge twice😓. If you find out, please post. Good luck!

 

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13 hours ago, ssawjo said:

 

Maybe it depends on the cruise line if they will charge "extra" for an overnight stay.  I really can't see Immigration chasing us down and deporting us.  

 

Bill

 

 

 

Hi Bill,

In some countries (certainly Russia), hotels are obliged to see and photocopy visas / passports of international visitors and can get visits from officials wanting to check them. 

Not saying that's the case in Vietnam, but it is quite a bureaucratic country

 

Shipmates who missed the last tender of the evening in Ha Long Bai managed to get a hotel OK despite having only ship-issued visas, but that might be because the hotel took pity on them

 

JB 🙂.

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1 hour ago, lfplenore said:

For $99, hopefully only once! Are you doing a B2B? If so, they may charge twice😓. If you find out, please post. Good luck!

 

Yes we are doing a B2B. I actually sent an email to Vietnam e-visa last night. If they charge twice that would be $99X4 😡. Will post the response I get.

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3 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

Hi Bill,

In some countries (certainly Russia), hotels are obliged to see and photocopy visas / passports of international visitors and can get visits from officials wanting to check them. 

Not saying that's the case in Vietnam, but it is quite a bureaucratic country

 

Shipmates who missed the last tender of the evening in Ha Long Bai managed to get a hotel OK despite having only ship-issued visas, but that might be because the hotel took pity on them

 

JB 🙂.

Good point.  I recall that in Italy, France, and elsewhere, the local police came by the hotel each evening, collected passports, and returned them to the next morning.  Not sure if they are continuing that practice.  So, depending on what Goldconnection finds out, I may get an evisa instead.

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This is what I found @ VietnamImmigration.com. I have no intentions on using them. I was just doing some research until I hear from Vietnam e-Visa    hopefully on Monday or Tuesday…

 

If the cruise stops in different cities in Vietnam, does this count as many visits? Numerous cruises along the coast of Vietnam visit several ports. If you visit numerous cities in Vietnam, would this be considered a single entry or many entries? How may several visas be applied for if there are many entries?

 

In truth, if a cruise ship cruises from one Vietnamese port to another, only one visit is counted. The entrance port will be the first port of entry, while the departure port will be the last port of visit. You are not required to apply for a multiple-entry visa. In this instance, the single-entry E-visa will suffice.

 

 

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Thank you for posting the visa information. There are lots of scammy, yet official sounding visa agencies in Vietnam. Hopefully, you will hear back from the official government website and they will confirm the information given. 

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In January, we did a river cruise in Cambodia and Vietnam. We started in Vietnam, then went to Cambodia, then went to Vietnam again towards the end. In our case, hubby and I each obtained 2 single entry e-Visas from Vietnam through the official government website, at $25 each (total $100). 

I don't know if a river cruise ports and restrictions are different from an ocean cruise ports and restrictions, but that was our scenario. 

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I spoke directly with Visa Central this morning. In our case technically, we will only need to obtain visa once for each cruise. We can not use the visas from the first cruise because we will leave Vietnam and then reenter for the second cruise. All in all we will pay a total of $396 ($99 each) for Vietnam visas if we go through NCL. If we go through Visa Central the total is $260 ($65 each). I will check on the government site later today. 
 

This is beginning to get a little pricey as we also need visas for Cambodia and Indonesia. Which is a total $396 if we use NCL.

 

Grand total for all visas, if we use NCL: $792.00 😱
 

Please be mindful, Singapore requires the completion of an Arrival Card which is free of charge. Does anyone know if cruise passengers are required to complete? 

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I believe your best bet would be the government site for Vietnam visas. Tbe application process is simple and only costs $25pp per visa, so a huge cost savings. You will need to time out when you apply because they are only valid for 30 days and require 3 days to process. We will apply 30 days before we dock in Vietnam.

 

You can also do the Cambodian visa on your own but it requires mailing in your passports to the Cambodian Embassy up to 90 days before you arrive in Cambodia. Very doable (we've done it twice before). 

 

Good luck! 

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On 4/18/2023 at 6:01 PM, lfplenore said:

I believe your best bet would be the government site for Vietnam visas. Tbe application process is simple and only costs $25pp per visa, so a huge cost savings. You will need to time out when you apply because they are only valid for 30 days and require 3 days to process. We will apply 30 days before we dock in Vietnam.

 

You can also do the Cambodian visa on your own but it requires mailing in your passports to the Cambodian Embassy up to 90 days before you arrive in Cambodia. Very doable (we've done it twice before). 

 

Good luck! 

The Vietnam eVisa is good for 30 days from your date of entry, not from your date of approval, so you can apply earlier than 30 days in advance if you would like to. 
If you are a US citizen, you can also obtain a Cambodian eVisa without mailing in your passport. It’s easy and inexpensive through the government website. 

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As for Vietnam, you are correct. I misread the information on the website. Some countries count from the day you receive your visa, and the Vietnam e-visa website was not clear. You can apply 6 months ahead of time.

 

From the NCL website: 

Please note that electronic visas “e-visas” obtained online are only valid to enter Cambodia by air or land. These visas cannot be used to enter Cambodia by sea onboard cruise ships.

 

 

Additionally, from the Cambodian website: image.thumb.png.9d3aaaf5c36a1b7e58a78c8748917088.png

 

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11 hours ago, lfplenore said:

As for Vietnam, you are correct. I misread the information on the website. Some countries count from the day you receive your visa, and the Vietnam e-visa website was not clear. You can apply 6 months ahead of time.

 

From the NCL website: 

Please note that electronic visas “e-visas” obtained online are only valid to enter Cambodia by air or land. These visas cannot be used to enter Cambodia by sea onboard cruise ships.

 

 

Additionally, from the Cambodian website: image.thumb.png.9d3aaaf5c36a1b7e58a78c8748917088.png

 

Good point on Cambodia. We flew from Cat Bi in Vietnam into Siem Reap, Cambodia, so the eVisas worked on our itinerary. Several days later we boarded a ship in Cambodia, which sailed on to Vietnam. 

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