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I see that most cruise lines recommend that your Passport not expire until 6 months after your travel. Does this really matter? I am on an Alaska cruise at the end of July/beginning of August and my Passport expires in October. Do I really need to renew it early?

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It does not matter so much with the cruise lines as with the different countries as ports of call on any given itinerary.  Assuming US citizenship and depending on departure port, It probably won't be an issue with an Alaska itinerary

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This is what the US State Department advises for US citizens: " Valid at time of entry. If you are transiting Canada en route to Europe, your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area. "

 

You also need to check with your cruise line.  They might have a minimum requirement. 

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If you are on a closed loop cruise beginning and ending at the same US port (ie round trip Seattle) it does not matter. Technically your passport is not functioning as a passport per se but merely as a WHTI compliant document being used for proof of citizenship (just like the BC/DL combination).

 

If you are on an open jaw Vancouver to Seward/Whittier where a passport is mandatory, best to check with your cruiseline to see if they just "recommend" or actually enforce the six month leeway rule. Go to their website and look under 'documentation requirements' (or similar) and if based on what it says there your passport expiring only two months hence appears acceptable you may want to print out that page in case the agent checking you in questions it--though it is very likely they will simply scan it and hand it right back to you without looking at the dates.

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Since US citizens don't need a passport to return from Canada via land or sea I don't see the 6 month rule applying. It does apply when visiting some countries, although some of the countries waive the requirement for cruise ship passengers. As others have said, make sure your cruise line doesn't require this (some do, mostly the premium lines and above).

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36 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

Since US citizens don't need a passport to return from Canada via land or sea I don't see the 6 month rule applying. It does apply when visiting some countries, although some of the countries waive the requirement for cruise ship passengers. As others have said, make sure your cruise line doesn't require this (some do, mostly the premium lines and above).

Are you sure about the "by land"? I thought you now needed a passport or passport card to return from Canada by land.

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11 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Are you sure about the "by land"? I thought you now needed a passport or passport card to return from Canada by land.

 

 

I'll concur with ontheweb - passport or passport card needed for US citizens entering Canada by land.  The OP should check cruiseline requirements.  If I was in the OP's situation, I would renew my passport prior to the cruise, but that's just me.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Are you sure about the "by land"? I thought you now needed a passport or passport card to return from Canada by land.

With years of experience traveling into Canada and back to the US by land (driving) on business as a US citizen I needed a passport each way for entry to both countries with every trip. 

 

Also had to have a passport in order to fly into the US from Vancouver, CAN from our recent Ovation cruise, both with Canadian officials checking into the flight and with US officials to board the flight.   

 

Not sure of the context in which he is making them - and maybe I am missing something - but Sparks1093 is mistaken with his comments in those regards.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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21 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

With years of experience traveling into Canada and back to the US by land (driving) on business as a US citizen I needed a passport each way for entry to both countries with every trip. 

 

Also had to have a passport in order to fly into the US from Vancouver, CAN from our recent Ovation cruise, both with Canadian officials checking into the flight and with US officials to board the flight.   

 

Not sure of the context in which he is making them - and maybe I am missing something - but Sparks1093 is mistaken with his comments in those regards.

 

To clarify - if Sparks1093 is referring only to passport expiration concerns, then he may be correct in that Canada and the US may not require that dating for travel between each country for US citizens.

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1 hour ago, ontheweb said:

Are you sure about the "by land"? I thought you now needed a passport or passport card to return from Canada by land.

 

1 hour ago, evandbob said:

 

 

I'll concur with ontheweb - passport or passport card needed for US citizens entering Canada by land.  The OP should check cruiseline requirements.  If I was in the OP's situation, I would renew my passport prior to the cruise, but that's just me.

 

35 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

With years of experience traveling into Canada and back to the US by land (driving) on business as a US citizen I needed a passport each way for entry to both countries with every trip. 

 

Also had to have a passport in order to fly into the US from Vancouver, CAN from our recent Ovation cruise, both with Canadian officials checking into the flight and with US officials to board the flight.   

 

Not sure of the context in which he is making them - and maybe I am missing something - but Sparks1093 is mistaken with his comments in those regards.

No, I am not mistaken. A passport card is not a passport, so one does not need to have a passport to return from Canada by land. In addition to the passport card one may also use an Enhanced Drivers License to return from Canada (if you happen to live in one of the 5 states that issue them, which I do and it is what I use to return from Canada). Someone under the age of 16 may use a copy of their birth certificate, also. 

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7 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

 

 

No, I am not mistaken. A passport card is not a passport, so one does not need to have a passport to return from Canada by land. In addition to the passport card one may also use an Enhanced Drivers License to return from Canada (if you happen to live in one of the 5 states that issue them, which I do and it is what I use to return from Canada). Someone under the age of 16 may use a copy of their birth certificate, also. 

 

Thank you for clarifying with more detailed information.  You didn't mention a passport card or EDL, only referring to not needing a passport, which to me in that context alone was misleading. As indicated, now that I understand the context of your comments I agree with them.

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57 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

 

 

No, I am not mistaken. A passport card is not a passport, so one does not need to have a passport to return from Canada by land. In addition to the passport card one may also use an Enhanced Drivers License to return from Canada (if you happen to live in one of the 5 states that issue them, which I do and it is what I use to return from Canada). Someone under the age of 16 may use a copy of their birth certificate, also. 

 

sparks1093 does give very accurate information about traveling between the US and Canada.

 

The five state the have Enhanced Driver's Licenses:  Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Washington and Vermont.

 

OP, The check-in agents in Seattle won't bat an eye at your passport along was it is current, even with less than six months remaining.  If you showed up with an expired passport you would be in discussions with a supervisor.  Fun Fact: if you sail with Princess, their check-in system will let the check-in agent know how many days until your passport expires, who hopefully relays the renewal reminder to you.

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Since OP doesn't say who they are cruising with, I'd agree with above post re: checking with the cruise line (if it's one of those fancy ones who demand a passport for all itineraries they may be picky about duration too - any company can ask for whatever the heck they like in their own Terms & Conditions before transporting people, what the governments concerned demand is only a starting point).

 

FWIW, since OP is in WA then not only is an EDL definitely applicable for all Canadian travel (except flying), but they would be very wise to apply for a NEXUS card which goes beyond that - you can even fly between US/Canadian airports without your passport provided they both have GE/NEXUS kiosks to use your card in. Though many airlines, as is their right, refuse to let you travel with just NEXUS and demand a passport anyway...

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

 

 

No, I am not mistaken. A passport card is not a passport, so one does not need to have a passport to return from Canada by land. In addition to the passport card one may also use an Enhanced Drivers License to return from Canada (if you happen to live in one of the 5 states that issue them, which I do and it is what I use to return from Canada). Someone under the age of 16 may use a copy of their birth certificate, also. 

I was going to ask about the enhanced driver's license as proof; thank you for that. 

 

I did mention passport or passport card in my response questioning what you said about not needing a passport.

 

You were correct, but I am sure misleading to anyone who took that as you did not need official proof since you did not mention the passport card or enhanced license as other valid proof.

Edited by ontheweb
spelling correction of to or

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Check with your cruise line.

They have their own rules.

I was unable to check in on line because I only had 5 months left.

This was on a line leaving and returning to the UK, and only touching EU countries.

My passport is a UK EU one, and I could use it anywhere on that journey up to its final day.

This was only the cruise line's rules, so do check.

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Thank you all for your assistance. I decided it was better to be safe than sorry and am doing an expedited Passport renewal so this won't even be a risk. I'd rather spend a little extra money now than have it be an issue during check-in or disembarkation at the end of the cruise.

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On 5/26/2019 at 5:00 PM, dchurchward said:

I see that most cruise lines recommend that your Passport not expire until 6 months after your travel. Does this really matter? I am on an Alaska cruise at the end of July/beginning of August and my Passport expires in October. Do I really need to renew it early?

If your cruise is round trip from a US port then you don't need to renew early, as long as your passport is valid on the day you return home. Canada will not care because you are considered in transit and not staying in Canada. If you are cruising one way to or from Canada then you need to check with Canadian authorities.

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Check the travel.state.gov website for the countries you are transiting. If they require 6 months validity on your passport, it will say on the website. Don't trust what random people on the internet tell you they remember being the regs -- actually look them up for yourself. It'll save you no end of trouble.

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5 hours ago, SimplyMarvie said:

Check the travel.state.gov website for the countries you are transiting. If they require 6 months validity on your passport, it will say on the website. Don't trust what random people on the internet tell you they remember being the regs -- actually look them up for yourself. It'll save you no end of trouble.

Thanks! I did check the travel.state.gov website. I asked here though because, as many responses have pointed out, the cruise lines seem to have their own rules. For the record, I call RCCL and they said that my passport had to be good for 6 months after the cruise. In order to be safe, I went ahead and renewed early. Honestly, the rule seems really dumb because what is the point of have an expiration date you need a new passport 6 months before. In any case, I do appreciate the advice.

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9 hours ago, dchurchward said:

Thanks! I did check the travel.state.gov website. I asked here though because, as many responses have pointed out, the cruise lines seem to have their own rules. For the record, I call RCCL and they said that my passport had to be good for 6 months after the cruise. In order to be safe, I went ahead and renewed early. Honestly, the rule seems really dumb because what is the point of have an expiration date you need a new passport 6 months before. In any case, I do appreciate the advice.

Unfortunately the person at Royal didn't know what they were talking about, which is typical for many other cruise line reps also. Canada doesn't have a 6 month rule for US citizens and one doesn't even need a passport to visit via land or sea since passport cards and EDLs are also acceptable. Some countries tack on the remaining time to the new passport but unfortunately the US doesn't.

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On 5/30/2019 at 1:53 PM, dchurchward said:

Thank you all for your assistance. I decided it was better to be safe than sorry and am doing an expedited Passport renewal so this won't even be a risk. I'd rather spend a little extra money now than have it be an issue during check-in or disembarkation at the end of the cruise.

 

Whew, I'm glad to hear this. I was going to suggest it, since it would eliminate any possible issues. Something my wife says I'm a bit anal about on our trips. 🙂


Have a fantastic trip!

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On 5/31/2019 at 3:21 PM, SimplyMarvie said:

Check the travel.state.gov website for the countries you are transiting. If they require 6 months validity on your passport, it will say on the website. Don't trust what random people on the internet tell you they remember being the regs -- actually look them up for yourself. It'll save you no end of trouble.

 

I highly suggest you check the website of the Embassy or Consulate for the country you are looking at visiting.  They will have the most up to date information.

 

Also, the rules can be different for a cruise versus other travel.  And many places do not show that info.

 

Our last cruise, my SO would have needed a visa for one country, except that cruise travel was exempt.

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Here's the info and link to the state dept. site:

 

Entry into Canada: 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 satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. Children under 16 needonly present proof of U.S. citizenship.Jan 9, 2019

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