Cruise travel documents: do I need a US passport?

There is some confusion about what types of cruise travel documents are necessary. Even the different cruise lines sometimes seem to have conflicting information about whether passengers should obtain and carry a US passport. Much of this confusion has been the result of the changes that have been made in recent years to travel requirements in the United States. Different modes of transport have different requirements. It is important that you determine what types of cruise travel documents are necessary and that you realize that these requirements may differ from air and land travel regulations.

In 2004 the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative It was promulgated. It was developed according to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean region. Since several of these countries share common borders, it became necessary to develop a standardized way of detecting travelers to protect the borders of the United States. This initiative helps strengthen borders without prohibiting US citizens and legitimate foreign travelers from entering and leaving the United States. The initiative legislates uniform standards for travel documents for cruises, as well as for land and air travel across borders.

the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative It was implemented in graduated stages since it was written in 2004. The first changes were made in 2007 and only affected air travel. Since then, all foreign air travel requires a US passport. The most recent change implemented in January 2008 directly affected land and sea travel. Before this date, oral statements of citizenship were accepted when crossing borders by land or sea. However, current regulations dictate that oral statements are no longer acceptable. Currently, all land and sea crossings require a US passport or WHTI compliant documentation When the final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative It was promulgated in June 2009, most travelers are expected to travel with a US passport or passport card. UU. (eligible only for land and sea crossings).

What does this mean for travelers planning cruises between now and June 2009? Acceptable travel documents for cruise ships that have ports outside the United States include a U.S. passport, a passport card or a government-issued photo identification card (valid driver's license, military identification card, native card, etc. .) MORE proof of citizenship (a birth certificate or US naturalization certificate). Travelers who book cruises for dates after June 1, 2009 are expected to comply with the complete set of rules for travel documentation. After this date, the only acceptable travel documents for cruise ships will be a US passport, a passport card and limited forms of identification issued by the government plus citizenship confirmation documents.

Some cruise companies have tightened their own rules regarding cruise travel documents. Some have chosen to issue tickets only to passport holders or US passport cards. UU. In an effort to accelerate crossings and maintain safety. Check with your cruise company to find out exactly what it recommends for documentation. Those who do not have the correct travel documents for cruises may be unable to board or disembark, or even return home in a timely manner.

In anticipation of the implementation of the final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative , the United States government urges all Americans who have not done so to apply for a US passport. While no further changes have been made to the travel documentation requirements, it is speculated that a US passport. UU. Someday it could be a standard form of personal identification. Many countries, particularly in Europe and the United Kingdom, currently require a passport for all types of trips, including domestic flights, and to register at hotels. Experts believe it is logical that the United States will one day do the same in a worldwide effort to maintain secure borders.