of January 23, 2007, passports are required for all
travelers, including citizens of the U.S. and Canada, who
enter or re-enter the U.S. by air. The passport requirement
will be extended to include entries into the U.S. by land
and by sea on June 1, 2009.
Until passports are required, citizens of the U.S. and
Canada may use an original or certified copy of their birth
certificate AND a government-issued photo ID (such as a
driver's license), in lieu of a passport, for cruises that
sail roundtrip from U.S. ports (including Puerto Rico) and
visit the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Central
America and Mexico. Children under the age of 16 are not
required to present a photo ID in addition to their birth
certificate. Photocopies of required documentation are not
There are a few notable exceptions pertaining to land and
sea border crossings:
citizens on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S.
port and travel to destinations in Mexico, Canada, the
Caribbean, the Bahamas or Bermuda will be able to
re-enter the U.S. with proof of citizenship other than a
passport or passport card, such as a birth certificate
and government-issued photo ID. Passports will be
required for cruises that begin in one U.S. port and end
under the age of 16 who are citizens of the U.S. or
Canada will be exempt from the passport requirement for
land and sea border crossings when the rule goes into
effect. In lieu of a passport, children will be able to
continue to use a birth certificate as proof of
citizenship for entry into the U.S. by land or by sea.
Children entering or re-entering the U.S. by air are
still required to have a valid passport.
lower-cost alternative to the passport, called a
passport card, will be acceptable for entries into the
U.S. by land or sea. Compared to passports, which cost
$100 for first-time applicants ($85 for children),
passport cards cost just $45 ($35 for children). The
passport card will not be acceptable for air travel.
Even though passports are not required at this time for U.S.
and Canada citizens who sail roundtrip from the U.S. on
cruises to the above destinations, we strongly recommend
that all cruise passengers travel with a valid passport
anyway. This is because guests who need to fly to or
from the U.S. unexpectedly during their cruise will likely
experience significant delays and complications related to
booking airline tickets and entering the U.S. if they do not
have a valid passport with them. For example, a passenger
missing a cruise departure due to a late inbound flight to
Miami would need a passport to fly to meet the ship at the
next port. Similarly, guests needing to fly to the U.S. or
Canada (via the U.S.) before their cruise ends because of
medical, family, personal or business emergencies, missing a
ship's departure from a port of call, or a mechanical
problem of some sort with the ship, would need a passport.
Of course, situations like these are rare, but they can
Passports are not required for U.S. citizens traveling to or
returning directly from Hawaii or a U.S. territory,
including Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands,
American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands.
Passports are required for cruise travel to all
International destinations not mentioned above, and for
cruises that involve air travel that begins or ends outside
of the U.S. Passports must be valid for at least six months
after the last day of travel.
For information about obtaining a passport for the first
time, or about renewing a passport, click
here to visit the U.S. Department of State's Web site.
For more information about passport cards, click