Frequently Asked Questions
New Passport Requirements
Very important! Please read the following information regarding changes to passport requirements. These changes impact US Citizens and non-US Citizens. For more information, please see the U.S. State Department website for passport information. Expired passports are not acceptable.
WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND CARRYING A PASSPORT VALID FOR SIX MONTHS BEYOND THE DURATION OF YOUR TRAVEL.
U.S. and Canadian citizens: Beginning on January 23, 2007, with the implementation of the first phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, all persons, including citizens of the United States, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda will be required to have and carry a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States by air. This is an important new requirement for our cruise guests booked on Alaska and Eastern Canada/New England cruise itineraries. In addition, this new requirement will also impact our Canadian guests that travel by air to or from any of our U.S. embarkation ports. The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory. U.S. citizens returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the United States and do not need to present a passport.
Holland America Line recommends that all guests travel with a valid passport during their cruise. This will enable guests to fly from the U.S. to meet their ship at the first port should they miss their scheduled embarkation and allow guests that must disembark the ship before their cruise ends due to an emergency to fly back to the U.S without significant delays and complications.
In 2008, the final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will go into effect. The actual date of implementation has not been set; as of the date of this writing it is anticipated to occur in the summer of 2008. Once implemented, all persons, including citizens of the United States, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda will be required to have and carry a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States by air, land or sea.
For more information and implementation dates, please visit www.travel.state.gov/passport or call the National Passport Information Center toll free at 1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TYY at 1-888-874-7793. Prior to the final implementation date, U.S. and Canadian citizens may travel without a passport on itineraries that do not require re-entry to the US by air. In these cases, all U.S. and Canadian citizens must carry the following documents as proof of citizenship for travel within the western hemisphere countries listed above: 1) picture identification issued by an official government agency AND an original or certified copy of birth certificate from the state or province of your birth; or 2) picture identification issued by an official government agency AND a U.S. or Canadian Naturalization Certificate.
For travel outside of the western hemisphere countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens must have and carry a passport valid for six months beyond the duration of the cruise.
Non-U.S./non-Canadian citizens: You must have and carry a passport valid for six months beyond the duration of the cruise. Please carefully verify the existing identification requirements for your particular travel situation. In addition, non-U.S. citizens who have previously been admitted to the United States for permanent residence must carry their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), commonly known as a Green Card. Resident aliens not in possession of this must obtain one at the nearest office of the U.S. Immigration Service.
Visas: Some countries require that you obtain official authorization (called a visa) before entering the country. Usually there is a fee required. You are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas. If your itinerary requires a visa prior to boarding, Holland America Line will send a visa information letter to your travel agent. The visa letter will have information for U.S. and Canadian citizens. Citizens of other countries should contact the nearest representative embassies or consulates for the proper information.
Non-US or -Canadian citizens may be required to hold a Canadian Visa when traveling to Alaska or Canada. Please visit the Canadian government website at http://canada.gc.ca to verify your nationality's requirements.
Schengen Visa holders (applies to those EU-Member citizens only): New requirements pertaining to proof of medical insurance coverage have been adopted for all Schengen Visa holders. This requirement does not apply to US or Canadian citizens. All guests should keep themselves advised of changes in government requirements. If you have questions about visa requirements, call Zierer Visa Service at 866-788-1100 or local (202)745-4470. You may also choose to send an E-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at: www.zvs.com.
Effective June 26, 2005, travelers from the 27 countries participating in the United States' Visa Waiver Program (VWP)must have a machine-readable passport to enter the United States.
If you are in possession of a passport issued by any of the 27 countries listed below, please contact the passport issuing authority to ensure that you are in possession of a machine-readable passport.
The 27 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program include: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Additional information regarding the Visa Waiver Program is available online at www.dhs.gov.
Please note that boarding may be denied to travelers from VWP countries that do not have machine-readable passports.
Please check back on our web site for future updates.
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