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Home » Cruise Travel Insurance » Cruise conundrum: Do you need a visa for a cruise?

Picture yourself on the deck of a magnificent cruise ship, feeling the warm sea breeze on your face as you embark on a journey of a lifetime.

But before you set sail into the sunset, there’s an important question to answer: Do you need a visa for a cruise trip?

Navigating the visa requirements for cruise travel can seem like uncharted waters, but don’t worry. Most cruise lines can arrange visas for you and advise you on what visas you’ll need based on your itinerary.

Your visa requirements may differ if you participate in specific excursions or activities while in port. It is essential to check this with your cruise line when booking your shore visits.

If you need to arrange a visa, you should allow at least 2 months to complete the process.

Visa-free cruise destinations

If you’re heading to the USA or Canada, you won’t need a visa, but you must complete an ESTA application for a visa waiver.

UK passport holders don’t need a visa or a waiver if you are going on a Caribbean cruise unless you are embarking or disembarking in a US port.

European cruises and the Schengen Area

Since Brexit, UK travellers can still visit Europe visa free as long as they’re not there for more than 90 days in any 180-day period. However, this changes from 2024. The new ETIAS program will mean that UK visitors will need to arrange a visa waiver before travel. Valid for trips up to 90 days each and lasting for three years, the waiver will cost around 7 Euros.

What are Schengen Area Countries?

There are 26 Schengen countries, all located in Europe, are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Passport requirements for a cruise

No matter where you set sail, you’ll need a passport valid for more than six months after the end date of your voyage. You should also ensure you have at least two blank pages in the back of your passport. Some countries may also request a photocopy of your passport as well as the original.

Cruise Travel Insurance is always vital to ensure you protect your trip of a lifetime.

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 30 May 2023

† Based on Trustpilot reviews of all companies in the Travel Insurance Company category that have over 70,000 reviews as of January 2024. AllClear Gold Plus achieved a Which? Best Buy.