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Alaska cruise round trip from Seattle - need a passport?

Alaska cruise round trip from Seattle - need a passport?

Old May 22nd, 2016, 09:12 AM
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Alaska cruise round trip from Seattle - need a passport?

Hello! I'm told by the cruise lines (NCL) that passports are not a must for the round trip cruise to / from Seattle that stops in Victoria, Canada. Presumably that also applies to driving into the Yukon from Skagway? Our passports are all expired and the expedited fees at this point don't seem worth it. Any feedback would be appreciated.
thanks,
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 09:18 AM
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I cannot imagine not needing your passports - unless you stay on the ship in Victoria. When I took the a van drive out from Skagway we had a nearly 45 minute delay while one putz had to run back to the ship and get his passport (his wife wanted to kill him). The driver checked everyone's passports and would not allow anyone w/o one.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 09:18 AM
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Technically, no as long as you don't get off the ship in Canada, but I wouldn't count on that. The cruise line can turn you away if they decide you need one. Why take a chance? A few dollars for a passport is a lot cheaper than losing the cruise. You still need to carry a birth ceritificate or naturalization papers to re-enter the U.S.

https://www.alaskacruises.com/cruise...formation.html
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 09:21 AM
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If you are travelling by land or sea (including cruises and ferries) between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda, and you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen age 19 and older, you must present a passport or <ib>other approved secure document denoting citizenship and identity for all land and sea travel into the United States (effective June 1, 2009).

http://www.tourismvictoria.com/plan/...ips/passports/

If you don't have passports you'll need certified copies of your birth certificates as proof of citizenship, along with photo ID. The same rule applies to crossing into the YT as well.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 10:11 AM
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Hi Gardyloo,

As usual, I think you are pretty much a recognized expert. Reading the link you sent, it further goes on to say that:

Enhanced Driver's Licences (EDLs) have been formally identified as acceptable documentation requirements for land and sea crossings.

As far as I know California does not have the Enhanced Driver's licenses, but I will check. We still have time to get passports, but it appears the main problem is we have a 14 year old that apparently needs to apply in person. To compound that problem, you can get an expedited appointment only if you have proof of international travel within 2 weeks. Then it takes 8 working days to process.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 10:52 AM
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As an update, I spoke to Norwegian Cruise Lines again. In the agent's opinion, we are allowed to enter Victoria from the cruise ship as we have a closed loop cruise (to / from Seattle). However she doesn't believe this applies to driving across the border from Skagway into the Yukon. I'm not 100% sure at this point, but it seems like we'll have to play it safe and try to get expedited passports for adults and minor under 16.
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 12:01 PM
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>>However she doesn't believe this applies to driving across the border from Skagway into the Yukon
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 12:19 PM
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Thanks janisj (and also happytourist), filling out forms, getting photos today, looking for local Passport Acceptance Facilities ....
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 04:26 PM
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No you can actually go to a passport office in person (with an appointment) and get a new passport the same day. I had to do this once for work (was hired and found a trip to Switz 5 day later and my PP was about to expire). But you do need evidence that you will be traveling in the very near future.

Not sure where you are but many passport offices offer this service.
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 06:11 AM
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Here is the documentation ANY so-called "travel agent" who markets cruises should already BE aware of.

Closed loop cruises to and from US ports DO NOT require a passport for the cruise.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...-take-a-cruise
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 06:17 AM
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And to clarify -- that applies to the cruise, not any potential shore excursions . . .
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Old May 23rd, 2016, 06:19 AM
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shoot -- didn't mean to post . . . So as long as you don't plan the train or a van tour up into the Yukon you would be OK.
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Old May 26th, 2016, 12:29 PM
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Hi nytraveler,

You are correct, you can get an expedited passport but we would have to go to San Francisco, take my teen out of school but most of all "you can get an expedited appointment only if you have proof of international travel within 2 weeks. Then it takes 8 working days to process."
As an update, we were able to get an appointment early next week in a nearby city office - "Passport acceptance facility". It will be very close if we can get them back in time. If we don't we'll be staying in Skagway and not traveling into the YT - not too terrible.
Also as an FYI in case anyone else tries the same, I searched many cities in the Bay Area, most city office Passport acceptance facilities had appointments 2-4 months out including my city which said don't even bother. There are the Post Offices as well, no appointments, but most likely long, long lines (and again need to pull teen out of school).
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Old May 27th, 2016, 04:41 PM
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Well it's very different here in NYC. You can go in on an emergency basis (which you must prove) and they give you the passport the same day - although you may be there 4 or 5 hours. I had to make an appt but they were available (at 8 am) in 2 days.

Granted this is one of the largest regional passport offices. Perhaps this is the case only in those few offices?
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Old May 31st, 2016, 10:48 AM
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"As an update, I spoke to Norwegian Cruise Lines again. In the agent's opinion, we are allowed to enter Victoria from the cruise ship as we have a closed loop cruise (to / from Seattle)"

- You cannot leave the ship and enter Victoria without a passport.
- You may be able to stay on the ship, but I'm not sure about that part.

- you really need to make sure you contact the appropriate departments of both countries (US & Canada) to review passport needs. Even if you are an American you don't just need a passport for entering Canada, you do need it to get back into the US too.
- there are a few other 'documents' that are available to use, but IMO having a passport is just the easiest and most widely accepted thing to use.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 11:03 AM
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Let me give you one example. A co-worker cruised to Alaska from California with her elderly father. He died in Canadian waters or port. Even with passports, it was a huge deal to bring him back to USA.
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