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Celebrity Edge arrives in Auckland New Zealand for the first time (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)

Countries That Require Visas for a Cruise

Celebrity Edge arrives in Auckland New Zealand for the first time (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)
Melinda Crow
Carolina Pirola

Last updated
Jul 3, 2024

Read time
3 min read

Figuring out what countries require a travel visa in addition to a valid passport is a common question with a rather complicated answer, even when you're going on an international cruise. There are a few countries where visas are handled by the cruise line on arrival in port, but in all other cases, the cruise line might only advise you that you might need one, but they can be rather elusive when it comes to other relevant details.

U.S. citizens can easily look up visa requirements at Travel.State.gov. Search for each country your ship will visit. Check the "Quick Facts'' box and the “Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements” section a little bit farther down for general travel and cruise visa requirements. (Canadian citizens can use a similar site: Travel.gc.ca.) The Cruise Critic message boards can also be a helpful resource.

One thing to bear in mind: you should have a valid visa for all ports of call that require them, even if you do not plan to disembark. Emergencies -- either yours or the ship's -- could force a situation that would make a visa unexpectedly necessary.

Here are some countries that require a travel visa for U.S. citizens on cruises.

On This Page

Australia Cruise Visas

Scenic Eclipse II in Sydney Harbour (Photo: Scenic)

U.S. passport holders visiting Australia on a cruise can apply online for an electronic visa for a fee, to be paid by credit card.

Bahrain Cruise Visas

Bahrain requires a two-week, single-entry tourist visa, with the application available on the government website or on arrival.

China Cruise Visas

On May 15, 2024, China announced that cruise passengers traveling in groups of at least two people can enter the country visa-free through any coastal cruise port in the country. Cruise passengers are allowed to stay visa-free in the country for 15 days. The travel area for this exemption, however, is restricted to the coastal provinces and Beijing.

Egypt Cruise Visas

Infinity Pool aboard Viking Osiris (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)

A visitor's visa is required in Egypt. If you arrive by cruise ship, the visa is usually handled onboard the ship for you. If you arrive by air (as when you are taking a river cruise), you can procure an electronic visa either at the airport in Cairo or online before you arrive.

Renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visas are available on arrival for a fee, as are multiple entry travel permits.

Ghana Cruise Visas

A visa is required, but ships stopping in Ghana usually arrange for visas for their passengers. Check with your cruise line well before traveling, as applying for one independently requires mailing your passport, along with a passport-sized photo and other documents to the Embassy.

India Cruise Visas

Humayun's Tomb in Delhi, India (Photo: Chris Gray Faust)

An electronic visa application for India is available online. Visitors can choose between double- and multiple-entry visas valid for between 30 days and five years. General and cruise visa requirements are known to change often. Checking with your nearest Indian Embassy before traveling is recommended.

Indonesia Cruise Visas

U.S. citizens can request a visa on arrival at some cruise ports in Indonesia. While an Electronic Visa on Arrival is available when arriving by air in Bali or Jakarta, visitors entering the country by sea are not offered that option.

Jordan Cruise Visas

Your visitor’s visa will be issued for a fee as your ship docks at Aqaba. The process is typically easy and quick.

Kenya Cruise Visas

Kenya issues either a single-entry or multiple-entry electronic visa, but most cruise ships that call on Kenya will process the correct one for you. Check with your cruise line before traveling.

Myanmar (Burma) Cruise Visas

Bagan (Photo:Jakob Fischer/Shutterstock)

Most cruise lines will process their passengers’ visas for Myanmar, including river cruises. If yours doesn’t, you may apply for an electronic visa. All travelers are required to purchase the official travel insurance provided by the government before travel. No eVisa will be issued without the insurance code provided when payment is completed.

Papua New Guinea Cruise Visas

On-arrival tourist visas are not available for U.S. citizens visiting Papua New Guinea. Visitors can either apply for a single-entry visa online, or request a paper permit at the Embassy.

Qatar Cruise Visas

Passengers on cruises to Doha in Qatar will be issued a free visa valid for 30 days on arrival.

Sri Lanka Cruise Visas

An electronic travel authorization (ETA) is required in Sri Lanka. It can be obtained either online or on arrival at Colombo cruise port, and allows entry for up to 30 days.

Tanzania Cruise Visas

Most cruise lines will process visas for passengers visiting Tanzania. If yours doesn’t, you can request a disembarkation permit on arrival.

Publish date January 08, 2020
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