What Cruises Don’t Require A Passport?

Perhaps you have heard from an uncertain source the rumor that some cruises do not require passports. The rumor is true; it is possible for one to travel abroad for a holiday without having to first get or apply for a passport. Such a cruise presents an opportunity for the person who has not had the time, or is too lazy to undertake the trouble of processing a passport.

Another possible reason why people look for this option is time. It takes around 10 weeks to process a passport, and that is a luxury that most people simply do not have.

Rather can go through the stress involved in obtaining passports; many people elect to travel by sea, on cruise ships.

What Cruises Don’t Require A Passport?

Cruises that don’t require a passport are called Closed Loop cruises, and they mean that the port of origin, and the port where the cruise winds up are the same. In order words; the purpose of the cruise is not immigration, or economic reasons like work or business. The sole purpose of the tour is to have a good time, mostly on the open water, and then return to your country of origin.

This is based on something called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which sets out some common rules for travel and cruising in the Americas. Common destinations for this type of cruise include; The Bahamas, Bermuda, The Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, and New England/Canada.

What Is Required On Such A Cruise?

While these closed loop cruises may not require passports; the common ground is usually that they require some kind of proof of identification; which is usually some kind of government issued photo ID, the most common being a state issued drivers’ license.

Usually, children below the age of 15 can travel with a birth certificate, especially when they are accompanying adults, whose identities have already been vetted.

It is important to check with the cruise company because each company may have some additional rules. For example, some cruise companies require additional proof of citizenship. You may need to find out exactly what documents the company accepts as proof of citizenship.

In most cases copies of birth certificates are not accepted. The same applies to baptismal papers and hospital certificates of birth. Even voter registration cards and social security are not usually considered proof of citizenship.

In fact, it is better to get clarification from the cruise company about what documents they accept; which will save one the stress of hurriedly processing documents which are not in hand.

List of Cruises That Don’t Require A Passport

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line is an international cruise line headquartered in Doral, Florida. This is one of the most accessible cruise lines, as well as one of the most recognizable in the world.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is a British cruise line based at Carnival House in Southampton, England. This cruise line is quite popular with Americans despite being based in England.

American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines is a cruise company based in Guilford, Connecticut, United States.

Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn Cruise Line is a luxury cruise line headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The line operates all over the world, and has special cruises to the locations mentioned earlier.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is a cruise line that is incorporated in Bermuda, but has its operational headquarters in Santa Clarita, California. The company is owned by Carnival Corporation PLC.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is possibly the most popular cruise line in the world. This company was founded in 1968 in Norway, but is based in Miami, Florida, USA. It terms of revenue it is the world’s biggest cruise line.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), also known as Norwegian, is a company founded in 1966, and registered in Bermuda. The company operates out of Miami, Florida. It is one of the biggest cruise lines in the world in terms of passenger numbers.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is a cruise company which was founded in 1988 by the Greek company Chandris Group, and which was merged with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in 1997. The company operates out of Miami, Florida and is wholly owned by the Royal Caribbean Group.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line is part of the Walt Disney Company. The company was founded in 1996 as Magical Cruise Company Limited. Its operating headquarters in Celebration, Florida.


Viking is a popular cruise line; the company does river, ocean and expedition cruises. The company’s headquarters are in Basel, Switzerland, but also works out of Los Angeles, California.

Those are some of the cruise lines that could possibly take you and your family on closed loop cruises. You just have to call each one, and find out more about their requirements. Please tell them from the onset that you wish to go on a closed loop cruise, and that you wish to do so without a passport.

Why Go On A Closed Loop Cruise?

This kind of cruise opens up the opportunity to enjoy warm weather, and to sail on open waters to famous locations such as the Caribbean where one is greeted by white sandy beaches, Mexico where one can go horse riding or hiking on long trails, and Bermuda where one can enjoy underwater activities such as diving and swimming with exotic fishes.

Closed Loop cruises give one the opportunity to taste the goodies offered by exotic destinations, without officially leaving your country. One could have the adventure of a lifetime, on a cruise- even more fun than a regular holiday, in which one would need to obtain a passport and visa.



Cruises that do not require a passport are called closed loop cruises, and they are mostly restricted to visiting countries within the Western Hemisphere such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Interestingly these are some of the most famous cruise destinations in the world; where ships and people from all over the world love to visit.

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