I am looking at going on a cruise in Asia that will stop in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai (among others). I am Norwegian and need a visa to visit China. From what I understand I can visit Hong Kong visa free, but need a double entry visa to visit both Beijing and Shanghai (since I will be travelling between the destinations by ship). In addition, the stop in Beijing will be for three days. The first time I arrive in Beijing I would obviously have to go through immigration, but since I will be spending the nights onboard the ship, would each day in Beijing count as a separate entry to China? If so, I would need four entries to China or would they allow re-entries on the second and third day in Beijing without counting this as a re-entry?

Also, if this information matters: I will arrive in Hong Kong and Shanghai will be the final destination. Ideally I would spend a few days here before returning home.

  • 1
    Have you considered a Multiple Entry Visa? The cost difference is often insignificant. Generally, no, once the ship and all aboard 'enter' at the first Port of Entry, they stay in the country for all subsequent visits.
    – DTRT
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 12:08
  • As a Norwegian citizen I cannot get a multiple entry tourist visa, only single and double entry. But good to know that in most cases it is considered a single visit. I'll check with the cruise line how it is treated as well, but often they are reluctant to give definitive answers as they don't control the policies.
    – Jorn
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 12:14
  • 2
    The cruise line should give you their requirements which may be broader than what China technically requires. For instance, if available, they can say you need a Multiple Entry Visa even though you only enter once or twice. They also need to be very clear on the Beijing entry as China doesn't offer 3-4 Entry Visas, only 1, 2 and Multiple.
    – DTRT
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


You should consider whether your trip qualifies under the 15-Day Visa-Exemption Policy for Foreign Tour Groups Entering Shanghai by Cruise or the 144-Hour Visa-Exemption Transit Policy at Ports of Entry in Shanghai. According to the Wikipedia description of the former, travelers must be part of an organized tour group and enter via Shanghai. In addition, they must travel with the ship and they may only visit Beijing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hebei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shandong, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Zhejiang.


If you spend a few days in HK, as your first stop, you can apply for a two-entry visa from any big travel agency. It takes 5 working days, but you might be eligible for expedited (1 day).

  • Anyone with extra money is eligible for an expedited visa :D But I don't believe you can get back to your ship without a passport. Same day visa is available though.
    – user68518
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 5:38
  • Nope. There are some countries that are not eligible. My own, France, for a start.
    – user67108
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 6:13

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