I am an American cruising on Norwegian Joy Sept 7th. We have a friend who might not qualify for admission to Canada. If she stays on board the ship while docked in Canada (6 hrs) is that ok, or would she be prevented from taking the cruise?

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    Have you asked the cruise line about that? I don't know if Canada has rules against it, but the company may have some of their own. Jun 19, 2019 at 19:08
  • Hm, departing from US (Seattle) and maybe not being alllowed into Canada. That's an odd situation. I (Dutch citizen) once flew from NY to Toronto and tried to pass immigration or whatever - no way José! Just walk on. Jun 19, 2019 at 19:27
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    @PaulPalmpje The issue may not be nationality. Their friend may, for instance, have a drunk driving conviction. Canada often refuses or at least makes life difficulty for US citizens with that on their record, much less some major felony. Jun 19, 2019 at 22:33
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    There are some arcane regulations governing the operation of cruise ships to & from the US due to the Marine Passenger Services Act. But I don't think that they dictate that a passenger must get off the ship in a foreign port, merely that there must be a stop. (Of course, Norwegian's policies still might not allow for an inadmissible passenger to board in the first place, independently of US law.) Jun 20, 2019 at 12:09
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    On another level, I suspect that the cruise ship operators deal with this more frequently than you might think; plenty of people who are inadmissible to Canada don't know they're inadmissible until they actually arrive at the border. So I'll echo @HenningMakholm's advice to ask the cruise line directly, and then come back here and let us know what they say. Jun 20, 2019 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


You are entering Canada, even if not exiting the cruise to go on land, you still enter Canadian territory and require a visa/authority to enter.

From Alaska Cruises:

The Canadian government requires foreign citizens from most countries other than the U.S. to obtain a visa for entry into Canada. This law affects all cruises that make a port of call in Canada including most cruises to and from Alaska and the Pacific Coast.

This will be checked and you wouldn’t want to risk it.

  • Is there a Canadian immigration officer checking passports at any point especially when not leaving the vessel? I believe OP's friend might be American (plus the ship departs from the US shore), therefore based on the above quote they're not breaking the rule as they do not require a visa but the question is whether anyone will be checking their passport for the purposes of admitting them to Canada. If that does happen and happens only if they leave the ship that could mean they might be fine staying on board?
    – kiradotee
    Sep 21, 2019 at 12:38
  • @kiradotee This will be checked on departure, and you wouldn’t want to risk it
    – Xnero
    Sep 21, 2019 at 13:30

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