I am going to Alaska and one of my stops is Canada. Can I be denied to board a cruise at a US port if I have a misdemeanor? I understand that I may not be able to get off the ship in Canada and that would be ok. I just want to make sure I can still at least board the ship.

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    IIRC you cannot board the ship: you should have valid entry also for Canada. It doesn't matter if you will not get off ship. There were a similar case in newspaper few years ago (so if one can search it, would be a nice answer). Commented Jun 18 at 6:52
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi I don't know about cruise lines, but I suppose it's the same with air travel: the carrier does not require clean criminal background checks from its passengers. You don't need to have "valid entry"; you only need to have valid documents. For a US citizen, a passport is sufficient. Tense' Leach: are you a US citizen? Do you have a passport?
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 18 at 7:57
  • For completeness, which cruise line? What do the T&C of your booking say? What did the cruise line say when you asked? This is an old discussion thread that didn’t arrive at a firm conclusion, but assuming nothing has changed since it indicates there is a risk of denial.
    – Traveller
    Commented Jun 18 at 8:01
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    @phoog: yeas, but on newspaper there were details which I do not remember, but it was very similar and also the passengers didn't plan to go on-shore. Note: manifest is shared to authorities of countries which ship sails. Worst case: you may be forced to disembark e.g. in "nowhere" in Alaska because Canada advised ship that you are not allowed to enter in Canada (you are in Canada also before "clearing immigration"). 00 I really recommend to check the story to have better info on what Canada know and new procedures Commented Jun 18 at 8:59

1 Answer 1


Someone with more practical experiences can provide a better answer.

CBSA does receive advanced passenger information from cruise ship operators, including the name, date of birth, citizenship and passport number of all passengers. Some automated and manual checks are conducted and CBSA can instruct the cruise ship operator to deny boarding or direct specific passengers for interview upon entry (even if the passenger does not disembark).

Exactly what checks are done and what triggers a specific investigation or instruction are not known. Canada and the U.S. share extensive information for border protection purposes. CBSA does have full access to FBI's criminal information database (NCIC), although the data there may not be complete and a detailed search is not always done for everyone. While a murder suspect with an active federal warrant is almost certainly going to get flagged, whether your public intoxication conviction from ten years ago is going to trigger an investigation is not known.

Can I be denied to board a cruise at a US port if I have a misdemeanor?

You can be.

It should also be noted that whether the U.S. considers it a misdemeanor or not does not matter for the admissibility to Canada. Your offence would need to be equated to a Canadian offence, if it exists, and the seriousness is assessed based on Canadian law. A misdemeanor DUI usually leads to inadmissibility to Canada, whereas a felony conviction for voluntarily terminating a pregnancy would not likely lead to inadmissiblity. However, the equation process requires significant attention to the specific circumstances (it is not something you can usually do yourself; and only the Canadian government has the final authority on that) and cruise ship operators can still deny boarding if alerted by CBSA.

  • It is also possible to apply to the Canadian government for "deemed rehabilitation". The government would then decide whether or not you could be admitted despite your criminal record. Commented Jun 18 at 20:00

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