Print Logotype

Will I need a visa?

Together with our preferred visa provider CIBT, we are pleased to provide you a simple online solution to all your World Cruise visa requirements at

The online portal will provide you with: 

  • Detailed visa information specific to your cruise
  • Details of required documentation needed to support your applications
  • Application forms available for you to print out and send to CIBT

Please note this information applies to British passport holders who reside in the UK at the time of the application. Your visa requirements may differ if you do not hold a British Citizen passport, should this be the case, you can contact the relevant embassy or consulate for advice. Alternatively you can contact our recommended visa service CIBT on 0207 620 6487. Be sure to advise that you are travelling by sea, as your visa requirements may be different to the standard advice supplied for air travel.

Fines may be imposed if you travel without the correct documentation and it is important we point out that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documents prior to travel or when in transit to the countries included in your itinerary. Failure to have the correct documents will result in denial of boarding or repatriation, in line with government regulations. Please be sure to check your itinerary and obtain the visas required for the specific countries you will be visiting during your cruise. Visas are required when embarking/ disembarking or staying on board. 

Visa requirements for British Citizens in possession of a full British Citizen Passport

The below is correct at time of publishing and pertains to UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) passport holders and should be used for guidance only. Please note, some "British Isles" passports issued in the Isle of Man or the Bailiwicks of Jersey or Guernsey, do not have the same visa exceptions as a full UK passport and guests holding either of these passports should check this with CIBT specifically for the countries they are visiting on their itinerary.

CIBT are experts in visa and passport arrangements and can provide visas online at or by phone 0207 620 6487.

Any visa that is obtained on board are charged in dollars, this will be converted to Pounds Sterling (and charged at the conversion rate of the day) to your on board account. 

Visa Information - Your Responsibilities

Please note that there may be a visa requirement for your cruise and it is the responsibility of each guest to ensure that they are in possession of all travel documents required for their itinerary. Guests who do not possess the proper documentation may be prevented from boarding their flight or ship or from entering a country. In some cases this may lead to large fines which you will be required to pay and/or immediate repatriation to your home country at your own expense. Please ensure you check your requirements carefully before you travel to avoid unnecessary expense and inconvenience. Please also ensure you read the Important Information below:

Important Information

  • When applying for your visa you must ensure that all guests' full names are exactly the same as they appear as in their passport. If there is any difference, you may be refused entry onto your flight/cruise.
  • Passport and visa requirements may change and vary by destination. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any flight, cruise or into any country, or otherwise suffer any difficulties or incur any costs as a result of not having the correct passport and/or any required visa(s).
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of all necessary travel and health documents before departure. You must pay all costs incurred in obtaining such documentation. Certain Port Authorities may require photo identification when you depart the ship during the cruise. We strongly suggest that you take photocopies of your passport information page with you in addition to but separately from your passport itself and that you carry the photocopy with you each time you depart the ship in order to minimise any inconvenience this may cause and to provide an official means of identification whilst ashore in case it is required or due to loss/theft of your passport.
  • The information is correct at time of publishing and is subject to change at any time. UK passport information applies to British Citizens, holders of another UK passport must check with the relevant authority. There is often a stipulation on having a minimum amount of validity left on your passport and a number of clear pages in order to gain entry, which can be up to a 6 month requirement. Again, please check with the relevant authority.
  • With the exception of Russia (St Petersburg), please note that if there is requirement to obtain a visa prior to travel for a particular country, and a guest chooses to not disembark the ship, then the guest is still required to obtain the necessary visa.


Schengen Visa - Non-European passport holders may require a Schengen Visa for entry into Continental Europe. The United Kingdom is not a Schengen State member*. British Citizen passport holders do not require a Schengen Visa. Please ensure you check your entry requirements for Europe prior to embarkation.

British Passport Holders

Visas for short trips: you do not need one if you’re a tourist

If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. You can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Please note, the number of days is calculated by the number of days spent in port within a cruise itinerary. In certain circumstances a sea day in between 2 ports within a single country is also counted as a day.

If you visit more than one of these countries within a 180-day period, check that you do not spend more than 90 days in total across all the countries you visit. That’s because most of these countries apply the 90-day limit as a group.

There are different rules for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. They each have their own separate 90-day limits. The time you spend in other countries does not affect how long you can spend in each of these countries without a visa.

You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, or to study, work or travel for businessCheck the travel advice for each country you’re visiting for more information.


* Schengen State members are: are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

For all other countries, please contact the relevant embassy for details.


Visas obtained on arrival:

Country Approximate cost 
(where applicable)
Egypt No charge
UAE No charge


Visa application time scales

Visa time scales may be longer during periods such as Christmas and/or when embassies are closed.  In addition, your own personal circumstances may affect timescales quoted.  We recommend that you obtain your visa as early as possible.


Visa and passport information can change so it is important that you recheck your passport and visa requirements no later than 3 weeks prior to your holiday departure.  The information provided on this site was correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change at any time.  It is your responsibility to travel with the correct travel documentation.




If your itinerary includes Australia, you will be required to obtain an e Visitor or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Whether you are staying on board, going ashore, in transit, embarking or disembarking. You must ensure your Australian visa is valid for your entry into Australia.

Please note - the Australian Government require the majority of guests over the age of 75 years to partake in a medical before issuing any visa. Our recommended visa service, CIBT are unable to assist you in your application if you fall into this age group and you will therefore need to send your passport and medical reports directly to the Embassy.


British citizen passport holders who travel to Canada by AIR will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Entry requirements for other methods of travel (land, sea) have not changed.  If you are travelling by land or sea, you won’t need an eTA when you enter Canada, therefore this will not apply to our guests calling at Canada on one of our cruises.

However, if you are joining in Canada and arriving by air you should visit the dedicated website ( to check if an eTA will be required.


Cape Verde

If arriving by sea no visa is required for the visit to Cape Verde as the ship is classed as 'in transit'. If you are embarking/disembarking in Cape Verde you must obtain a visa prior to travel.


A 15 day free visa stay is available to all in transit guests (guests who sail in and out of Shanghai on the same vessel). Please note that restrictions apply:

  • Guests have to participate in a tour (at least 2 people) organised by travel agencies that are legally registered in China. These can be ship organised tours or independent tour agencies. The ship will apply for the 15 day free visa stay for tours booked on-board. If you have booked an independent tour please ensure your travel agency applies on your behalf. Please note: guests are not allowed to leave the tour group (even to join another vehicle) and special approval will have to be obtained in case of an emergency.
  • The visa free stay is valid for the duration of the tour(s) and you will have to leave Shanghai on the same day with the vessel.

If you wish to go ashore independently in Shanghai a Chinese visa is required. Guests without a valid Chinese visa and without an organised tour booking will be detained on-board for the duration of our stay in China.

Hong Kong Land Tours - Guests embarking or disembarking in Hong Kong after (or before proceeding with) an overland tour into China must apply for a Chinese tourist visa prior to arrival. 

Coastal guests who travel from Hong Kong to Shanghai only (starting their holiday in Hong Kong and finally disembarking in Shanghai) are required to obtain a Chinese visa and are not able to make use of any visa waivers.

All guests must bring a photocopy of the photograph/personal details page of your passport.

Please note: China has introduced the collection of fingerprints for those guests wishing to obtain a Chinese visa, therefore a visit to the Chinese Embassy is required when obtaining a Chinese visa.

Those guests (of 51 different nationalities) starting their cruise or ending their cruise in Shanghai are entitled to make use of the 144 hour Chinese visa exemption but only if the following conditions are met:

  • Your stay in China is within Shanghai city, Jiangsu province or Zhejiang province, and not exceeding 144 hours (6 Days). You either have an onward flight confirmation to a 3rd country (outside China) or a cruise ticket confirming that the next port of call is outside China
  • Your arrival/departure is via one of the below mentioned entry/exit points and you are able to hand-over a copy of your onward travel arrangements to the Chinese Officials on arrival or the Ship staff when finally disembarking (Ship staff are required to present documentation 48 hours in advance to our Shanghai agents)

Shanghai Pudong international airport
Shanghai Hongqiao international airport
Shanghai railway station
Shanghai Wusongkou international cruise terminal
Shanghai port international cruise terminal
Nanjing Lukou international airport
Hangzhou Xiaoshan international airport

Remember that the 144 hours is from the moment you arrive in China to the moment you leave Chinese Territories. If you have any pre or post cruise hotel stays booked in China or your onward itinerary includes additional Chinese ports, you will need to make sure that your time shoreside, and on board does not take you over the 144 hour limit, if it does you will require a visa.

Please note: If you are not staying in one of the above mentioned areas or not arriving/leaving from the mentioned exit/entry points you will need to obtain a Chinese visa.

Also this exemption does not apply to guests travelling in and out of Shanghai on the same vessel. (In transit guests) as those guests will be able to make use of a 15 day free visa stay, but only when booked on an organised tour.

Dominican Republic

If entering Amber Cove by sea there are no visa requirements. If entering the Dominican Republic via air, a tourist card must be obtained.


A Quick Stamp visa for Egypt will be issued upon the ship’s arrival in Egypt. Therefore you are not required to obtain an Egyptian visa in advance of your cruise. There is currently no charge for the Quick Stamp Egyptian visa.



Guests visiting India by ship are required to have a valid Indian visa, whether you intend to go ashore or remain on board the ship. India has introduced electronic visas (E-visas) which are now accepted at the ports visited by P&O Cruises. To obtain your E-visa, please visit

Please bring a print out of your E-visa confirmation showing ‘GRANTED’ at check-in for immigration purposes. You will also be required to show the print out when attending immigration checks on arrival into India. Please ensure the information on your E-visa confirmation matches your passport information. Guests who arrive without a valid Indian visa will be denied boarding.

 Please note: P&O Cruises require all guests visiting India to obtain a visa in advance whether they intend to go ashore or remain on board the ship. This position has been taken to protect guests from any restrictions that are imposed by the Indian authorities, in the unlikely event of having to disembark the ship in India due to an emergency or for any other reason.

 An Indian tourist visa (sticker in passport) is also acceptable should you wish to obtain this instead, however the E-visa is easier to obtain and less expensive.

 Please be aware that visas will be processed by Indian Immigration officials on arrival into your first Indian port which may delay going ashore. Please allow time for this when planning your day.

New Zealand

International travellers, who are Visa Waiver nationals, may enter New Zealand without a visa after obtaining an approved New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).

Please note that all guests travelling with an NZeTA must present a print out of a successful NZeTA application at check in

Obtaining NZeTA approval, for most travellers, will be simple and easy. To apply for your NZeTA, please follow this link to the NZeTA application website cost of obtaining an NZeTA is currently NZ$12.00 (however this is subject to change at any time) and payable during the application using a credit or debit card.

Approved NZeTA applications are valid for a period of two years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first, and multiple trips to New Zealand without the traveller having to reapply for another NZeTA.

When applying for you NZeTA, a tourism levy of NZ$35 must also be paid which is valid for the same length of time as the NZeTA.

Should you require assistance applying for your NZeTA, our preferred Visa provider, CIBT are available on 0207 620 6998.


Visa stamps for Oman are compulsory and will be issued upon the ship’s arrival by the local Port Authorities, whether you are staying on board or going ashore. There is currently no charge for the visa stamp.

South Africa

Although visas are not required please note that your passport should contain two blank passport pages for the South African entry and exit stamps. Prior to applying for visas for other countries, please ensure you have adequate blank pages to allow for these stamps. Should you have limited blank pages, P&O Cruises strongly suggest you obtain a replacement passport before applying for your visas.

Parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa  will be asked to show the child’s unabridged (full) birth certificate. Where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (e.g. an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate) will be required. Further requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents may apply, for more information; contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.  

Please see the question - What are the regulations for travelling to South Africa with children

Sri Lanka

If you are starting or ending your holiday in Sri Lanka, an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) must be obtained online ( prior to arrival/departure. A fee will apply if obtaining a Tourist ETA.

If you are visiting Sri Lanka as part of your cruise itinerary (arriving and leaving Sri Lanka with the ship), you are required to obtain a Transit ETA online ( A Transit ETA  is free of charge. 

Please note, the Transit ETA confirmation states that you may only transit and are not permitted to enter Sri Lanka. This is acceptable for cruise lines as you are classed as 'in transit' providing you enter and leave Sri Lanka with the ship. This will not restrict you in going ashore during the call. 

When completing your application, please note the following:

  • "Port of Departure" is the previous port you are scheduled to visit prior to arrival in Sri Lanka
  • "Final Destination" is the port where you will be ending your cruise
  • "Vessel Number" is the cruise number 
  • "Address in Sri Lanka" is the ship name (if applying for a Transit ETA)



Cruise ship guests who are joining the ship in Turkey or are leaving the ship in Turkey to travel home are required to obtain an e-visa prior to travel. If you are visiting Turkey as part of your cruise itinerary but are not joining the ship in Turkey or disembarking to travel home, a visa is not required.

To obtain an e-visa for Turkey please visit for further information and the official channel for applying for the e-visa

Guests of all nationalities are required to have at least 60 days validity on their passport from the day they enter Turkey.Guests who are either embarking or disembarking (beginning or ending) their cruise in Turkey and therefore require a visa, need to ensure their passports have at least 180 days validity otherwise the visa will not be issued.

United Arab Emirates

Transit Visa stamps for Dubai are compulsory and will be issued upon the ship’s arrival, whether you are staying on board or going ashore. You do not need to obtain these visas in advance of the cruise. If you are joining your cruise in the United Arab Emirates you may need to purchase a visa on arrival at the airport.

United States of America (and territories)

International travellers, who are nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries, may enter the USA without a visa after completing an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) – please see the instructions for how to apply at the end of this section. You may check to see if you are eligible for this programme by visiting Some of the conditions for entry into the VWP are listed below, however if you do not hold a full British Citizen passport or a passport from another country eligible for the VWP, your situation may be different and you should check to ensure you have the correct documentation for your holiday. 

Obtaining ESTA approval, for most travellers, will be simple and easy. To apply for your ESTA, please follow the link to the ESTA application website at  A third party, such as a relative or Travel Agent, is permitted to submit an ESTA application on behalf of a VWP traveller. The cost of obtaining an ESTA is currently USD$21.00, this is subject to change at any time.  All payments must be made directly to the official Department of Homeland Security ESTA website above using a credit card or debit card. Please do not use any other website as they may charge you a higher fee for the same service.

Please note a biometric passport  is required when applying for an ESTA. Kindly present at check-in a copy of your ESTA confirmation as evidence for Immigration purposes. Please ensure the information on your ESTA confirmation matches your passport information.

British Subjectpassport holders are required to obtain a full US visa prior to travel.  

 * These are mostly people who were born in British India before 01/01/49 and did not become citizens of India, or who were citizens of Eire and British subjects before 01/01/49 and have made a claim to retain British Subject

Please note, guests who have travelled to Cuba since March 2011 are not eligible to apply for an ESTA and must apply for a full tourist visa. Visa appointments can take several months and is advisable to obtain as soon as possible.

The T&C’s of the ESTA which can also be found on the official ESTA website states that visiting any country on their terrorism list invalidates the ESTA so we do need to make guests aware.


Additional Information

Processing time for Indian Visas

For guest who are travelling to India you will notice that Indian visa applications should be submitted no earlier than 3 months prior to entry into India. This would only apply to guests who's itinerary does not allow them to apply at this time i.e they have already embarked the ship before this time, please advise them to contact CIBT who will be able to apply up to four months prior to entry into India.

Was this helpful to you?

Please rate this answer by selecting one of the stars below (1 star low, 5 stars high).

Poor Excellent