Places to Cruise Without a Passport

PHOTO: Norwegian Epic luxury cruise liner. (Photo via Flickr / Joe Tolley)
Michael Schottey
by Michael Schottey
Last updated: 7:00 AM ET, Wed June 26, 2019

Don't Put Off Your Trip

Look, the team at TravelPulse thinks you should have a (well-used) passport, but if you don't-for whatever reason-you shouldn't give up the trip of your dreams. Most people do not realize that there are plenty of cruises they can take without this piece of government-issued ID.

It's always better to have a passport for emergencies, and you should check with your cruise line, travel insurance provider and travel agent before you go, but there are a host of U.S. locations which have fantastic cruise ports as well as places outside the U.S. you can enter on a closed-loop cruise which departs and returns to the same port.

Just, get your passport when you get back!

River Cruising

River cruising has been one of the biggest trends in travel for years now, and while the European river cruises are certainly not to be missed, you can travel up and down some of America's iconic rivers thanks to companies like American Queen Steamboat Company and others. River cruise itineraries on multiple cruise lines on the Mississippi, Columbia, Ohio, Tennessee, Hudson and in the Great Lakes are jam-packed with exciting stops and awesome entertainment.


Cruising in Alaska is hot hot hot right now, and while many may think of warmer climes when it comes to hopping aboard a ship, I would challenge any destination to go port-for-port with Alaska when it comes to the variety of excursions and the absolute gold mine of activities.


Like Alaska, Hawaii is a U.S. State where residents can enter an entirely different world while staying inside their very own country. Visit some of the best beaches, play some of the best golf, see some of the most beautiful sites and eat some of the best food-all while staying in the good old U.S. of A.

Puerto Rico

Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, U.S. residents can enter and exit without restriction. Whether it's touring San Juan, exploring a rainforest or enjoying some of the finest beaches the Caribbean has to offer, cruising is a great way to experience Puerto Rico.

U.S. Virgin Islands

It's right in the name of the overall territory that this is part of the United States, but many residents don't realize that St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are places they may be dreaming about and can go without any extra stress! These are beautiful, otherworldly cruise stops that you can plan a trip to today!


Guam is the furthest West anyone can go and remain in the United States, and cruises to Guam usually include Asian destinations that would be off-limits without a passport. Still, if the right small-ship itinerary pops up, Guam is part of your country and you can explore this paradise anytime you want!


Now we're at the area of the slideshow where you need to be extra careful. Moving forward, these are not U.S. destinations, but rather places you can enter on a closed-loop cruise where you are leaving and returning to the same U.S. Port. Just check with your travel agent and the cruise line to make sure you have the right paperwork, and you can swim with these pigs (and do so much more) in the Bahamas!


Because almost all cruises are, by nature, all-inclusive, you can not only visit destinations like Bermuda on a closed-loop itinerary, but you're also going to save a ton of money in the process. Enjoy excursions that will get you intimate with some amazing pieces of nature or bring you to the most magnificent pink sand beaches in the entire world.


Jamaica is a bucket list destination for many, but you can visit there on a closed-loop itinerary and have a vacation of all shapes and size. From large ships to small ships and from family-friendly, eco-tourism to absolute blowout parties, Jamaica has it all. Exploring the entire island should be your goal and you will have the time of your life.


Yes, you read that can go to Mexico without a passport. Again, make sure you have all the specific details for your ports and excursions before you go-and make sure you don't miss getting back on the ship-but you can explore everything from Mayan ruins to Mexican Riviera beaches and take amazing tours.

Canada and New England

This area of the world isn't the first place most think of when it comes to cruising, but there are a number of cruise ports in the upper Northeast that provide fantastic itineraries. Pick a port like New York or Boston and end up exploring areas like Maine, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and more!

Costa Rica

Like a lot of places on this list, Costa Rica is the sort of place people dream about and too many feel is entirely out of reach. Booking a closed-loop itinerary to Costa Rica is not only going to get you there even before you get your passport, but you'll be able to enjoy some of the best eco-friendly tourism of your life in the process. The only drawback, you're going to want to finally get that passport when you get back so you can return and spend even more time there!


Speaking of amazing eco-travel...In Belize, you can zip-line through rainforests, visit baboons and howler monkeys, explore waterfalls and caves, visit Mayan ruins and more. Give yourself some extra exploring time, however, because you're going to work up an appetite and Belizean food is your favorite cuisine that you haven't tried yet!

Don't let a piece of paper stand between you and the vacation of your dreams.

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Michael Schottey

Michael Schottey

Michael Schottey is a freelance writer for TravelPulse. A professional writer and editor for over a decade, Schottey lives in...

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me