Vacations are one of those luxuries you might actually enjoy planning and look forward to all year. If you’re like most people, the goal of going on vacation is to decompress, chill out and recharge your batteries. Typically that means as little stress as possible during both the planning and travel phases.
While passports are our gateway to the world, they can also be a hindrance when it comes time to book your vacation. What if it’s expired? What if it’s set to expire during your trip? What if you’re traveling with young ones who don’t have their passports? What if you don’t have a passport?
Whatever the reason, if you’ve got your heart set on traveling abroad but don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of securing or updating your passport, there’s hope for you.
Cruises are a great way to experience traveling to other countries without needing a passport. The official name for these types of voyages is a closed loop cruise. These are cruises that embark from a specific U.S. port and return to that exact port. However, there are certain limitations on these voyages, most notably that whichever international destination it cruises to has to be a contiguous territory of the U.S.
The good news is that both Canada and Mexico are defined as contiguous U.S. territories because they touch borders with the U.S. Furthermore, there are a slew of islands that qualify for closed-loop cruises, further expanding your options for a sunny, stress-free vacation.
We’ve hand-picked five locations you can cruise to without a passport, so keep reading to learn more.
1. The Bahamas
White sand, palm trees and some of the most beautiful water you’ve ever seen are all calling your name. Because the Bahamas are so close to Florida, it’s a relatively quick and easy trip to make — and thankfully most major cruise lines departing from the U.S. make stops there.
Carnival has a number of cruises that depart from different places in the U.S. and make their way to the Bahamas for reasonable rates. For example, this four-Day Bahamas trip package that leaves from Miami offers an ocean view room and is just $409 per person before taxes. You’ll depart from Miami on day one, arrive at Half Moon Cay on day two, enjoy a day at sea on day three, arrive at Nassau on day four and return to Miami on day five. All meals and some non-alcoholic beverages are included in this cost, so you won’t have to worry about those additional charges.
While Alaska is one of the 50 states, cruises to Alaska offer a level of adventure and excitement that rivals any international voyage.
Princess Cruises offers a number of trips to Alaska that depart from Seattle — and don’t require passports. For example, this seven-night trip departs from Seattle and passes through Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Alaska, and then heads to Victoria, British Columbia, before returning to Seattle. An interior room is priced at $649 per person before taxes, and the price includes meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, on-board entertainment, an adults-only solarium and plenty of additional amenities.
3. The Caribbean
The Caribbean is one of these idyllic destinations that often comes to mind when thinking of the perfect cruise. It encompasses a group of many islands and nations, including Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda and a wealth of others.
The Royal Caribbean is one of the most popular options to consider when sailing to The Caribbean, and cruises that depart from the U.S. don’t require a U.S. passport to book. The site does however mention that a U.S.-issued birth certificate or Enhanced Drivers License are required, so make sure you have those on hand before traveling.
If you’re looking to get away, you may want to consider the line’s four-night eastern cruise that departs from Miami and passes through the Dominican Republic before returning stateside. Prices start at $373 a person before taxes for an interior room and include food, entertainment and a variety of interactive experiences.
While Mexico is one of our closest neighbors, it offers incredible cultural experiences that are vastly different from anything you’ll find stateside. If you don’t want to travel with a passport, don’t worry — there are plenty of closed-loop cruises that travel to various ports in Mexico.
For example, this five-day trip offered by Princess Cruises departs from Los Angeles and spends two days in Cabo San Lucas before returning to the U.S. Prices start from $400 for an interior room and include dining, fitness centers, live entertainment, movies and much more.
No list of cruises would be complete without mention of Hawaii. Like Alaska, Hawaii is another U.S. state, but it offers cultural experiences, landscapes and adventures that make it seem like a much more far-flung destination. Due to its geography, a trip to Hawaii offers a diverse array of activities, including cave explorations, waterfall excursions, hikes and, of course, laid-back beach vibes.
If you’re interested in taking a longer cruise (we don’t blame you) Carnival offers a 14-day cruise to Hawaii that departs from Los Angeles starting from $1,739 per person for an interior room. This dreamy escape departs from Los Angeles and heads to Hilo, Maui, Honolulu and Kauai before heading back to California. Excursions include trips to the Maui Ocean Center, canyon and river tours and snorkeling just to name a few.
Any products or services mentioned above were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.