Visas for Panama Canal Cruise

My wife and I UK Citizens, resident in Spain. We are taking a Panama Canal Cruise with NCL in April.

The cruise departs from Miami and ends in Los Angeles, visiting Colombia, Costa Rica, Nigaragua, Guatemala and finally Mexico before returning to the US.

We are having difficulty finding out if a US Visa Waiver will be sufficient for our trip, or if we will need full visas. Our travel Agent and the Cruise line tell us to contact the US Embassy but the embassy won't accept phone calls regarding visas and replies to emails with a standard message saying to check their web site. I've checked it and it doesn't have the answer to this query. Has anyone else taken this trip?




Community Manager
Staff member
Cruise lines deal with Visas all the time, funny they could not provide any information.

We have two members on the board that sail out of Florida and New York quite a bit that might be able to jump in with some information. Christoffer lives in Finland and Funnel lives in Sweden.
But as a US citizen I have been in all of those countries at one time or another some more than once on cruise lines and have never had to have a Visa.


Forum Manager
Staff member
Here you go// THIS INFO was good PRE TRUMP .

INFO from a known reliable source a travelling Brit.

U.K. Citizens only need ESTAs (visa waiver)

It's the U.S. that's the problem. All the other places you just get off the ship and enjoy the day.

Because they are leaving from one US port and arriving at another, like we did in 2014, the US immigration people are really pedantic and we had to go queue to sort out our re-entry along with everyone else who wasn't a US citizen.

They also need to be aware that depending on the time of day and the mood of immigration at Miami it can take anything from no time to a very long time to get through!

Hope this helps

PS if they haven't already got their ESTAs tell them to make sure they apply on the US Govt website. There are tour operators who have links on the websites but they charge more.