Vietnam visa for cruise ship passengers: Requirements & Fees

Vietnam visa for cruise ship passengers

Cruising is a popular way to explore Vietnam, a country renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. However, before setting sail, it’s crucial to understand Vietnam’s visa requirements, as most cruise ship passengers will need to obtain a valid visa to enter the country.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the details of Vietnam’s visa policies for cruise ship passengers, including the various types of visas, application processes, and important considerations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Do I need a visa for Vietnam if on a cruise?

In most cases, yes, you will need a visa to enter Vietnam, even if you are visiting the country as a cruise ship passenger. This rule applies to all nationalities, unless you qualify for a visa exemption, which is quite limited.

Visa exemption for certain nationalities: A handful of countries enjoy visa-free entry for short tourist visits, typically for stays of 30-45 days. To see if you qualify for visa-free entry, check the Vietnam visa exemption list here.

Short shore excursions: For some cruise itineraries that involve short port stops where the ship remains in international waters, you might not need a visa if you don’t disembark the ship. This is a very rare scenario, and it’s vital to inquire with your cruise line for specific requirements based on your itinerary.

It’s important to note that even if you qualify for visa-free entry or short shore excursions, it is always advisable to check with your cruise line and the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the most up-to-date information regarding visa regulations.

Vietnam visa requirements for cruise ship passengers

While the exact requirements may vary depending on your nationality and your itinerary, here’s a general overview of what you will need to enter Vietnam as a cruise ship passenger:

1. Valid Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in Vietnam, with at least two blank pages for visa stamps.

2. Vietnam visa: You will need a valid visa to enter Vietnam, whether you are disembarking the ship for a shore excursion or staying overnight in the country. The type of visa you need will depend on your individual circumstances.

3. Confirmed Cruise Itinerary: This is a crucial document that you will provide at the Port of Entry. It indicates your arrival and departure dates, as well as the cruise line and ship name.

4. Proof of onward travel: You will need to present evidence of your onward travel, such as a flight itinerary or other travel documents, proving that you will be leaving Vietnam at the end of your cruise.

5. Financial means: While it’s not always strictly enforced, it can be helpful to show evidence of sufficient financial means to cover your expenses during your stay in Vietnam. This could be a credit card statement, bank statement, or cash.

6. Other documents: Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you might need additional documents, such as an invitation letter from a company or organization in Vietnam, or a confirmed hotel booking.

How to apply for a Vietnam visa as a cruise ship passenger?

There are several ways to obtain a Vietnam visa as a cruise ship passenger:

1. Vietnam eVisa: This is the most popular and convenient option, especially for cruise ship passengers. An Vietnam eVisa is a pre-approved visa that is processed electronically. It allows you to enter Vietnam at designated ports of entry. To apply for an eVisa, you will need to submit your passport details, photo, and other required information online.

2. Visa on arrival: Under certain circumstances, you might be able to obtain a visa upon arrival at a Vietnamese airport. However, this option is only available for specific nationalities and requires pre-approval from the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3. Visa at Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate: If you prefer to obtain your visa through traditional means, you can visit the nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. However, this process can be more time-consuming and may require a personal interview.

Vietnam Cruise Ports that accept eVisa

The eVisa option is the most convenient for cruise ship passengers, as it allows you to obtain your visa electronically before your trip. The good news is that many of Vietnam’s major cruise ports accept the eVisa, including:

  • Cam Pha Seaport (Quang Ninh)
  • Hon Gai Seaport (Quang Ninh)
  • Hai Phong Seaport (Hai Phong)
  • Vung Ang Seaport (Ha Tinh)
  • Chan May Seaport (Thua Thien Hue)
  • Da Nang Seaport (Da Nang)
  • Nha Trang Seaport (Khanh Hoa)
  • Quy Nhon Seaport (Binh Dinh)
  • Dung Quat Seaport (Quang Ngai)
  • Vung Tau Seaport (Ba Ria-Vung Tau)
  • Ho Chi Minh City Seaport (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Duong Dong Seaport (Kien Giang)

It’s essential to double-check the specific port of entry you’ll be using and ensure that the eVisa is accepted there. This information can be found on the official Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

How long is a Vietnam evisa for cruise ship passengers good for?

The validity of a Vietnam eVisa for cruise ship passengers can vary, but typically it is valid for a single entry and allows for a maximum stay of 90 days in the country.

It’s important to note that the eVisa’s validity period is calculated from the date of entry, not the date of issuance. This means that you should apply for your eVisa close to your planned travel dates to maximize the duration of your stay in Vietnam.

Visa processing time for cruise ship passengers

The processing time for a Vietnam eVisa can vary, but it’s generally a relatively quick and straightforward process. Most eVisa applications are processed within 4-6 business days, although it’s recommended to apply at least a week before your planned travel date to allow for any unexpected delays.

For visa applications at the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate, the processing time can be longer, often taking 5-10 business days or more, depending on the location and the volume of applications. It’s essential to plan ahead and apply for your visa well in advance of your cruise departure.

Vietnam visa fee for cruise ship passengers

The cost of a Vietnam visa for cruise ship passengers can vary depending on the type of visa and the method of application:

  • Vietnam eVisa: The cost for a single-entry eVisa is typically around $25-$50 USD, depending on your nationality.
  • Visa on arrival: If you’re eligible for the visa on arrival option, the cost can range from $25-$50 USD, plus an additional service fee charged by the approved visa agency.
  • Visa from Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate: The cost for a visa application at the embassy or consulate can vary, but it’s generally more expensive than the eVisa or visa on arrival options, often ranging from $50-$100 USD or more.

It’s important to note that the visa fees are subject to change, so it’s always best to check the current rates on the official Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or with your cruise line.

Tips for smooth entry with a Vietnam visa for cruise ship passengers

To ensure a smooth entry into Vietnam as a cruise ship passenger, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Apply for your visa early: Don’t wait until the last minute to apply for your Vietnam visa. Applying well in advance, preferably a few weeks before your cruise departure, will help ensure that your visa is processed in time and reduce the risk of any delays.

2. Double-check your visa details: Carefully review your visa once it’s issued to ensure that all the information, such as your name, passport number, and travel dates, is accurate. This will help prevent any issues at the port of entry.

3. Carry all necessary documents: Make sure you have all the required documents, such as your valid passport, visa, cruise itinerary, and proof of onward travel, readily available when you arrive in Vietnam. This will help streamline the immigration process.

4. Arrive early at the port: Allow plenty of time for the immigration and customs processes at the port of entry. Arrive at least an hour or two before your scheduled disembarkation to avoid any delays.

5. Communicate with your cruise line: Stay in close communication with your cruise line throughout the visa application process. They can provide valuable guidance and support, ensuring that you have all the necessary information and documents.


Navigating the Vietnam visa requirements for cruise ship passengers can seem daunting, but with the right information and preparation, the process can be seamless. Whether you choose the convenient eVisa option or opt for a traditional visa application, it’s essential to understand the specific requirements and plan ahead to ensure a hassle-free entry into the country.

By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can focus on enjoying the breathtaking sights, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine that Vietnam has to offer during your cruise adventure.

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