Do you need a passport to book a cruise?

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A viewer wrote into Tegna’s Verify team after seeing a suspicious post on Facebook.

Matthew Faw emailed saying he “Saw on Facebook that in 2021 everyone sailing out on a cruise ship must have a passport! Is that true?” That would be big news, so we needed to get Matthew answers.

The source for this is the state department. We talked to Noel Clay, a press officer for the department. He says they recommend that everyone taking a cruise from the United States should take a passport, but that’s just in case of emergency, like having to be medically evacuated to a nearby country or a storm forcing your ship to an alternate port.

But technically, you do not need a passport on something called a “closed loop” cruise. That is a cruise that begins and ends at the same port in the U.S. And right now that is not expected to change in 2021.

So we can verify for Matthew this is false. You don’t need a passport for a closed loop cruise, but the state department strongly recommends you take one anyway. And if you have any questions you can always call your cruise company.

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