Popular cruising countries that Australian visitors will need a visa for

May 03, 2019
Australian citizens hold one of the world's most powerful passports, however some popular destinations still require a visa. Source: Getty

Australian passport holders can enter 161 countries without needing a travel visa, but some popular destinations do require one – even if you’re not planning to step ashore.

A travel visa is an official document which temporarily grants travellers permission to stay in a foreign country. Most cruises will offer visa arrangements for their passengers for a small fee, Travel at 60 consultant David Wilkinson explains. However if they don’t then finding out whether or not you’ll need a visa to enter the different destinations you’ll be visiting is your own responsibility.

You can apply online for most visas or you can submit the appropriate documentation in person at the country’s embassy or consulate. Depending on where you’re travelling to, you can apply for the visa once you arrive or before you depart.

The most credible way to find this information is to contact an official representative of the country. These can be located on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

To help get you started though, here’s a list of some of the most popular cruising countries that Australian visitors will need a visa for:

United States

If you’re staying in the US for under 90 days you won’t need to apply for a visa. Instead, you’ll need to check out the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. It will cost $18 and can be paid online.


If you’re on a commercial cruise ship that’s docking for less than 72 hours in some port cities then you don’t have to apply for a visa. Check with your cruise line about where and how long you’ll be in the country. If your stay is longer, and depending on the port(s) you’ll be visiting, then a visa must be applied for prior to arrival. Some visas take weeks to get, so it definitely pays to be organised.


Visas are required here. You can pay for them in cash on arrival or you can organise an e-visa online through their website. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days.


Tourists staying for more than 30 will require a visa. You can purchase an e-visa here for $25. You should print it out and keep it with you at all times while travelling around the country. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days.


Whether your visit is for tourism, business, work, study or any other purpose, you’ll need to get an electronic travel authorisation to be approved to travel to Canada. The visa is about $7, but will be denied if you have a criminal record, including a drink-driving offence.


E-visas in Myanmar are only valid at airports and border crossings, so cruise travellers will have to apply for visas in advance. They are valid for up to 28 days and cost $60. They’re single entry only and can be purchased here.


In some cases, transit visas are available for people visiting China on short trips, however in most cases tourists require a full visa. This website outlines which visas Australians should be applying for.

Please note, while all information was correct at the time of publication, it’s vital you check with your cruise operator or relevant embassy to check if any information has been updated.

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