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How To Get A Vietnamese Visa While On A Cruise

Recently, an increasing number of tourists choose to travel to countries like Vietnam and Cambodia on cruise ships. Roughly, 57000 tourists from around the world went to Vietnam in the year 2017. If you are planning to take a cruise to Vietnam, here is some important information you should know to make your trip easier.

Cruise passengers visiting Vietnam can obtain a loose-leaf visa by simply filling out a form on Arrival at any Vietnam seaport. The prices range between USD 25 to USD 80. This completely depends on the cruise operator.

Vietnam, a southeastern Asian country, has secured a spot on the list of famous tourist destinations. Best known for its beaches, Buddhist Temples, rivers, and lively cities, Vietnam is also a country with a rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural landscapes. Learn all about getting a visa while on a cruise ship here.

What are the fees involved?

Cruise passengers visiting Vietnam can obtain a loose-leaf visa on Arrival at any Vietnam seaport. The prices for the same range between USD 25 to USD 80. This completely depends on the cruise operator.

What is the application process?

There are three options for tourists to apply for visas while on a cruise ship. These are as follows:

Option 1

Cruise ship passengers can obtain the loose-leaf visa upon Arrival at a Vietnam Port with a very simple procedure.

Passengers simply have to fill out a form given to them by the cruise operator. Upon Arrival, one just needs to submit the filled out form, their passport, and the applicable fees in order to get the loose-leaf visa document from the border services.

Option 2

The other way is to fill out the application for an E-Visa to enter through ship via the official platform. That is, you can apply through

Option 3

Apply through the closest  Vietnamese consulate in your country, which isn’t required or recommended for tourists but necessary for anyone who wants to stay in Vietnam for the long-term.

The main ports of Vietnam

The cruise ports in Vietnam are mentioned below. All the tourists can get their loose-leaf visa at any one of these mentioned ports.

  • Nha Trang Port
  • Da Nang/Hue/Chan May Port
  • Hanoi/Halong Bay Port
  • Cai Lan Port (Quang Ninh)
  • Phu My Port (Ho Chi Minh City)

Visa on Arrival for cruise passengers

With a printed Letter of Approval, visa stamping fee, and other necessary documents such as your passport, you can travel to Vietnam and apply to get your visa stamped at the counter upon arrival.

However, Visa on Arrival (VoA) is reserved only for tourists who enter the country through the air. Cruise passengers must either ask their cruise operator to arrange their visa or apply in advance as mentioned above.

E-Visa application for the cruise passengers

The application process for foreigners (outside of Vietnam) is fairly straightforward. Applicants may follow the steps given below on the official website.

Step1: Fill in the required information

Step 2: Upload a scanned image of their passports data page and a photograph (looking straight; no glasses)

(After submitting the above, a registration code will be sent to the applicant)

Step 3: Pay the application fee of USD 25. The application should be processed within 3 working days.

Step 4: Enter the registration code, Date of birth, and email in the “E-Visa search menu” to check the status of the application. If approved, the applicant must printout the E-Visa to enter/ exit Vietnam.

International Cruises and Offshore sightseeing

International cruise passengers who go into the mainland for sightseeing are now only required to pay a fee of USD 5 instead of a whopping USD 45. This was announced very recently. The new immigration regulations proved to be complicated, exhausting, and extremely time-consuming for the international tourists who wish to travel to this lovely place by cruise ship. 

Travel companies famous for organizing the local Vietnamese port visits and inland passenger tours also voiced their concern. These were mainly about the new regulations, stating that the regulations would deter these travelers from purchasing overland tours. It is because they were expected to fill out an application Visa form, pay a fee of USD 45 for it, and then wait for ages for immigration officers to use several seals to stamp their passports.

Agencies that can arrange the visa for you

If one does not want to go through the visa application process firsthand, there are many companies that do the job at a minimal fee.

Some of the best are listed below-

  • Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

There are many more online services that will procure Visas for you, but the easiest and most recommended way to get a Vietnamese visa is to get it from your cruise operator.

Visa overstay

There are no hard and fast consequences for overstaying your Visa in Vietnam, and the punishment lies in the hands of the immigration officer who catches your overstay!

However, one cannot just get away scot-free, as you will not be allowed to board the plane without speaking to an official first. The consequences range from a stern warning to paying a monetary fine ranging from USD 20 and upwards, with not much room to appeal or argue.

Overstays longer than just a couple of days may even result in deportation and not being allowed back in Vietnam.

There have also been instances where there were typos on the Visas, and tourists had to leave earlier as a result. It is advisable to check your visa as soon as you receive it and apply for rectifications if need be.

Extending the visa while on a cruise ship

Most visas can be extended for an extra three months by requesting the extension at the Vietnamese immigration offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang. While a valid reason to extend your stay is required, the fees and documents required will be decided by the immigration officer handling your case.

Just like visa procurement, visa extension services are also provided by many agencies as well as cruise lines.

While these visa agencies greatly simplify the process for tourists, one must keep in mind that most of these agencies are not officially sanctioned, and proceed with due research and caution.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Vietnamese visas on cruise ships. We hope they answer some basic questions you may have.

  1. If I arrive in Vietnam ports by cruise ship, will “visa on arrival (VOA)” be workable? Or is it only good at airports?
    1. VOA is only available to tourists who arrive by air.
  • What type of visa is required if I am planning to enter and exit through multiple ports?
    • While your cruise line should be able to guide you regarding visa types, Multi entry loose leaf visas would be the way to go.
  • What documents are required to apply for a Vietnamese visa?
    • The documents required might vary depending on where you apply for the visa, but a passport and some form of identification is mandatory everywhere along with the applicable fee amounts.

Additional tips to help you out

  1. Always carry your passport and visa while on land.
  2. Apply for visa through the cruise operator to be on the safer side.
  3. If your cruise makes multiple stops, your visa will be issued at the entry port and complete departure procedures at the last port.
  4. The cruise may charge their own service fees for procuring the visa on your behalf.

Hope this extensive guide helps you in understanding all about visas for Vietnam while on a Cruise ship.