If you are planning travel please take a minute to review the passport information below. If you don't already have a valid passport, make sure you avoid the rush and give yourself plenty of time to apply for one. Once you've got a passport in hand and any required visas, the whole world is yours to explore.


If you are a British or Irish citizen (including children and infants), you must have your own full 10 year (5 year for children) Passport. We strongly recommend the passport is valid for at least 6 months after your expected return date. Please note that Irish infants (up to age 3) are issued with a 3 year passport. It is no longer possible for children to be included on their parent's passport. Obtaining a full British passport presently takes approximately 4 - 6 weeks, but you should allow longer at busy times of the year. If you or any member of your party is 16 or over and haven't yet got a passport, our recommendation is that you should apply for one at least 6 weeks before your holiday. The Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and may ask you to attend an interview in order to do this.

Further information can be found at these sites:



If you are struggling to find the time to process your passport application, please note that our recommended Visa partner, VisaCentral have the facility to process Passport applications. For full details please visit their website through the below link:


Travelling to the United States

The US Department of Homeland Security has changed the process for entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme. In the past, holders of a UK or Irish passport could complete their immigration card (I-94W) onboard their flight/cruise to the US which would allow them to enter under the VWP as long as they met the other requirements, such as passport validity, criminal record etc. This process has now been replaced with the ESTA system.

Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)

ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) and whether such travel poses any law enforcement or security risk.

It is now a MANDATORY requirement to board any ship/flight which will call at a US port of entry (Including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) and also is required if arriving in the US in transit to another country. All airlines are strictly adhering to this regulation.

To apply for authorisation to travel to the United States under the VWP, please log on to the ESTA web-based system here https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and complete an application online providing the biographical and eligibility information required.

ESTAs are mandatory for everyone travelling to the US. You must apply for an ESTA no later than 72 hours before departing for the United States. Real-time approvals are no longer available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding. Some other countries also run similar programmes – so make sure you've checked the requirements well in advance.

The airlines will be ensuring that the ESTA information has been completed at check-in. For cruise check-in, our guests will need to bring a printed copy of their ESTA approval and present this at the pier when checking in for a cruise that will call/finish at any U.S. port. i.e. boarding a ship in Canada that will call at a US port.

Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility if ESTA applications are rejected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS.) Any rejected ESTA applications will need to be referred to the Embassy of the United States to apply for a visa to travel to the United States.

Once approved, your ESTA lasts for 2 years, unless certain information changes in that time. You can apply without having definite plans to travel to the US. You do not need to update the ESTA application with the details of your flight/cruise etc or address whilst in the US. It does NOT guarantee you admission to the US, this will be determined at the point of entry, as has always been the case. Every member of a travelling party must have their own ESTA approval. There is a charge payable by credit card. Dept of Homeland Security recommends that ESTA applications are submitted no less than 72 hours prior to travel. If you wish to submit your ESTA application via VisaCentral, who are experts in the application process, please click on the link below:

San Juan (Puerto Rico)

If a guest is going to board a cruise in San Juan and they fly direct without transit through a US airport and the cruise itinerary does not call at a US port, they will still need to complete an ESTA to gain entry under the Visa Waiver Programme to San Juan as it comes under the US visa requirements.

Visa Waiver Program - Passport Requirements

If you are travelling to the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme, you and all members of your party (including children) must ensure that your passport is machine readable. A passport is machine readable when there are two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons (">>>>>") printed across the long edge of the personal information page (the page with photograph and personal details). The machine-readable text will appear on a white strip on older passports and directly on the pink page of newer passports. If there are no such lines of text on the personal information page, the passport is not machine-readable. Since 26 October 2004, anyone travelling to the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme without a machine readable passport needs a visa to travel to the USA. If you are travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme and are carrying a passport issued on or after 26th October 2006, you will be required to have a biometric passport. Travellers with valid machine-readable passports issued before 26 October 2006, travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme can still travel on their existing passport. If your passport is issued after 26 October 2006 and it is not biometric you will not qualify for visa free travel but will be required to obtain a visa. For more details on passports, please ask at the time of booking or contact the UK or Irish Passport Office. Please note that this information is particularly subject to change, and you must check the up to date requirements in good time before departure.

Please note: Certain persons may not be eligible to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme. For example, these include, but are not limited to, people who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction and those with criminal records, (the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to U.S. visa law) etc. If you are in any doubt whatsoever as to whether you can travel under the Visa Waiver Programme you are strongly advised to contact the Consular Information unit, United States Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 1AE or U.S. Embassy Dublin 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 or visit [uk.usembassy.gov] before you book your holiday with us.

Passengers arriving in the US will have a digital photograph taken, and have electronic finger prints taken, which can lead to delays in clearing Immigration and Border Control at the airport. If you would like further information, please ask at the time of booking or contact the UK / Irish Passport Office or US Embassy.

Travelling to Canada

The Canadian Government has changed the process for entering Canada for Visa exempt foreign nationals such as UK and Irish citizens. In order to visit or transit through Canada by air you will need a Electronic Travel Authorisation which can be obtained online - this is a mandatory requirement.

Canada Electronic Travel Authorisation

This is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting through Canada. The authorization is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

To apply for authorisation in just a few minutes, make sure you have your passport, a credit card and an email address available. You cannot use a debit card to make payment. The cost is $7 Canadian and the authorisation will last for up to 5 years. Email confirmation should arrive within a few minutes provided all the information given by you is acceptable. All applicants should print their receipt. The application for authorisation should be made before you book any flights to Canada.

You will not need to print the authorisation as it will be electronically linked to your passport. However, you will need to travel with the same passport the authorisation is linked to, if you have a new passport since you applied for your authorisation, you should re-apply for authorisation. Every member of your travelling party including any children will need to obtain the authorisation prior to travel. The authorisation does not guarantee admission in to Canada.

We cannot accept any responsibility for rejected authorisations. If your application is rejected, we recommended that you contact the Canadian Embassy who may be able to assist you with your application.

More information on the process can be found here.

To apply for your authorisation, please go to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp and complete the online application process.

Related Links