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Thursday,  June 13, 2024 11:08 PM 

How does Egypt’s visa change impact cruises? Celebrity posts update

How does Egypt’s visa change impact cruises? Celebrity posts update
(Celebrity Cruises)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The complexity of Egypt’s new visa process for Canadian travellers has left travel advisors and tour operators reeling as official details regarding the new policy have been hard to track down.

Starting Oct. 1, 2023, Canadian passport holders will have to visit Egypt's embassy in Ottawa or consulate in Montreal, or go the snail mail route, to apply for a visa before they leave the country.

The policy update is noted on Global Affairs Canada's travel page, and it complicates a process that was once simple.

Previously, Egypt-bound travellers could obtain visas upon arrival at Cairo airport, or obtain an e-visa before departure through an online portal.

READ MORE: How to apply for an Egypt visa, according to the Egyptian Embassy in Ottawa

Now, those carrying an electronic visa on or after Oct 1, will be denied boarding and/or entry into Egypt as their e-visa will be considered void.

“Whether applying in person or by mail, these changes bring added unwanted complexity to the traveller,” the Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) said Thursday (Sept. 7). “This is clearly prohibitive for anyone.”

This week, G Adventures sent an employee to Egypt’s embassy in Ottawa to seek out official information about the new visa process, confirming that visa applications can be completed both in person and by mail, and cost $150. (See details here).

Celebrity posts update

But what does Egypt’s new policy mean for cruise passengers?

Celebrity Cruises is one line that stops in Alexandria, Egypt, and according to an update posted by the Canadian team, it appears passengers will be granted 72-hour visas on arrival.

According to Celebrity’s update, a 72-hour visa can be obtained upon vessel arrival for the most nationalities (including U.S, Canada, U.K., E.U., and Australia).

For 72-hour visa guests, immigration officers will stamp the guest passports on arrival, which will allow them to stay in Egypt up to 72 hours.

The new requirement for Canadians to apply for an Egyptian visa in advance applies only for entry by air, the update notes. 

Celebrity says that authorities re-confirmed entry via cruise ships, for transit call purposes, guests can still apply for a 72-hour visa upon arrival as noted above.

Exceptions are in place for nationals of the countries referenced in SECTION I of this link who require a pre-arranged visa prior to boarding the ship.

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