Skagway Tours: Why do I need a passport?
One of the most common questions we hear is, “Why do I need a passport for Skagway tours?” One of the main reasons this question is so prevalent, is that cruise ship passengers often forget to carry their passports with them when they disembark from the ship. When they find out that they need it for a tour, they are either forced to go back to the ship or choose another tour. The purpose of this page is to explain what tours require a passport so that you’re prepared when you visit.
Skagway is located a mere 12 miles from the Canadian border. The physical border is located at an elevation of 3,200 feet. Because the weather at the top of the Klondike Summit is often inhospitable, United States Customs is located only a few miles from Skagway. This means that almost every tour that goes north along the Klondike Highway requires a passport.
Do I need a passport for the train?
While there are some Skagway train tours that don’t require passports, all of the tours that extend past the White Pass Summit require it. Some of Skagway’s most popular train tours are excursions to Fraser and Bennett, British Columbia, and with good reason. These Skagway tours feature some of the most breathtaking scenery in the region, but bringing a passport is a must.
If you’re unsure what train tour you want to take, just bring your passport with you when you disembark your cruise ship. It’s far better to have it and not need it than be stuck without it.
Even visiting a glacier may require a passport.
Going to the Yukon on your Skagway tour
Obviously, if you’re going to Canada you need a passport. Some foreign travelers also need to carry visas when traveling to BC or the Yukon. You should also take note of some other relative restrictions that apply to those taking a tour to the Yukon:
- Children must be accompanied by both parents or have a certified note from the absent parent(s) that gives permission to travel across the border.
- Travelers with felony convictions will not be allowed to travel into Canada without prior written approval.
- Travelers with a DUI or reckless driving charge in the last 10 years will not be allowed to travel into Canada without prior written approval.
- Passport “cards” are permitted.
- Photocopies of passports are not suitable identification for international travel.
If you have any doubts about whether your Skagway tour requires a passport, just bring it with you and keep it safe. For travelers who are required to relinquish their passport into the cruise ship’s possession, remember that you can get it back while you’re in Skagway simply by asking.