Visiting Canada on Your Alaskan Cruise
Because Canada lies between Alaska and the rest of the United States, you may stop in a Canadian port if you cruise leaves from Seattle or San Francisco. You may also choose to leave from Vancouver or another Canadian city, or you can think about driving to Alaska through Canada to leave from an Alaskan port. In any case, when you're taking an Alaskan cruise, you may deal with Canadian travel. Here are the top five things to remember if you'll be spending any time in Canada:
- Because of taxes, there are specific laws about what you can and cannot buy in Canada or take into Canada from the United States. You shouldn't have a problem with this, you'll rarely take anything like that on vacation, but just in case, be aware that you'll be responsible for paying duties on items you buy. When in Canada, avoid big-ticket items, and always get a receipt.
- If you've been convicted of even a minor offense in the United States, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. Ask the cruise line before you leave. Most ships only make one stop in Canada before heading on to Alaska, so you may simply wish to stay on board that day!
- Make sure you have proper identification with you when you travel on your cruise. Canada is still a foreign country, and while you don't need a passport, you do need to prove that you are who you say you are.
- Don't perpetuate the "ugly American" stereotype. Yes, this is your vacation. However, the people you meet in Canada live and work there. Be respectful of them, their time and their home.
- While most Canadian shops take American money, you may want to consider exchanging a bit if you want to do some shopping or eat at an expensive restaurant while in Canada. Before you try to buy anything, ask about their exchange policies. Some places will take the American dollar - but for a fee.