News report | | 02/09/2022 | ±4 minutes reading time

One way to see multiple parts of Canada in a short time, is by making a cruise. If you do not hold a Canadian or US passport, in most cases you will need an eTA or a visa to enter Canada. Here you can read more about a cruise to Canada and applying for an eTA Canada.

East or West Canada

Most cruises in Canada are limited either to the East Coast or to the West Coast of this vast country. In both cases, the cruise ship will also put in at a few cities in the United States, or on the West Coast past Greenland or even Iceland. In general, the East Coast in terms of a cruise has more to offer, as more major cities can be found here.

On the East Coast, you can start your cruise in Montreal. This metropolis borders the river Saint Lawrence, that flows out into the Saint Lawrence Bay. The river flows through the French part of Canada, through Trois-Rivières to Quebec, where you should definitely pay a visit to the stately Château Frontenac. Along the coast, as in Canada itself, you can find more charming smaller cities and villages with a sometimes fairytale atmosphere. Once you come ashore, there are many national parks to visit with beautiful and rich natural landscapes where you can kayak, hike and much more.

Canada’s West Coast is a lot shorter because it lies in between Alaska and the mainland of the United States. Despite all this, there is enough to experience. Victoria, in British Columbia, is replete with beautiful Victorian structures. Some of these, such as the Parliament Buildings of British Columbia and the Royal BC Museum, are architectural masterpieces. Other than Victoria, Vancouver is the most well known big city on this coast. The 2010 Winter Olympics were held here. Those who are not afraid of heights can walk the Capilano suspension bridge, but the city also has a variety of interesting museums. In British Columbia, and especially from Vancouver Island, it is possible to spot whales and killer whales.

Do I have to apply for a Canada visa?

It is important to know whether you need to apply for a visa or eTA Canada for your cruise in Canada. For a tourist visit to Canada that does not exceed six months, you can apply online for the eTA Canada. To apply for this visa, you do not have to make an appointment at the embassy and the eTA is usually granted within 3 days.

eTA not always required

In some cases, it is not required to apply for a visa or eTA Canada. The following briefly explains when applying for one of these travel authorisations is required and when it is not.

If your cruise starts in Canada and you are first travelling to Canada by plane, you always need a visa or an eTA Canada. When checking in at the airport, all travellers will be checked whether they have a valid travel authorisation and in case they do not have one, they will be refused entry. The fact is, that it is not possible to apply for a visa or an eTA after arriving in Canada.

If your cruise starts in another country, for example in the United States, you do not need an eTA Canada if you travel to Canada by cruise ship. All travellers, who in general meet the requirements of the eTA, do not need an eTA when they enter into Canada by train, car or cruise ship. Keep in mind that this does not apply for travelling into the US; if you make a cruise from Canada to the US, you always require an ESTA USA.

Apply for your eTA Canada

Because the eTA Canada is valid for five years, this travel authorisation can be applied for well before the planned trip. With a valid eTA Canada, you can travel an unlimited amount of times to Canada, as long as each stay does not exceed six months. Keep in mind that the eTA is linked to your passport. This means that the eTA will only stay valid for five years if your passport is valid for the same amount of time. Moreover, your passport needs to be valid during your entire stay in Canada, while the eTA only needs to be valid during check-in.

Please note: this news article about the eTA for Canada is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the eTA for Canada. is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the eTA Canada. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an eTA directly with the immigration service (7 CAD per eTA, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 7 CAD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £25.93 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous eTA Canada was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.