Do US Citizens Need a Passport to Visit Canada?
Doesn't it seem that planning a trip gets more complicated every year? With the newest USA passport regulations in effect, US citizens are facing new paperwork confusion along with the ever changing security regulations.
It won't help with getting through the airport with your shoes on, but being aware of the latest passport regulations will make vacation travel to Canada a bit easier.
The answer - yes and no.
According to the latest news from the US State Deparment, yes you currently do need a passport to travel into Canada by air.
However, if traveling into Canada by land (car or train) or sea (a cruise ship or ferry) you may also simply substitute the new wallet-sized passport card now issued with all new passports to help make entry across the Canadian border easier and more convenient. (The US passport card, by the way, is also accepted for travel to Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda.) Furthermore, kids under 16 only need proof of citizenship or a birth certificate to cross the border. The same also applies for those under 19 years of age if they are traveling with school or religious groups.
Seeing Canada by train
The new US passport card is valid for travel
by land or sea into Canada, but not by air.
Driving or taking a leisurely train ride through the Canada's scenic landscape, instead of flying over it, can add to the fun of a holiday trip. By taking domestic flights to northern cities in the United States, Americans can still cross the border without the expense and hassle of bringing their full passport.
So if you want to visit the Canadian Rockies then it's as simple as flying into Seattle. Rail buffs can take Amtrak right into Vancouver. The train station is just five minutes from downtown - much closer than the airport, and the true rail enthusiast gets to experience an extra train ride. There are also a number of bus departures per day and renting a car is always an option. The three hour drive is well worth the splendor of scenic western Canada.
If you want to hear the thunder of Niagara Falls, or the excitement of Toronto then flying into Detroit is the answer. VIA Rail Canada operates trains to Windsor, Ontario, which is just across the border from Detroit. Rent a vehicle and drive through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel or across the Ambassador Bridge - it's that simple. At the border crossing just show your valid passport card and enjoy your Canadian adventure.
Canada houses a bit of Europe right in North America and it's easy to reach from New York - no long flight required. Amtrak operates a daily rail connection from Penn Station on West 34th Street in Manhattan to downtown Montreal. If you want to wander outside of Montreal you'll find Quebec City, Ottawa, and Toronto all within an easy VIA Rail trip of Montreal or rent a car to drive through the countryside for some great scenery that includes waterfalls, rivers and forests plus restaurants serving fresh local foods.
About The Author...
Fresh Tracks Canada offers a variety of exciting Canadian vacation adventures including sea kayaking, hiking, rafting, horseback trips, canoeing, cycling, sailing, remote lodges, and natural history. Visit www.freshtracks.ca for more information..
Source: PRWeb News Release
More about US travel into Canada around the Web:
U.S. Department of State - Canada Travel Requirements
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative