Passports & Travel Visas

Requirements for Best of China & Yangtze Cruise

Visa Required: U.S. citizens must have a visa for entry into China. China visas must be obtained prior to departure. All travelers selecting the Tibet extension must also have an entry permit for Tibet. Please review special requirements for both China & Tibet.

Information by Destination

China

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least eight months after your return date, though we recommend at least a year.

U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter China, obtained prior to arrival. Applications must be submitted in person by the applicant at the China Embassies or Consulates in the United States or through a fee based visa service such as our preferred provider, Visa HQ. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information. 

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? We will send a visa support letter and instructions for U.S. passport holders to obtain your visa through VISA HQ after you have completed your registration form and made your final payment, approximately 60 days prior to departure. Please apply for your visa only after receiving this letter.

If you hold a passport from another country, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements.

Tibet

In addition to the entry requirements for China, all visitors to Tibet must also obtain a Tibet Travel Permit issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB). Together with our local partners, we will obtain the Tibet Travel Permit for our travelers and deliver the permit to you while in destination. See the China National Tourist Office website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? After you have booked and successfully received your China visa, please send a scanned colored copy of the following to documents@friendlyplanet.com so that we may process your Tibet permit: 1) photo and signature pages of passport; 2) China visa; 3) 2" x 2" passport-size photo. Please list your occupation on the passport copy.

Hong Kong

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least one month after your return date, though we strongly recommend it be valid for at least six months after your return date. U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter Hong Kong for stays up to 90 days. However, a visa is required for entry to all other areas of China. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.


It is the responsibility of each traveler to determine passport and visa requirements and comply with them and to secure the proper travel documents. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary expenses, please carefully review the requirements so that you can obtain all necessary documents well before your trip. Requirements are subject to change, often without notice, and we suggest you verify requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate. We will not be held responsible for any charges, trip interruptions, or cancellations due to incorrect or missing visas, nor will travel insurance cover your lost expenses.

General Requirements & Guidelines

Getting a Visa

In general, if you are a U.S. citizen and have booked a tour or package with Scheduled Dates, we will send you complete visa instructions and application forms.

If you are not a U.S. passport holder, or have booked a package with Flexible Dates or one of our other products, you are responsible for obtaining your own visa. Please carefully review your entire itinerary (including all ports of call on cruises) to determine which countries you will visit. (Pay special attention to international flight routing, as some countries require visas for transiting through their airports, even if you are en route to another country.) Then determine the passport & visa requirements for each country on your itinerary, including whether you may need a multiple-entry visa. We recommend using an expedited visa service—see below.

Select a destination above to see more specific instructions.

Expedited Visa Service

Need to obtain your own visas? Though it is possible to obtain a visa directly from the consulate of the country you're visiting, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider for most destinations, VisaHQ. Here's why:

To get started, select the countries that you will be visiting.