Here at Cruise.co.uk we advertise ourselves as the ‘real Cruise people’, we are Cruise experts, masters of our field. We don’t do bucket and spade holidays or weekends to UK holiday parks so over the years our knowledge has grown and I can safely say between myself and fellow colleagues there’s not much we don’t know about the world of cruise.
Now Visa’s is an area we can advise you on but it’s not our speciality, hence why we recommend all our customers to use ‘CIBT’ one of the UK’s leading Visa advisors.
Here’s the reason why…..
Earlier this week we encountered major problems with many customers having trouble getting through Beijing Airport. We’ve not got quite to the bottom of what happened. The authorities were letting passengers through with full Visa’s purchased before travel, however many passengers who were hoping to purchase the 144 hour Visa on arrival were refused entry leaving them stranded and missing their cruise. Some passenger said that anybody with a Turkish or Egyptian stamp in their passport were refused entry while others were just randomly denied entry.
This resulted in some passengers having to fly onto Japan to catch up with cruises and some passengers just threw the towel in and caught a flight back home striking China firmly off their Bucket Lists.
Chinese Visa’s have been a bit of a mystery to me over the last couple of years. The 144 hour Visa will cover you for a 3 night pre-cruise stay in Beijing, however many of the Cruise Lines insist on you purchasing the full China entry Visa which costs over £200 else they will not allow you to board the ship.
I suppose one of the reasons maybe if the ship encounters any problems and does not sail on the due date and passengers went over their 144 hour stay they would be breaching their Visa, and the ship would not want to be held accountable, who knows it’s a mystery.
So basically rule of thumb at the moment is if you are travelling to China we would advise you to purchase the full Visa so you do not encounter problems on arrival.