Cuba Visa and Passport Requirements

Cuba Advisory - June 2019



In connection with the U.S. Administration changes to regulations regarding travel to Cuba, which eliminate as of 5 June the prior authorization permitting cruise ships to travel from the U.S. to Cuba, MSC Cruises will modify effective immediately all its cruise itineraries previously scheduled to call that country.

Due to these substantial changes in U.S. law and regulation, MSC Armonia is no longer authorized to call the port of Havana, Cuba, as part of her current Caribbean sailings. The alternative ports of either Key West, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; George Town, Cayman Islands; or Cozumel, Mexico will replace Havana, Cuba. The remainder of MSC Armonia’s itinerary will remain as originally planned.

Guests currently on board MSC Armonia and their travel agents have already been informed and have been offered the following options:  
  • USD 400 per cabin as onboard credit. If this credit is not fully used during the cruise, MSC Cruises will refund the difference upon check-out from the ship. Any shore excursions in Havana that were pre-purchased before the cruise, or which are included in the ticket, will be automatically refunded to the Guest’s onboard account. 

  • The possibility to change ship and itinerary. MSC Cruises will waive cancellation fees and transfer already paid funds to the new booking. 

Documents and Visa for Cuba: MSC Opera

All travel requirements to enter Cuba
All travel requirements to enter Cuba

Passengers embarking and disembarking from Cuba:  
Documents required: 
- Passport with 3 months of remaining validity
- Cuba Special  Visa
- Medical Insurance. 

Tarjeta Information

The following countries can obtain a Visa to Cuba free of charge:

Russia, Belarus, Vietnam, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Benin, Namibia, Grenada, St Vincent and Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Barbados, Dominica. 

Passengers will receive a free Tourist Visa (known in Spanish as "Tarjeta de Turism") upon their arrival in any Cuban airport or port.

China is currently subject to a Visa fee; they must already have the Tarjeta prior to starting their journey. 

The following countries, on the contrary, must have a pre-issued Visa (instead of Tarjeta) issued by any Cuban Embassy/Consulate:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Vietnam. In case of guests of these nationalities with a Diplomatic passport: please contact in advance OCC for feedback.


Passport holders are allowed to enter Cuba with a Tarjeta whose validity is of 30 days starting from the day of entrance and for one Entry /one Exit only.  All Passengers (adults, children or infants) travelling with “Cruise Only” must buy it autonomously at their own expenses; while passengers travelling with MSC "Fly & Cruise" will get it included in the Package.  


Regardless of the age and the Package typology, a further Tarjeta (or Visa) is required at the time when the ship returns in Havana: please note that such document is available on board at the cost of € 15,00 per Passenger.



For avoidance of doubt, the Tarjeta is not a sticker to be applied on the passport but a separate paper to be shown at the Airport or Port of Immigration together with Travel Insurance. Passengers must show the Tarjeta at the airport of departure; failing to do so, the embarkation on the selected flight could be denied.        


All passengers must be provided of Medical Insurance valid for all ports of itinerary covering costs and expenses of repatriation to the country of origin in case of injury, death and any other type of risk.  

Should Passengers undertake a Medical Insurance offered by a State Social Security System or Private Company, an appropriate written certification must be disclosed in support of such insurance coverage preferably in Spanish or, alternatively, in English. 


Airport Exit tax is no longer required to be paid at the airport of Havana or at any other Cuban airport given that it is included in the airplane ticket.     


The Use of ATM (Automatic Teller Machines) is extremely limited in Cuba and credit cards are accepted only in few places.  


For the transit in the ports of Jamaica/Cayman Islands/Mexico/Honduras/Belize, no local Visa is required regardless the nationality of passengers provided that the duration of the transit is max 24 hours with arrival/departure on the same vessel.    


Final notes:    


Please note that passengers with Cuban origin or who were born in Cuba could be at risk and not be allowed to embark on the cruise ship.  Same or similar restrictions may apply for Cuban passengers with Cuban passport in possession of an official Residence Permit released by any country. Violation may create serious problems with local Immigration Authorities.   


U.S. Passengers are no longer allowed to enter Cuba independently unless the U.S. passenger has a license from OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) to travel to Cuba before embarkation.

Passengers are strongly suggested to consult with their local Embassy for further specific and updated information regarding the above indications.   



Due to the late evening arrival of some incoming flights and the time taken to complete customs procedures, the delivery of some luggage to the ship may be delayed.


To ensure a comfortable start to your cruise, we invite you to carry all items you may need for the first night on board (nightclothes, toiletries, medicines, nappies, etc.) in your hand luggage. Please note that shower gel and shampoo are provided in all cabins.


Please also remember to correctly attach the luggage tags provided in your Cruise E-ticket to your luggage before reaching the airport.