Crossing The Pacific By Cargo Ship Without Need Of A US Visa

Here is a way for world travellers wanting to travel from the Far East  to North America by cargo ship to eliminate the need to obtain the full US visa that is required to enter the United States by this method. To avoid the cost, time and hassle of having to go for a personal interview at a US Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain that visa, simply book passage to Canada instead.

After leaving the Far East the NSB-owned Hanjin Amsterdam, Hanjin Brussels, Hanjin Geneva and Hanjin Ottawa sail directly to Canada, where you can disembark at the brand-new container port of Prince Rupert. Once in Canada, non-North Americans can either fly into the US or cross the land border, where formalities do not require the full US visa that is required to enter on a cargo ship (the main reason for this is that, unlike the cruise lines and airlines, cargo ship owners are not signatory to the visa waiver program). Meanwhile, once finished in Prince Rupert, the ships proceed south to Seattle and Portland before turning and heading back to the Far East again from Vancouver. Passenger sailings take place about twice monthly.

Kwangyang / Ningpo / Shanghai / Pusan / Prince Rupert

m/v HANJIN AMSTERDAM and sisters  (1 Owners Cabin and 1 Double Cabin, each 320 sq ft with separate living room and bedroom on Deck F, and 1 Single Cabin of 195 sq ft on Deck E). Maximum 5 passengers, swimming pool, 68,800 tons each. Fares are €85 per day for the single and €90 per person per day for the Owners or Double (€105 per day for sole use). Port charges and deviation insurance are extra.

Route: Kwangyang – Ningpo – Shanghai (Yangshan) – Pusan – Prince Rupert .

The Far East to Vancouver trade was once served by the famous Canadian Pacific Trans-Pacific Empresses, of which the first three were built in 1891 and the last, the Empress of Japan, in 1930. The prime route then was from Hong Kong and Yokohama.

For further information on crossing the Pacific by container ship please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail

prime route from the

About thecruisepeople
Specialists in sea travel - ultra-luxury cruising, freighter travel, small ships and expedition voyages.

12 Responses to Crossing The Pacific By Cargo Ship Without Need Of A US Visa

  1. stella says:

    Hello, I’m interested in traveling from Vancouver to Japan any location by freight. I hear its a fun way to travel. I wonder what is the quickest and cheapest voyage I can take? I’d like to go perhaps in June or July 2015 this summer. Please let me know more information about how I can travel. Thank you!


    • Hi Stella, there is no service from Vancouver to Japan, as no disembarkation is allowed by owners in Tokyo – but there is service to Pusan in South Korea. See separate e-mail on this.

      • Dee says:

        I’m in the same situation as Stella, but looking to travel in the winter, some time after October. Is there no disembarkation just for this ship/itinerary? I’ve looked at disembarking in Busan, but then worry about coming home, should I need to choose the same route, since Busan tends to sometimes restrict embarkation. What would be the quickest/cheapest way to get to Japan (almost any port), from Vancouver/Seattle, or other ports somewhere in the US, with option to return the same route more or less?

      • No disembarkation in Japan and no embarkation in South Korea. The best way to get to Japan is Seattle or Vancouver to Pusan and then fast ferry from Pusan back to Japan. Coming back you need to board at Shanghai/Pudong (not the new port at Shanghai/Yangshan). Pudong has much easier formalities.

      • Dee says:

        Thanks for your response (above). I now have a new conundrum. I don’t really see many workable possibilities from Shanghai toward home if I want to keep the trip as short as possible. What would you suggest to get me back to Canada asap if i took the Shanghai route? In fact, I’d like to avoid China altogether (more shots/visas), but have I run out of options? My exact trip needs: Starting in Montreal, Quebec (Canada), unable to fly, I can travel anywhere accessible by port, train or bus. I need to end up in Japan, and then get back to Montreal. I am open to taking the same or a different route coming and going, whichever the case may be. Any advice? I feel a bit roadblocked 😦

  2. B. Edwards says:

    I am Interested in freighter travel from the. U S with a stop in South Korea. I live in Missouri, in the middle of the U S. I would like to stay in S. Korea for an extended stay, with a relative. I will be 75 in July, in good health. Please let me know what options I might have.

    B. Edwards

  3. I sent you a message about Vancouver to Busan from I look forward to your response!

    • Hi Jasmine, you asked about taking a dog and we responded that none of the 300 cargo ships we represent accept dogs any longer. There was a time though. You also enquired about getting to Korea and we advised that South Korea has banned all passenger arrivals by cargo ship! We finished by suggesting that you try Holland America Line for a Transpacific voyage. I don’t know where that reply ended up but it was sent by email so check your litter box!

      • It is now possible to disembark in Pusan from ships owned by CMA CGM, though the voyage from Vancouver is quite long because of th number of ports, at 28 days. Vancouver to Yokohama is now 15 days and it is once more possible to disembark in Japan. Still no dogs though.

      • No, I didn’t receive your email! Thank you for responding here! What about service or emotional support dogs?

  4. No dogs of any kind sorry.

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