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Old 08-10-2010, 05:05   #1
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Sailing from LA to the Carribbean as a British Citizen

Hi there,
On 1st December I will be flying out to Los Angeles in order to join four other guys in sailing a yacht from LA to St Thomas in the Carribbean. We will be sailing South from LA to Panama - stopping off in Mexico, Guatamala, El Salvador, Nicargua and Costa Rica. When, after two months, we reach Panama, we are crossing the Panama Canal. From here we set course for St Thomas, calling in in Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Just wondering about requirements for entry to all of these different countries, bearing in mind that I have a British passport? Do I need to sort out Visas for each country before I leave for the trip or is it possible to sort out short stay permits once in port? Are the rules different for entry by vessel then for by plane? Also, is it advisable to carry some form of vessel documentation upon entry to the US?
If anyone could help me with this issue it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Kris
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:12   #2
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I'd guess you're okay. But you should browse the consulate pages for those countries to see if they have some beef with the Brits. Does the US require a British tourist to have an onward ticket? If so, arrive with a fully refundable ticket to the cheapest foreign place ... Vancouver? Cabo? Then get it refunded while still at the airport. It's easier than trying to explain about the whole boat thing...
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:23   #3
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kris.

The rules are generally different for entry by vessel (than for by plane).

It is advisable required to carry of vessel documentationfor entry into all countries.

Noonsite provides a one-stop website featuring essential information on all matters of interest to sailors planning an offshore voyage anywhere in the world:
Noonsite: The global site for cruising sailors

Noonsite’s “Countries” reports covers 194 countries and 1961 ports with information on clearance formalities, visa requirements, fees, weather, special events and other facts needed by visiting sailors:
Noonsite

Enjoy your cruise, and keep us up to date on your adventures.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:27   #4
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As a British citizen/passport you should have absolutely no problems anywhere between L.A. and any Caribbean Country with the exception of maybe Puerto Rico and the USVI. If you have a multiple entry still-valid B1/B2 USA visa then you should be okay in the U.S islands of Puerto Rico and the USVI.
- - If you entered the USA on the "Visa-waiver" system - which is only valid for scheduled airline arrival you will have problems. You cannot legally enter or leave the USA on the "visa-waiver" program any way except by scheduled major international airline. That means leaving or entering the USA & its Caribbean Islands via a private yacht is not allowed. You must apply for and follow the procedures to acquire a B1/B2 Visa before you leave the U.K.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:30   #5
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Wow. The yanks are that hard on the Brits? We never got over that little burning of the White House thing, or what?
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:29   #6
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thanks for the help guys - much appreciated.
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