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How to use the ArriveCAN app for your Alaska cruise

18 May 2022
Allie Hubers

Going on a cruise ship that docks in Canada? You're going to need to use Canada's mandatory app.

Radiance of the Seas in Vancouver

It’s currently a requirement to use the government’s ArriveCAN platform in order to enter the country for an upcoming Alaskan cruise. For cruises that depart and return to Canada, you will need to complete the form before boarding your cruise ship. 

You will also need to complete a form for any Alaskan cruise that includes a port stop in Canada, even if you do not plan to get off the ship.

ArriveCAN is a free, digital platform that requires travelers to enter upcoming travel plans and upload any COVID-19 vaccination certificates. You must create an account and submit the necessary travel information within 72 hours of your arrival into Canada. 

Anyone arriving to Canada by road, air, rail or marine vessel is required to provide travel information to the government through ArriveCAN. 

ArriveCAN is an app that you can download to your smartphone and submit upcoming travel to Canada. After creating an account and entering your travel information, you will instantly receive a QR code that verifies you have provided the necessary details for any upcoming trips.

Your ArriveCAN forms must be completed before you board any international flight that enters Canada. You will be required to show the QR code in order to board your Canada-bound flight. Additionally, crossing the land border through road or railway will also require the use of ArriveCAN. 

In addition, you must submit another ArriveCAN before boarding your cruise if your itinerary includes a return trip to Canada.

I sailed onboard Radiance of the Seas for the first Alaskan sailing of the season and everyone was caught off guard that a second ArriveCAN form was required. We thought we could use the same form required for the air arrival, but the port authorities required us to submit a second marine-entry form. 

Below is a step-by-step guide for how to complete the ArriveCAN form for an upcoming cruise. 

Download the App

To start, you’ll want to download the ArriveCAN app to your phone or tablet to enter your upcoming travel information. This is how you will generate the QR code needed to board your flight, cross the border and board your cruise ship. 

The app is available to download for iOS and Android devices. 

Although the ArriveCAN app will be the easiest way to complete the forms, you can also access the platform online through their website.

Create an Account

After downloading the app, you’ll be prompted to create an account. Again, you can also do this online through the ArriveCAN website. 

The account will require a password and email. Make sure this is an email you have access to while traveling, as you’ll receive confirmation of your completed forms. The app will also generate the QR code. 

Start a Form

Unless you live in Canada, you will be required to complete TWO forms for ArriveCAN. First, you’ll need to complete a form for your arrival into the country. Second, you will need to complete a form for entering the country by marine vessel (which includes cruise ships). 

Anyone that is entering Canada on a cruise ship from Alaska will need to complete the marine form. This includes one-way cruises from Alaska to Canada and round-trip cruises from Canada. 

You can only start your ArriveCAN form within 72 hours of your upcoming cruise embarks, so be sure you add this to your pre-cruise planning list. You will not have access to the form if your cruise is outside of 72 hours.

Reason for Travel

When you start a new form, you’ll be prompted to select your reason for traveling. Select ‘Discretionary/optional travel’, as this includes tourism. 

This option is only available if you’re a fully vaccinated foreign national. For those cruising to Alaska from Canada, vaccination is a requirement so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

Entry into Canada

The ArriveCAN form will next ask how you are entering Canada, whether by air, marine or by land. 

In this case, you will want to select ‘Entry by marine’ specifically for your Alaskan cruise because your cruise ship will technically be entering the country from the United States.

As we mentioned earlier, you should have already completed a separate form prior to your arrival in Canada, whether you arrive by air, rail or road. 

Marine Trip Details

ArriveCAN will next ask you to enter marine trip details, which includes the country of original departure, date of embarkation, port of entry and date of arrival. 

The country of original departure will be Canada if you are departing from Canada. Those cruising from Alaska will select the United States of America here. 

The date of embarkation will be the start date of your cruise. 

For port of entry, this will be the first port of arrival in Canada on your itinerary. For example, if you are cruising into Vancouver, you can select Vancouver Cruise Ship Operations. 

Date of arrival is the day you will be entering your first Canadian port. If your itinerary is a round trip from Vancouver or one-way from Alaska to Canada, this will likely be the last day of your cruise.

If you stop in Canada before the last day of your cruise, such as Victoria, Canada, you will want to use that date for the arrival date. 

Cruise Trip Details

The ArriveCAN will now ask if you are traveling on a cruise ship, in which you will select ‘Yes’. 

You will need to provide your cruise ship’s name, which should be available in the dropdown selection. It is also optional to provide your stateroom number(s) for your travel group. 

Finally, the ArriveCAN form will ask whether your cruise is terminating in Canada. If you are disembarking in a Canadian port, you will want to select ‘yes’. Cruises that simply stop in Canada during the sailing will want to select ‘no’. 

Contact Information

The form will next ask you to provide a phone number for your Primary Phone Number. There’s also a spot to provide a secondary phone number. 

You will also need to select whether your official language is ‘English’ or ‘French’. 

Traveler Information

ArriveCAN will now require you to select or add a traveler to your profile. You are able to add up to 8 travelers on the same trip as long as the people traveling together will be at the same locations. 

When entering traveler information, you will need to include your passport information, date of birth and name for each traveler. 

Proof of Vaccination

After entering your passport information for all travelers, you will be prompted to provide proof of vaccination. Currently, it’s a requirement to be fully vaccinated and provide proof for leisure travel to Canada.

The ArriveCAN app will ask you to enter information regarding your vaccination, including information regarding the first and second dose. The app will ask which vaccine you received (Pfizer, Moderna, etc), the country where the vaccine was administered, and the date of each vaccine dose you’ve received. 

Finally, you will be asked to upload proof of your vaccination. This can be a JPEG, JPG, PNG or PDF. You can also use your phone’s camera to take a photo of the vaccination receipt. 

You can upload one picture that proves you’ve received both doses or two separate photos that confirm each dose of the vaccine you received. If you only upload one photo, it will ask if you to confirm if you need to upload a second picture. For example, if you uploaded a picture of your CDC card and it shows both doses, you can select ‘No’ that you do not need to upload a second photo. 

Requirements for Travel 

The ArriveCAN app will now ask if you understand the requirements for travel that the Canadian government currently requires. For example, the first bullet on the list states that travelers who are fully-vaccinated with accepted vaccines and any accompanying children under 12 are no longer required to provide proof of a negative test result before entry. 

This section covers other requirements for travel for those under 5 and travelers who recently recovered from COVID-19. 

Additionally, fully-vaccinated travelers arriving in Canada no longer need to provide a suitable quarantine plan. 

Select ‘I Understand’ after reading through the requirements. 

Travel History

ArriveCAN will now ask if you or anyone traveling with you has recently visited any countries other than Canada in the last 14 days. 

For those who traveled from the United States, you will select ‘Yes’ and then select the arrow, in which you can enter the United States of America. 

You might also be prompted to provide an address in Canada, which could be the accommodations or address of the location you’re staying before embarking. 

Last Step: COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Finally, the last step of your form!

The ArriveCAN app will ask if you’ve had any COVID-19 symptoms that include fever, cough or difficulty breathing. You’ll want to select ‘no’ here unless you’re experiencing any symptoms.

After finishing the COVID-19 self-assessment, you will be ready to submit your form. 


After submitting, the ArriveCAN app will upload your documentation and required information into its system.

Once this is complete, you will receive a QR code in the app that can be used for boarding your Alaskan cruise. You will also receive an email confirmation that you have successfully completed the forms for your upcoming travels. 

In the ArriveCAN app homepage, you can also find the trip summary and the e-receipt of your trip. This will pull up the QR code if you need it again.

If you made a mistake on the form, you can also delete the trip and resubmit the necessary information. 

Allie Hubers has been cruising since she was a tiny toddler. What started as a yearly vacation with family quickly turned into a passion for travel, cruising and adventure. Allie's been on nearly 30 cruises all over the world. She even studied abroad on Semester at Sea, sailing the world on a ship while taking courses for college and visiting 4 continents.

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