15-Day Visa-free Policy of Traveling to China by Cruise from Shanghai

The 15-Day Visa-Free Policy for foreign tour groups entering China by cruise from Shanghai has been taken effect on October 1st, 2016. China Highlights has been authorized and has the right to organize foreign tour groups to visit Shanghai and Beijing Municipality without a visa.

Requirements

Upon approval by Shanghai immigration inspection authority, if you meet the following conditions, we can declare the 15-Day Visa-Free for you in advance:

  1. Customers should be organized by China Highlights and the tour group should consist of no less than 2 members.
  2. Customers should hold valid international travel documents (non-Chinese), primarily passport.
  3. Customers should enter China from Shanghai by cruise and exit with the same cruise ship, (Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal or Wusongkou Cruise Port).
  4. Customers should stay in China for no more than 15 days, which starts counting from the next day upon arrival.

Other Restrictions:

  1. Enter China from Shanghai might call at and leave the country from other port cities in China. However, foreign tour groups should travel as a whole with their cruise ship.
  2. The areas of activity are confined to Beijing Municipality, Tianjin Municipality, Shanghai Municipality and provinces (including Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan).

FAQs of the 15-Day Visa-free Policy

How are the 15 days of visa-free calculated?

Starts counting from 00:00 following the day upon arrival by cruise from Shanghai. Stay in China for no more than 15 days.

In order to enjoy the policy, do foreign tourists who travel by cruise to Shanghai need to be received by a travel agency?

Yes. Foreign tourists who travel by cruise to Shanghai need to join in a tour group consists of no fewer than 2 members which organized by a travel agency legally registered in China Mainland, like China Highlights Travel. The receiving travel agency is required to declare the tour group name list to Shanghai Immigration Inspection Authority in advance. Only after being approved by Shanghai Immigration Inspection Authority, the visa-free procedures of the tour group can be completed.

If foreign passengers apply to join in a 15-Day Visa-Free Tour Group on board instead of joining in advance, will Shanghai Immigration Inspection Station give permission?

If individual foreign passengers request to join a 15-Day Visa-Free Tour Group while on board, the cruise company and its agency need to double confirm with the receiving travel agency first. if the travel agency is ok with that, they need to submit an emergency application to the Shanghai Immigration Inspection Authority and provide a complementary name list of group who are enrolled later. Only after being approved by the Shanghai Immigration Inspection Station, the visa-free procedures of these individual passengers can be completed.

What documents are required for the procedures of Visa-Free Entry by cruise when the groups arrive?

After the Shanghai Immigration Inspection Station approves the group name list which was declared in advance, foreign passengers will be able to go through the immigration inspection procedures for visa-free entry with their own valid international travel documents, primarily passport. When the cruise is in port, passengers who have already accepted inspection by immigration officers, can use their own travel documents to verify identities by the Immigration Inspection Cruise Management System installed at the cruise gangway, and then disembark from the cruise ship.

While handling visa-free entry procedures, is foreign passenger required to fill in arrival card in advance?

Immigration Inspection Station doesn't require the arrival card or departure card. Passenger's travel document won't be stamped any entry or leaving records as well.

After completing visa-free entry procedures in Shanghai, can tour groups travel to other port cities in China with the same cruise ship and leave the country there?

Yes. Enter China from Shanghai might call at and exit the country from other port cities in China. However, foreign tour groups should travel as a whole with their cruise ship. The areas of activity are confined to Beijing Municipality, Tianjin Municipality, Shanghai Municipality and provinces (including Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan).

For those foreign passengers who do not join in a 15-Day Visa-Free Tour Group and do not leave China with the same cruise ship, can they transfer to a third country (region) by other means of transport without China visas?

Yes. For foreign passengers who have booked onward air/vessel/train tickets to a third country (region), once their transit applications have been declared by the cruise company and agency and approved by the immigration inspection authority, there are two options: First, transit to leave China with other transports within 24 hours upon arrival, he/she can apply for 24-Hour Visa-Free transit to Shanghai Immigration Inspection Station and departs within the stipulated time.

Second, if a passenger is from one of the 51 countries covered in the 144-Hour Visa-Exemption transit policy, he/she can transfer to another country (region) via changing other transports and exit the country within the stipulated time from such entry ports as airports, railway ports, cruise ports in Shanghai as well as Nanjing Lukou International Aiport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport.

The nationals of the following countries are eligible for the visa exemption program:

Americans (of 6 countries): the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and the Republic of Chile

European citizens (of 37 countries): Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania

Oceanians (of 2 countries): Australia and New Zealand

Asians (of 6 countries): South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar

If one of group members need to overstay the 15-day limit or has to withdraw from the tour group to exit China by other transports ahead of schedule due to sudden illness, accidents, etc, what are the procedures?

For those Visa-Free passengers by cruise need to overstay 15 days due to forces majeure or humanitarian causes, etc, or need to withdraw from their tour groups and stay individually due to objective causes, they can provide the relevant testimonial materials and a letter of proof issued by travel agency to apply for the temporary stay certificate. For those passengers who have to withdraw from the tour group and exit the country urgently due to illnesses, funeral affairs or other forces majeure, they can handle the procedures of withdrawal from the tour group at the Immigration Inspection Station of the Exit Port by providing their own international travel documents and the letter of proof issued by the travel agency.

If a foreign passenger who enters China visa-free by cruise does not return to the cruise ship but stay at a downtown hotel, what documents are required for the check-in?

A foreign passenger who enters China visa-free by cruise can check in at a hotel by providing his/her own valid international travel documents and the Visa-free Cruise Tour Group Name List with entry stamped by the Immigration Inspection Authority.

Tour Price

Transfer Types 1 People 2 people 3-5 people 6-9 people Over 10 people
Hongqiao Airport - Hotel $33 USD P/P $25 USD P/P $18 USD P/P $10 USD P/P $8 USD P/P
Pudong Airport - Hotel $39 USD P/P $28 USD P/P $21 USD P/P $14 USD P/P $9 USD P/P
Train Station - Hotel $33 USD P/P $25 USD P/P $18 USD P/P $10 USD P/P $8 USD P/P
Wusongkou Cruise Port - Hotel $49 USD P/P $33 USD P/P $26 USD P/P $16 USD P/P $10 USD P/P
Wusongkou Cruise Port - Pudong Airport $59 USD P/P $33 USD P/P $26 USD P/P $16 USD P/P $10 USD P/P

* Please Note: This service is available daily. The above price is for adults (age > 12). The price for children (age 2-12) is the same as adult price and the price for infant (age < 2) will be free of charge. This price include the transfer service with a private car and a driver who can speak a little English.

China Highlights Cancellation Policy for Shanghai Tours

  • If we are not able to implement the contract due to war, flood, typhoon, fire, strikes, storm, earthquake, or any other condition we are not able to foresee and avoid, we will inform customers at the first possible opportunity and offer the best possible solutions, and the final bill shall be settled based on the service we actually provide.
  • Up to 7 days before departure: 100% refund of all monies paid, excluding penalties charged by hotels, railways, airlines, and PayPal, if applicable. All penalties will be itemized.
  • From 3 to 7 days before departure: 90% refund, excluding penalties charged by hotels, railways, airlines, and PayPal, if applicable. All penalties will be itemized.
  • Within 3 days before departure: no refund.
  • After the trip has commenced, we are unable to refund any amount for cancelled services due to non-participation, early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours.
  • For groups of more than 10 people: The terms for cancellation may vary from case to case. Please ask your travel advisor regarding the cancellation policy for your group.

Contact Our Shanghai Local Office


  • 0086-13910694045 (24 hours)
  • davidyang@chinahighlights.net
  • Room 801, No.6 Building, No.1 Unit, No.5355 Hutai Road, Baoshan District, Shanghai, P.R. China
  • Shanghai Time Now: