Planning a Cruise Trip Around Europe – 5 Easy Steps to Apply for Schengen Visa
Cruising around Europe is one of the best ways to see many of its countries – each one unique and charming in its own right! There are many cruise options in which to partake. Visit Greece for its islands, history, and stunning beaches, Spain for its dazzling coastline and wonderfully vibrant cities, Portugal for its beautiful capital or France for its trendy resorts. Wherever you end up visiting, you’ll have some wonderful memories to cherish forever!
The Schengen zone is made up of 26 European States:
- Czech Republic
*These 4 countries are non-EU countries and members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
Applying for a Schengen visa
If you are planning on going on a cruise either directly to a Schengen country or you flying to a Schengen country before embarking on a cruise, you may need to apply for Schengen visa. There are many nationalities that can enter these countries without a visa:
If you do not come from any of the above countries, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa.
In order to apply for a Schengen visa, you need to submit an application to the local embassy or consulate general of the country you are planning to visit or if you are on your way to embark on a cruise. For example, if you are flying to Spain before taking a cruise around the Balearic Islands, you would apply to the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your area.
However, if you are planning on visiting several countries, especially if you are on a cruise, you should apply for a visa for the country which will be your first point of entry. For example, if you will be visiting France, Spain and Italy and Italy will be your first point of entry into the Schengen zone, you would apply for an Italian visa from the Italian Embassy or Consulate General of Italy in the area where you live.
Once you know which countries you will be visiting, you need to find the correct visa office where you can submit your visa application. The European Union’s website has a list of embassies and consulates for each Schengen country located across the world. All you need to do is to choose the country where you will spend the most time or where you will enter first and you will be directed to a list of visa offices located in the country where you reside.
Types of Schengen Visas available
There are different types of visas available and the one you need to apply for will depend on the duration of your trip and your reason for going there.
- Schengen (short-stay) visa – up to a maximum of 90 days in a 180 day period for tourism, business or visiting family/friends etc. This visa can be issued as single, double or multiple entry.
- National (long-term) visa – over 90 days for employment, study etc. This visa can be issued as single or multiple entry
As you will be part of a cruise or you will be joining one, the correct visa you will apply for is:
- Schengen (short-stay) visa for up to 90 days in a 180 day period for TOURISM purposes. MULTIPLE ENTRY.
Once you obtain your short-stay visa for the country where you will enter the Schengen zone first, you may then travel to other Schengen countries without arranging additional visas. As you will have a multiple entry visa, you are permitted to enter the Schengen area as many times as you like as long as it is within the 90 days (in a 180 day period).
Schengen Visa Application Process
You must apply for your Schengen visa well in advance of the departure date. Whether this is the departure date of your flight to a Schengen country or the departure date of your cruise traveling to a Schengen country, you must leave enough time for your application to be processed. As a general rule, embassies and consulates take anything between 7 and 15 days to process visa applications. However, you should check with the respective office that you are dealing with as their processing times may be longer. You may apply up to 3 months ahead of your departure date.
It is your responsibility to have the relevant visa and other travel documentation required to board a flight or to embark on a cruise. If you don’t you may be denied boarding onto the plane or ship which could result in large fines and/or repatriation to your home country.
In addition, if you are on a cruise, you will still require a visa for the country you will dock at, even if you choose to remain on board and NOT go ashore.
There are a number of steps that you need to follow in order to apply for a Schengen visa. These steps apply whether you are flying to a Schengen country BEFORE embarking on a cruise OR if you are traveling TO a Schengen country on a cruise:
- Complete the application form
- Make an appointment
- Prepare your documents
- Submit your application
- Receive your visa
Step 1: Complete your application
You will need to complete your visa application form. All visa offices allow you to either complete your application online or you can download it from their website to complete manually.
Step 2: Make an appointment
You need to make an appointment in order to submit your application in person to the visa office for processing. Most of the visa offices have online booking systems that are easy to use and, once you have created an account, you can log on and make a convenient time and day for your appointment. For the offices that don’t have these online booking systems, all you need to do is contact them by telephone during their business hours.
Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!
Booking a visa appointment using our services is pretty simple! All you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the link to schedule the visa appointment
- Submit the appointment details, visa you are applying for, consulate you need the appointment for, the country you need the appointment IN and make the payment
- Receive appointment confirmation in email
Step 3: Prepare your documents
There are several documents that you need to prepare in order to apply for a Schengen visa. You should take a look at the specific visa office’s website regarding the requirements before you start.
In addition, you need to provide originals as well as photocopies, so don’t forget to do that too!
- Passport – must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your trip, issued within the last 10 years, and have a minimum of 2 blank pages for your visa to be attached
- Visa application form – completely filled out and signed
- 1 or 2 recent passport-sized photos
- Proof of legal residence in your home country
- Schengen Travel medical insurance – to cover €30,000 for medical expenses, hospitalization, and repatriation
- Flight reservation – if you are arriving in a Schengen country by air
- Hotel booking – if you are planning on staying in a Schengen country BEFORE you embark on a cruise
- Cruise ship itinerary – to include dates of travel, cities, and countries to be visited, planned onshore activities, number of days in each country
- Proof of sufficient funds – the Danish Embassy recommends you have at least $60 per day if you are part of a cruise
- Visa of the country you will be traveling to (if applicable)
- Visa Fee
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 4: Submit your visa application
In order to submit your application, you’ll need to appear in person at the office of the embassy or consulate you are dealing with. The visa staff will review your application and supporting documents and will ask you additional questions if they need to know anything else. If this happens, simply answer honestly and politely.
- Is this your first time traveling to the Schengen area?
- Which country will you visit first?
- What other EU countries are you planning to visit?
- How will you pay for this trip?
- Are you meeting anyone in the Schengen area?
Don’t jeopardize your Schengen visa interview at the last minute. Use this comprehensive and thorough visa interview guide to crack the visa interview!
You may have to provide biometric data which includes fingerprints and photograph if this is your first time applying for a Schengen visa.
You will also have to pay the fee of €60 which is payable in your local currency. Each one of the visa offices accepts either cash, cashier’s check, money order or credit/debit card, but you should confirm with the office you are dealing with as to which payment method is acceptable.
Step 5: Receive your visa
When a decision about your visa application has been reached, you can usually collect your passport from the visa office or they can mail it back to you. You need to check with the office whether they provide courier/mailing services.
There will be 1 of 2 outcomes:
- Approved – you will find your visa inside your passport
- Rejected – unfortunately, your visa application has been rejected for a specific reason
- You applied at the wrong visa office – each of the visa offices deals with applications from residents within its jurisdiction, so you should find out the correct office where you need to submit your application. This information can be found on the website of the embassy or consulate you will be dealing with
- Cruise itinerary not included – if you are taking a cruise to any Schengen country you must include your cruise itinerary stating start and end dates, cities and countries that you will disembark the ship, activities and number of days you will be staying in each country
- Lack of funds – you must be able to afford your trip and the documents you provide must prove this
- Invalid passport – if your passport is not valid in any way, you must obtain a new one before applying for your visa
There are just a few simple steps to follow to apply for your Schengen visa:
- Complete your application
- Make an appointment
- Prepare your documents
- Submit your visa application
- Receive your visa
Then, you can look forward to your exciting cruise around the Schengen area!
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.