Schengen visa requirements

We are trying to stay in the EU as long as we can. Does anyone know if cruise ships count as being in or out of the EU?

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10889 posts

I agree with Lee's comments in that I wondered how they could track you on and off the ship. At any port other than Russia we have never had any type of immigration procedures like you see off of a plane. Just walk a shore and show the ship's id card especially when returning. But it has never been an issue for us, since we were never close to the 90 day limit. Before commenting on that aspect, I was waiting to see if Shana returned with more details about what is planned. Have to admit Richard, that this is a different twist on the old Schengen visa question.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8761 posts

Do you mean the Schengen area or all of the EU? Do you mean river cruises or ocean cruises or sea cruises?

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2395 posts

If you are on an open-seas cruise ship, as long as you stay on the ship, you have not entered a country. River cruises are within countries and count against your time in the Schengen zone. Are you also aware of non-Schengen nations in Europe, like Great Britain, Russia or Turkey? Your time in those countries does not count against the 90 days (they will have their own restrictions).

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2383 posts

I am not sure that you will get a clear answer, since the answer is likely tied to several conditions, but more importantly, if you are depending on a few days on a cruise to "save" you, there are more definitive ways to extend your stay. Some of the conditions that may come into play are where the ship is cruising, where the ship is flagged, and your departure/arrival points. For example, I think you would have a tough time not counting the days if you fly to the Schengen area, depart from the a Schengen area port, and visit only Schengen area ports, even though you may be "Cruising" most of the time in International waters. Keep in mind that even partial days (visiting a Schengen port) count as a full day so of the 10 or 14 days, most would still likely count anyway. The most efficient way to stretch a stay past the 90 days would be to spend some days outside the Schengen zone in the UK, Ireland, Croatia (for now), and Turkey.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10889 posts

Probably be best if you described in greater detail what you are trying to accomplish. There really is no way to stretch the 90 days as suggested above. It is absolutely 90 days out of ANY 180 day period. No way to reset the clock. And every time your enter the Schengen zone you start another 180 day period so you can have mult 180 days periods running at the same time. If you are bouncing in and out of the Schengen zone then it gets very complication keeping track of your time. The simplest way is to take today (or tomorrow) and count backwards for 180 days. If you have been in the Schengen zone for 90 days or more, then you are done.

Posted by Richard
Los Angeles
633 posts

Thank you Shana! Nothing makes this board happier than discussing Schengen.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11286 posts

Frank, you've been on ocean cruises since the beginning of Schengen. When you board the ship do you go through immigration, like you do when you fly from a European airport to the US? Do you have your passport scanned or stamped? If not, they have no way of knowing you've "left" the zone, so the 90 days keeps running.