China has implemented more than 10 types of visa free policies for different foreign visitors. The most commonly used visa exemptions in Shanghai are the 24 & 144-Hour Visa Free Transit and the 15 Day Visa Free for cruise tour groups. If you want to make a Shanghai excursion and stay longer when your international cruise dock in Shanghai, you can apply for the Shanghai 15 Day Visa Free Excursion. During you later sea voyage, you can also make visa-exempted visits of Beijing, Tianjin, Xiamen and other Chinese coastal cities (provinces). Therefore, you enjoy double benefits, a good chance to travel to Shanghai and many other destinations and saving a lot of time and money.
Keep reading to check the detailed requirements, application procedure and important notes.
Cruise Docked at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal
To offer more convenience and better opportunity of travelling in China for international cruise tourists, Shanghai began to operate a 15-Day Visa-Free Entry for foreign cruise ship visitors since October 1st, 2016. The overseas cruise tour groups shall be received and organized by travel agencies legally registered in China, enter from appointed cruise terminals in Shanghai, and move around within administrative regions of Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, total 11 cities and provinces in costal regions of China. They can have multi-stopover in costal cities (provinces) and the maximum total duration of stay is no more than 15 days.
As a visa free policy with the second longest duration, the 15-Day Visa Waiver Program applies to an international cruise tour group meeting all the following requirements:
◆ Hold valid ordinary passport or international travel document;
◆ Join in cruise tour groups at least with 2 members;
◆ Attend China tour arranged by Chinese-registered travel agency;
◆ Arrive in Shanghai via specific cruise ports in Shanghai;
◆ Depart from Shanghai by the same cruise ship;
◆ Stay in Shanghai and other valid cities for no more than 15 days.
There is no limitation of nationality, but has specific requirements for transportation, number of tourists and travel from should obey the official regulation.
Passport is Needed for Pearl River Delta Free Visa
Unlike a regular visit, cruise visitors don’t need to apply for a Chinese Visa and pay certain amount of visa fees in advance. Only a few process, you could get visa exempted for 15 days during your long cruise journey to Japan, Sydney, Korea and Tokyo.
Step 1: After checking the qualification for the free visa, foreigner travelers should firstly contact an authorized Shanghai travel agency (like China Discovery) to arrange such a visa-free visit to Shanghai.
Step 2: Visitors should book ashore tours from the travel agency, and provide personal information needed.
Step 3: Authorized travel agency will make pre-arrival registration of the whole tour group information to immigration authority in Shanghai, at least 24 hours before the ship berth at cruise terminal. A name list of full members will be submitted.
Step 4: Upon arrival, the entire cruise tourists will be received by the agency. They will NOT fill in Arrival Card or Departure Card, nor any Entry Permit will be stamped on their passport or international travel document. Just follow signs and present passport to customs officers, and go through immigration inspections at the port.
Notes: Those who already got inspection on board before arrival in Shanghai can use passport (photocopy is also applicable) to get identity verified through Immigration Inspection Cruise Management System at the cruise gangway, and disembark directly. They don’t need to have passport and visa checked anymore.
Foreign Cruise Visitors Arrive in Shanghai
Cruise Tourists Enter Shanghai via Cruise Terminal
When getting ashore for a Shanghai excursion and moving to other costal areas, there are 3 essentials you need to pay attention to.
11 costal cities (provinces): Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Liaoning Province, Hebei Province, Shandong Province, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, Fujian Province, Guangdong Province, Hainan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
After entry from the cruise terminal in Shanghai, eligible visitors can enjoy an in-depth 15-day trip to Shanghai, visiting the downtown and administrative region of Shanghai, or have a long-term tour packages in some costal cities (provinces) in China, experiencing different cityscape and charm during the trip. The latter requires the whole group to travel to other port cities by the same cruise ship and exit China there.
11 Cities & Provinces for 15-Day Cruise Free Visa Tour in China
The 15-day free visa entry in China calculates from 00:00 of the next day upon arrival, and length amount to less than 360 hours (15 days) finally. You shall apply for residence permit at the Exit & Entry Administration of the local Public Security Bureau, if you will overstay for irresistible or humanism reasons.
The visa waiver service is only valid for cruise tour groups. Independent travelers may refer to other China Visa Free Policies or 24-Hour/144 Hour Visa Free Transit in Shanghai. During the visa-free journey, tour members will enter and exit, travel around as a group.
The travel agency in Shanghai will normally organize your excursion covering sightseeing, transportation, accommodation and dining. For individual emergency exit for illness, death and other special causes, foreigners can apply for separation from tour group at the Exit-Entry Ports with valid passport or international documents (used for entry) and certificate provided by the travel agency.
There are two cruise terminals used as entry and exit ports for the 15-Day Visa-Free Access to Shanghai, namely, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal and Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal.
Chinese Name: 上海港国际客运中心
Address: No.500, Dongdaming Rd, Hongkou District, Shanghai上海市虹口区东大名路500号
Located on the west bank of the Huangpu River (Huangpu River Cruise), near the famous Bund, facing the Oriental Pearl Tower across the river, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal serves as the biggest cruise terminal in Shanghai and one of the world’s leading international cruise terminal. Owning a shoreline of 1,197 meters along Huangpu River, the terminal has 3 large cruise berths and 15 riverside sightseeing yacht berths.
Shanghai Port Transportation
To Airport: about 40 minutes' driving/25 km to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport; 50 minutes’ ride to Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Chinese Name: 上海吴淞口国际邮轮港
Address: No.1 Baoyang Rd, Baoshan District, Shanghai 上海市宝山区宝杨路1号
Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal lies at the junction of Yangtze River, Huangpu River with over 1,500 meters’ shoreline and 2 large cruise ports. As the busiest international cruise home port in Asia-Pacific region, it has handled over 2,000 cruises to Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, etc.
Wusongkou Terminal Transportation
To Downtown: around 1 hour’s driving to the Bund; 1 hour to Yu Garden or Shanghai Museum.
Check helpful transfer guide of Shanghai Cruise Terminals to Shanghai City Center.
Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal
Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal
1. Get a Chinese Visa to Travel Freely
If you intend to visit other inland cities, for example, see Giant Panda in Chengdu, hike on the Yellow Mountain, learn Chinese Kung Fu in Shaolin Temple, or go further to Yunnan, Tibet and destinations along the Silk Road, you shall apply for a Chinese Visa to move around. Read the required documents, application steps from How to Apply for a Visa for China>>
2. Transit in Shanghai without Visa
Individual cruise travelers who do not enroll in tour groups may apply for 144 Hours Visa Free Transit at the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal and Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal if holding connecting flights, cruise tickets to a third country (region). Under the visa waiver program, visitors are allowed to have a 6-day visa-free stay in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, and other cities in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. Shanghai 144-Hour Transit Visa-Free >>
Transit in Shanghai 24/144 Hour Visa Free
Your 15-day visa-free tour begins from Shanghai, the largest and most developed city in China, which is praised as the Oriental Paris, a bustling international metropolis presenting Chinese traditional feature and modern skyline. Except tasting Shanghai food and shopping, Shanghai has historical and modern buildings, ancient cultural legacy and natural spots worthy of your exploration. While in Shanghai, you may stroll along the Bund to see western style buildings, take an amazing view of Shanghai from Shanghai World Financial Center, visit Yu Garden to trace back to the old time of Shanghai, visit Shanghai Museum to see the massive treasure telling the city’s glorious past, etc. You can have a brief layover tour or in-depth discovery travel to Suzhou, Hangzhou nearby based on your itinerary.
World Architecture Expo along the Bund
China Discovery is a professional and experienced travel companion who offers high-quality and worry-free China tour packes. We not only design an ideal itinerary covering sightseeing, dining, transfer and hotel, but also can provide any visa support & help you need for a China travel. Except the 15-day visa free entry to Shanghai, China has offer 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xiamen, Kunming, etc, and 72-Hour Transit Visa Exemption in Guilin, Harbin and Changsha. With our help, you may take advantage of the free visa or get a regular Chinese Visa to experience different kinds of landscape, culture and history of China.
Please feel free to contact us to join in our top recommended Shanghai excursions, or let us customize a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Shanghai and other destinations in China for you.
Our Clients Visited Yu Garden
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Shanghai / Hangzhou / Suzhou / Shanghai
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