[Important] Breaking news! China has resumed the issuance of all types of visas(Including tourist visa) for foreigners since March 15, 2023. Read more »

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Shanghai 15 Day Visa Free for International Cruise Tour Groups - Resumed from March 15, 2023

Notice on Further Adjusting the Visa and Entry Policies for Foreigners Entering China - Updated on March 14, 2023:

In order to further facilitate the entry and exit of Chinese and foreign personnel, it has been decided to make the following adjustments to the visa and entry policies for foreigners entering China, effective from 00:00 March 15, 2023 Beijing time:

1. The entry function of visas which were issued before March 28, 2020 and still valid will be restored.

2. Overseas visa offices will resume issuing various types of visas (including Tourist Visa) for foreigners to travel to China, with specific requirements detailed in the visa application guidelines of Chinese embassies or consulates.

3. Port visa offices will resume issuing various types of port visas for lawful purposes.

4. The policies of visa-free entry for Hainan, Shanghai International cruise arrival, Guangdong for Tourist group entry of foreigners from Hong Kong, Macau, and ASEAN tourist groups entering Guilin, Guangxi will be restored.

China Discovery will keep focusing on the updates of the latest Chinese visa and entry policy! You can also call 86 010 12367 (Official telephone number of China National Immigration Administration) to check further information. Welcome to join in our Facebook Groups to catch up with the latest news!

Invitation letter is a vital document for Chinese visa application. If you travel with us, we will not only create a valuable tour for you, but also provide you an invitation letter if you request, which will help you obtain your visa successfully. Start customizing your tour in China now!

We are one of the few China travel agencies who have kept active and received lots of feedbacks and reviews during pandemic years

"It was our second time with China Discovery Tours. Once again they tailored the tour according to our ideas and interests - and succeeded in surprising us! read more »
Reviewed on March 20, 2023
"We loved it! Our tour guide Frank was very kind, informative, and funny :) We loved how easy it was and how much we got to see in a day, I will definitely recommend to our friends! read more »
Reviewed on March 16, 2023

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.

Shanghai 15 Day Visa Free for Curise Tour Groups

Cruise Docked at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal

Understand the 15-Day Free Visa Policy

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.

Who Qualify for the 15 Day Visa Exemption?

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.

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

Passport is Needed for Pearl River Delta Free Visa

How to Apply for the 15-Day Visa-Free Entry?

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.

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

Foreign Cruise Visitors Arrive in Shanghai

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

Cruise Tourists Enter Shanghai via Cruise Terminal

What to Pay Attention to When Applying for Shanghai 15 Day Visa Free?

When getting ashore for a Shanghai excursion and moving to other costal areas, there are 3 essentials you need to pay attention to.

☞ Travel Areas

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.

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

11 Cities & Provinces for 15-Day Cruise Free Visa Tour in China

☞ Duration of Stay

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.

☞ Travel Form

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.

Which Cruise Terminals to Call in Shanghai?

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.

>> Shanghai Port 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 City Center: about 10 minutes’ driving/2km to the Bund; 20 minutes’ driving to Shanghai Museum;

To Airport: about 40 minutes' driving/25 km to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport; 50 minutes’ ride to Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

>> Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal

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 Airport: about 1 hour’s driving to Pudong Airport or Hongqiao Airport;

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 15 Day Visa Free for Cruise Tour Groups

Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

Shanghai Cruise Terminals Transportation Map (click to enlarge)

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal

Useful Travel Tips You Need to Know

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 >>

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

Transit in Shanghai 24/144 Hour Visa Free

Travel Shanghai with Suzhou & Hangzhou

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.

Useful Links:

Popular Shanghai Layover Tour & Excursions / Popular Shanghai Suzhou Tours / Shanghai Hangzhou Tours / Popular Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Tours

Shanghai 15 Visa Free for Cruise Tour Groups

World Architecture Expo along the Bund

Travel Shanghai Worry Free with China Discovery

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.

15 Day Visa Free Cruise Tour Group to Shanghai China

Our Clients Visited Yu Garden

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Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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