Ferries del Caribe has become the first cruise operator to install automated border control kiosks onboard a cruise ship or ferry. Following a five-month pilot programme, two of Vancouver International Airport’s Innovative Travel Solutions’ BorderXpress kiosks will be a permanent fixture onboard the MV Kydon.
“Today marks a momentous occasion for the cruise ship industry, and we are proud that our line of BorderXpress self-serve kiosks were chosen as part of this industry first,” said Chris Gilliland, Director of ITS, Vancouver Airport Authority.
“No matter where they are implemented, BorderXpress kiosks enable immigration officers to process more passengers per hour, reduce passenger wait times and overall operating costs, and free up border officers to focus on security, intelligence and enforcement activities.”
The MV Kydon offers services from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The BorderXpress kiosks can be utilised by US citizens, US legal permanent residents, Canadian citizens, travellers utilising an ESTA (Visa Waiver Program), and those entering with a B1/B2 or D visa.
The BorderXpress kiosks have been installed in a number of major airports in recent years. However, a major differentiator between border control kiosks installed at airports and onboard passenger ships is that the cruise ship kiosks can connect via satellite with secured segregated VLAN for kiosk communication.
Passengers using BorderXpress complete their customs declaration onscreen and scan their passport at the kiosk, which then sends their encrypted information to a border control agency that returns a government response in seconds. A receipt is then printed from the kiosk which the traveller takes to a border services agent who verifies the document and makes the final approval to allow a traveller into the country.