Vancouver pioneers biometric facial-scanning for cruise ship boarding

   June 19, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

Boarding a cruise ship in Port Vancouver (BC Canada) has become more streamlined with the introduction of biometric facial-scanning technology.

Vancouver is pioneering this advancement in North America, and possibly worldwide, according to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA).

Cruise tourists departing from Vancouver, typically heading to Alaska, must first pass through USA's Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CBP has implemented a new system where agents use tablet-like devices to photograph passengers. These images are quickly compared to the passengers' pre-trip travel documentation to confirm their identities.

This biometric system, which replaces the previous stand-alone passport-scanning kiosks, is available only for Canadian and American citizens. Nationals of other countries will continue to undergo manual document checks. Upon disembarkation, all passengers will still use kiosks for Canadian customs and immigration. Those who prefer not to use the new biometric system can notify a representative at the Canada Place cruise terminal and opt for a manual inspection by presenting valid travel documents.

Each cruise departure from Vancouver is estimated to contribute $3 million to the local economy.