Today, Vancouver International Airport’s (YVR) Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS) and Ferries del Caribe celebrated the installation of two BorderXpress kiosks onboard its cruise ship, the MV Kydon. This marks a milestone for the industry as Ferries del Caribe becomes the first-ever cruise operator in the world to install border control kiosks onboard a cruise ship or ferry.
Today’s announcement follows a five-month pilot program using two BorderXpress Automated Passport Control (APC) enabled kiosks. The pilot program illustrated the effectiveness of BorderXpress kiosks in expediting passenger processing, while also improving the overall passenger experience by streamlining and simplifying the border clearance process without compromising safety.
“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.”
Ferries del Caribe’s MV Kydon offers services from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The BorderXpress kiosks can be utilized by U.S. citizens, U.S. legal permanent residents, Canadian citizens, travelers utilizing ESTA (Visa Waiver Program), and travelers entering with a B1/B2 or D visa.
“This is a celebratory day for Ferries del Caribe as we become the first in the world to install border control kiosks onboard a passenger ship,” said Néstor González García, President of Ferries del Caribe. “We’re delighted to partner with Innovative Travel Solutions to implement the BorderXpress kiosks, which allow us to modernize our border clearance process and ensure our passengers have an enjoyable and seamless experience on their trip with us.”
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.
“At YVR, innovation is key to our success. We continue to bring our technology innovations to market to help improve the overall passenger experience, whether it is for air travel or sea travel,” said Gilliland.
More than 1,300 BorderXpress kiosks are currently in use at 39 airport and seaport locations. As of December 2017, BorderXpress kiosks have processed over 160 million passengers in 36 languages.