Another United States homeport is implementing facial biometric technology to make security screenings more efficient. In partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, Port of Boston is the latest seaport to modernize and enhance security measures for cruise travelers.
Biometrics in Use at Port of Boston
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has partnered with Norwegian Cruise Line to update Port of Boston with biometric security technology, streamlining security procedures and improving efficiency for all travelers.
“With the return of cruise ships to Boston, CBP is working diligently with Norwegian Cruise Lines to make travel safer and more efficient,” said Jennifer B. De La O, Director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations in Boston.
“Facial biometrics adds an extra layer of security and further enhances the travel experience by utilizing safe, touch-free technology that streamlines entry procedures.”
Multiple other cruise ports have already put biometric screening practices into place, with excellent results. To date, 18 seaports across the U.S. have biometric screening available, including ports in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Texas, California, Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, Puerto Rico, Maryland, and now Massachusetts.
While the partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line has helped implement biometric screenings in Boston, all cruise lines that use the port of call will be able to use the advanced technology.
In the coming months, this will include ships from Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Cunard, Viking Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and a number of regional lines. Autumn sailings will be especially impacted, as fall foliage sailings are some of the most popular options for cruises visiting Boston.
How This Impacts Cruise Travelers
Cruise travelers at homeports with biometric screening will immediately notice faster, smoother embarkation and debarkation processes. While passengers still need to provide appropriate paperwork and identification for security screenings, biometrics allows for much faster recognition with a more than 98% accuracy rate.
This permits screening lines to move much more quickly, minimizing wait times in the terminal and getting cruisers onboard to enjoy their vacation right away, or at the end of the cruise, to move along lines so everyone can pass through customs to begin their journeys home smoothly and safely.
With biometric screening, passengers’ identities can be verified within two seconds, which means, in some cases, lines never even pause as guests move through the terminal.
Guests can also rest assured that their privacy is always protected. While biometrics does involve comparing photos of guests to their registered identification such as passports, photos of U.S. citizens are deleted and not shared with any industry partners.
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According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 227 million travelers have already participated in biometric facial comparison via land, air, and seaport entry points.
If preferred, guests can request a manual document check by a CBP officer and opt out of biometric screening.