Guests sailing onboard one of the Carnival Cruise Line ships from New Orleans will be able to enjoy a much faster and streamlined check-out process. In partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expanded the use of facial biometrics technology to New Orleans.
The Louisiana port is fast becoming one of the major cruise ports in the United States, showing progressive growth over the years. Guests’ identities can now be processed within only two seconds. Carnival Cruise Line has been instrumental in implementing the technology around the United States.
Making Travel Safer and More Efficient
In cooperation with Carnival Cruise Line, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection the new process which is to be installed in New Orleans will enable guests to quickly disembark cruise ships in the port without waiting in long lines to have their passports checked. US Customs and Border Protection Field Operations Director said the following:
“As cruise travel resumes around our nation’s ports, CBP is working closely with the cruise industry to make travel safer and more efficient, while also supporting travel recovery efforts. The biometric facial comparison process adds an extra layer of security and streamlines travel into the United States by replacing the manual inspection of travel documents with a secure, touch-less process.”
The technology is quickly establishing itself in the various embarkation ports around the United States. Already, the tech is in use in ports in Florida, New Jersey, Texas, California, Washington, and now Louisiana.
Carnival Cruise Line has been one of the cruise lines instrumental in installing the technology in ports, in September of this year the same process was announced for Long Beach. The process makes debarkation a much more efficient and pleasant experience.
There are currently two Carnival Cruise ships sailing from New Orleans. Carnival Valor sails four- and five-day voyages from Louisiana to the Western Caribbean. Carnival Glory sails 6-7- and 8-night cruises from New Orleans. The cruise line expects to carry more than 400,000 guests from the city in the upcoming years.
The biometric technology is the same in use in airports when re-entering the United States and several other countries worldwide. Debarking passengers walk up to facial comparison hardware, the system will take their photo and match their image to their travel document photo within two seconds. During the entire process Carnival Cruise Line employees will be available to assist guests.
The system is available for US travelers and foreign nationals as long as their biometrics have been logged in their travel documentation. US travelers and those without a biometric identification can opt out of the process and be processed by a Customs officer.
All passports issued by the US since 2007 are biometric, also known as e-passports. The passports contain a small chip with all your personal information, such as your date of birth, name, place of birth, and passport photo. In some countries, passports also contain retina scans and fingerprints.
The technology has proven successful. Besides skipping the long lines generally associated with debarkation, the safety aspect is certainly proving successful as well. US customs and border control has been able to catch more than 1,100 individuals with seemingly valid travel documents trying to enter the country, only to be caught out because of the biometric scan.