Milford - Cruise Holidays of Milford is strongly urging all future cruise vacationers who do not have passports to apply for them now. While the newly amended Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative has delayed the mandatory passport deadline for cruise passengers until 2009, the U.S. government will require all air travelers from the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America (including Panama), and Bermuda to have a valid passport in order to enter or re-enter the U.S. by Jan. 23, 2007. “Despite the extended deadline for cruisers, traveling with a valid passport is still the easiest and simplest way to go. We strongly encourage those who may have previously used their birth certificates and drivers’ licenses to obtain a valid passport, and they should apply sooner rather than later,” said Sharon Travis, owner of Cruise Holidays of Milford. “As more people realize this is a requirement for international air travel to the United States - and will eventually includes cruising - the processing of applications may slow down dramatically.” Processing of a new U.S. passport application usually takes six weeks. “In the short term, these new changes may create a lot of confusion for people cruising Alaska. Whether you are required to carry a passport will depend on where your return flight departs from. If you are flying in and out of Seattle, you can still use your birth certificate. If you are flying back to the U.S. via Vancouver, you must have a passport after Jan. 23,” Travis continued. For information on passport applications, visit the State Department’s Web site at www.travel.state.gov. For help applying for a passport or to begin planning your next cruise vacation, call Cruise Holidays of Milford at 570-296-8818, stop by 101 Roberts Lane, Milford, or go to ilovemyvacation.com.