In Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, we see Newt traveling across the Atlantic by muggle steamship. Isn't there some way for wizards to teleport that distance, or for some entrepreneurial wizard to set up an airline?


If so, why wouldn't Newt have used it? Why would he still go by muggle steamer?

  • Also see here Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 10:26
  • 6
    Thanks. I was aware that apparation has a limited range, but I did wonder about portkeys, and there were also the magical transports used by Durmstrang and Beaux Batons. Maybe transatlantic versions of such things do exist, but since Newt was effectively smuggling prohibited creatures into America he might have wanted to avoid them. Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 14:12
  • @Valorum - That answer doesn't explain why Newt used a boat. It only addresses why he didn't apparate.
    – ibid
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 0:08
  • @Valorum - The answer certainly doesn’t seem to explain why Newt didn’t use a Portkey, a flying carpet, a broom, or some other form of magical transportation. Voting to reopen (though I thought I had seen a more direct question about this?)
    – Adamant
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 1:56
  • How do you know that it was a muggle steamer? It was on a muggle port, yes, but that ship could be magical to cross the Atlantic in hours.
    – user931
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


Newt was illegally smuggling magical creatures, and so used a muggle method of travel. Additionally, lots of his creatures couldn't take various methods of instantaneous magical transportation.

Pong Maniquiz: Loved the movie. Burning Q from my wife though: How come Newt travels by boat to cross the Atlantic instead of apparating?
J.K. Rowling: There's a limit to how far you can Apparate. Inter-continental Apparition is very dangerous!
Victor: Why couldn't Newt have used a portkey? It can't have been difficult for him to register one since he works at the Ministry.
J.K. Rowling: Consider the effect on the contents of his case...
Vick: Is there some sort of Magical Customs for wizards? Maybe not in the years of the Ellis Island ships, but how about now? :)
J.K. Rowling: Newt went in through the No-Maj customs because wizards wouldn't have been so easy to fool. Transporting those creatures was illegal.



  1. Why couldn’t Newt just Apparate to the USA? Why did he go by boat?

    Apparition becomes increasingly risky over long distances. As with most magic, much depends on the skill of the spell-caster: Apparition requires knowledge of the terrain to which one is moving, or the ability to visualise it clearly. Cross-continental Apparition would almost certainly result in severe injury or death.

    Moreover, the beasts in Newt’s case had varying magical natures. Some could have Apparated with him, but others could not.

  2. Why did Newt go in through No-Maj customs?

    He was transporting magical creatures at a time when this was illegal. No-Majs were far easier to fool than the wizarding checkpoint would have been.

(J.K. Rowling's new website - FAQ)

  • I've only seen the film once, and I wasn't paying attention to this point, but if I recall correctly Newt does some short-range apparition in and around the bank while carrying his case. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 11:42
  • @PaulJohnson - I would attribute that to either an error, or a distinction between short-range and long-range apparition.
    – ibid
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 16:39

This question can be answered from a passage in Quidditch Through the Ages Chapter Nine:

(Before that time, wizards preferred to take ships rather than trust broomsticks over such distances. Apparition becomes increasingly unreliable over very long distances, and only highly skilled wizards are wise to attempt it across continents.)

  • This, of course, doesn't address why he didn't use one of the other (many) ways of crossing long distances in a non-mundane fashion
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 23:55
  • @Valorum True, though the duplicate question that led me here only asked about why he didn't Apparate.
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 23:58

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