Tenders are lifeboats used to transfer passengers to and from shore. They are usually operated by the ship’s crew but may also be chartered through external providers on occasion. A tender is often used when a ship is unable to dock directly into port, often because the port isn’t large enough to accommodate a ship of its size, when the port is busy, or when weather conditions prevent the ship from navigating its way directly into the port. Tender access is usually found on the lower deck of your ship, though this will depend on the tide. Please listen to your ship’s speaker service for information on tender locations and look out for signs in public areas.
Most cruise lines employ a tender access system, with passengers required to collect a card from a designated area and make their way to the tender service once their card is called. The tender service will run on a continuous loop throughout the day, with the first and last tender times being made clear to passengers both on ship and ashore. Priority will be given to all guests booked on a shore excursion and this will be made clear in the daily guide delivered to your stateroom the night before your tour. It will also be highlighted on your excursion ticket.
Passengers utilising tenders must have the ability to walk down steps and step on to the tender. Crew will be on hand to help at all times however, if a question of mobility does arise, the officer will make an assessment on the situation before offering a final decision.
Passengers with mobility issues should pay close attention to the number of tenders required on itineraries they are considering. Your Cruise Consultant can advise alternative itineraries with fewer tenders, or even none at all.