What is the Tender Boat (Shore Tender) service?

A port where you will need to take a small boat (tender boat) from the ship to the port

Not all destinations allow ships to dock in the port, due to the size of the ship, no more space for the cruise ship or simply that the port doesn't have any port facilities. 

Open or enclosed motor launches (tenders) are in use when the ship is unable to dock at a port or an island.

In such cases, a regular tender “shuttle” will operate between the ship and shore of the port of call. If you are not part of an organised ship excursion nor in a higher category cabin, you will often have to wait for priority passengers to disembark the ship first.

Tender boats are either lifeboats from the cruise ship or boats supplied from a shore company and can typically hold 50 to 100 people at a time. 


Tendering can be a great way to take unique photos of your cruise ship, as well as accessing remote, untouched locations. 


Some Considerations

Because tendering involves hopping from a ship to a boat, there are a few important considerations. 

  • For those passengers that have mobility issues, tender is not always an option (in most cases the cruise ship will try to accommodate the passenger).
  • When children are travelling, be extra careful when stepping from the ship to the tender boat, the gap can be treacherous. Crew are usually on hand to assist.
  • Some people are prone to sea sickness on small boats.