Cruise Tender Ports and Cruise Tender Operation by lifeboat

If the destination port is not deep enough for your cruise ship, or, it is too busy to park you at a berth (Dubrovnik is such a busy example), then you have to be ferried in.


This is called a tender operation. In some places the local port union will insist on local boats, this happens for example in some Greek Islands. However, it is more normal that the lifeboats are used and this then becomes a training and familiarisation operation for you, the guest, as well as the crew. Some life crafts are huge and have video screens, such as those on the P&O Britannia, others are small crafts. In some places, like the Galapagos Islands, a chain of volcanic islands straddling the equator, 600 miles west of the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, you will be transferred to uneven rocky shores on a rib (an inflatable craft).

Normally, this will only happen when the sea is calm, and even so, most guests will be required to take a step test. The step test is to step over a distance between two lines. Some guests with mobility problems will be helped ashore, but they may have to wait until the rush is over. It is not unusual for those on ship-booked tours to be taken off first and/or given priority.

book series CSCI

At the end of the operation, the boats are stowed away carefully as we see in the film. Then the ship can sail again. Those who stay on the ship often enjoy a day with few around and can read my book. Cruise Ship Heist. Please read the reviews, and review it, if you have read it. A Tender operation took place in the Panama Canal in this novel… and the police were waiting.

Ports that require tender include



  • La Digue, Seychelles
  • Luderitz, Namibia*
  • Mossel Bay, South Africa
  • Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Praslin, Seychelles
  • Richard’s Bay, South Africa*

Alaska, U.S. Pacific Coast

  • Astoria, Oregon*
  • Catalina Island, California
  • Juneau, Alaska*
  • Ketchikan, Alaska*
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • Sitka, Alaska*

Canada, New England

  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Charlottetown P.E.I., Canada*
  • Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
  • Newport, Rhode Island
  • Rockland, Maine
  • Saguenay, Canada*
  • Sydney Nova Scotia, Canada*

Caribbean, Mexico & Panama Canal

  • Bequia, Grenadines
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Castries, St. Lucia*
  • Cozumel, Mexico*
  • George Town, Cayman Islands
  • Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands*
  • Grand Caymen, Caymen Islands.
  • Gustavia, St Barthelemy.
  • Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
  • Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.
  • Harvest Caye, Belize*
  • Ocho Rios, Jamaica*
  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic*
  • Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras*
  • San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Hawaii & French Polynesia

  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • Huahine, French Polynesia
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Ile des Pins, New Caledonia
  • Moorea, French Polynesia
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kahului (Maui), Hawaii
  • Kona, Hawaii
  • Nawiliwili (Kauai), Hawaii
  • Raiatea, French Polynesia

South America

  • Buzios, Brazil
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
  • Castro, Chile
  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Ilha Grande, Brazil
  • Puerto Chacabuco, Chile*
  • Puerto Montt, Chile*
  • Punta Del Este, Uruguay
  • Stanley, Falkland Islands


  • Augusta, Italy
  • Bar, Montenegro*
  • Cannes, France
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia*
  • Katakolon, Greece*
  • Korcula, Croatia
  • Kotor, Montenegro*
  • Monte Carlo, Monaco*
  • Mykonos, Greece*
  • Nafplion, Greece
  • Nessebar, Bulgaria
  • Paphos, Cyprus
  • Paros, Greece
  • Patmos, Greece*
  • Praia da Vitoria, Portugal
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Sorrento (Capri), Italy
  • Split, Croatia*
  • Varna, Bulgaria
  • Villefranche, France

Northern Europe

  • Cobh (Cork), Ireland*
  • Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
  • Eidfjord, Norway*
  • Geiranger, Norway
  • Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
  • Hellesylt, Norway
  • Invergordon, United Kingdom*
  • Isafjordur, Iceland*
  • Kirkwall, United Kingdom*
  • Nanortalik, Greenland
  • Newhaven, United Kingdom
  • Nuuk, Greenland*
  • Nynäshamn, Sweden*
  • Olden, Norway*
  • Qaqortoq, Greenland
  • South Queensferry, United Kingdom
  • Stornoway, United Kingdom
  • Ullapool, United Kingdom
  • Ulvik, Norway
  • Visby, Sweden*


  • Benoa (Bali), Indonesia
  • Coron, Philippines*
  • Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Vietnam
  • Ishigaki, Japan*
  • Hirara (Miyakojima), Japan
  • Kanazawa, Japan*
  • Ko Samui, Thailand
  • Komodo Island, Indonesia
  • Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia*
  • Muara, Brunei Darussalam*
  • Naze (Oshima island), Japan*
  • Nha Trang, Vietnam
  • Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russian Federation
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Sabang, Indonesia

Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific

  • Airlie Beach, Australia
  • Akaroa, New Zealand
  • Albany, Australia
  • Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  • Cairns, Australia*
  • Cooktown, Australia
  • Dravuni, Fiji
  • Geraldton, Australia*
  • Gisborne, New Zealand*
  • Kangaroo Island, Australia
  • Mystery Island, Vanuatu

* Indicates a port where the ship can dock or anchor, varies by call.

Please share our videos, either on Facebook or YouTube.