Which Ports are Tender Ports? Full List for Every Cruise Line!

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Leo

tender ports list

Hello my beautiful cruise lovers, today we will talk about a quite interesting topic: tender ports.

You may think I am a little crazy, but I like tender ports. They give me that feeling of adventure and exploration that I love so much.

However, if you are not familiar with this topic I will explain, in a simple way, what tender ports are. Following that explanation, there’s a complete list with all the tender ports for each cruise line.
I am sure it will be useful to you.

What is the meaning of tender ports?

Tender Ports are ports where cruise ships cannot dock directly at a pier due to different reasons. The most common are shallow water depth, the port’s size being too small for large cruise ships, or environmental and preservation concerns.

To solve this, and to allow passengers to still reach land, cruise ships anchor offshore and passengers are transported to and from land via smaller boats known as tenders or water shuttles.

Very often these tenders are part of the cruise ship’s own lifeboats or can be provided by the local port authorities.

A lifeboat used as tender
A lifeboat used as tender

This type of disembarkation requires a more rigid organization. For big cruises, passengers are usually assigned to groups and given specific tender times to avoid overcrowding and ensure a smooth transfer.

The pros

As I was saying at the beginning of the article, the use of tenders adds an adventurous element to the cruise experience.

I like it, and I think it is an interesting experience for children as well. The journey between the ship and the shore, although short, can offer unique views and a closer look at the sea and the local marine environment.
It’s almost like it’s an integral part of the excursion experience.

The cons

However, as with most things, there are also downsides. One of the most evident and most frequent among passengers is seasickness.

The boats used for this transfer are quite small and are greatly affected by wave movement.

Moreover, I don’t like that this method is not 100% accessible to passengers with disabilities. Usually, cruise lines offer assistance to people in need but passengers who use assistive devices may not be able to get on or off the ship.

Royal Caribbean's tenders
Royal Caribbean’s tenders

List of tender ports

Destinations that require tendering often include hidden gems. These kinds of places usually offer more intimate and exclusive exploration opportunities.

There are many tender ports around the world, so let’s start by discovering them all based on the different cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean

  • Airlie Beach, Australia
  • Ajaccio, Corsica
  • Bali (Padang Bay), Indonesia
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  • Belize City, Belize
  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • Buzios, Brazil
  • Cabo Frio, Brazil
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Cannes (Monte Carlo), France
  • Champagne Bay, Vanuatu
  • Corfu, Greece
  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Denarau, Fiji
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Esperance, Australia
  • Exmouth, Australia
  • La Spezia (Florence, Pisa), Italy
  • Geiranger, Norway
  • George Town, Grand Cayman
  • Hanoi (Halong Bay), Vietnam
  • Icy Strait Point, Alaska
  • Ilha Grande, Brazil
  • Ilhabela, Brazil
  • Ilheus, Brazil
  • Isle of Pines, New Caledonia
  • Jeju, Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  • Kotor, Montenegro
  • Lahaina (Maui), Hawaii
  • Lifou, Loyalty Island
  • Lombok, Indonesia
  • Malacca, Malaysia
  • Moorea, French Polynesia
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Mystery Island, Vanuatu
  • Naples (Salerno), Italy
  • Nha Trang, Vietnam
  • Villefranche (Nice), France
  • Ouvea (Wadrilla), Loyalty Island
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
  • Port Douglas, Australia
  • Port Vila, Vanuatu
  • Portbelo, Brazil
  • Punta Del Este, Uruguay
  • Rockland, Maine
  • Samana, Dominican Republic
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Split, Croatia
  • St. Peter Port, Channel Islands
  • Ushuaia, Argentina
  • Visby, Sweden

Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Belize (limited availability of accessible water shuttles)
  • Bermuda (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Catalina Island, California
  • Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (limited availability of accessible water shuttles)
  • Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas
  • Icy Strait Point, Alaska (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Juneau, Alaska (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Ketchikan, Alaska (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Kona, Hawaii (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Nanortalik, Greenland
  • Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Princess Cays, The Bahamas
  • Qaqortoq, Greenland
  • Sitka, Alaska (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Skagway, Alaska (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • St. Anthony, New Foundland and Labrador, Canada
  • Andalsnes, Norway 
  • Douglas, Isle of Man, UK
  • Dublin (Dun Laoghaire), Ireland
  • Edinburgh, Scotland 
  • Grundarfjordur, Iceland 
  • Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland
  • Holyhead, Wales, UK (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Isles of Skye, Scotland
  • Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, UK (water shuttles sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Kotor, Montenegro
  • Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
  • Mykonos, Greece (water shuttles are sometimes required, accessible water shuttles may not be available)
  • Portimao (Algarve Region), Portugal
  • Santorini, Greece 
  • Seydisfjordur, Iceland 
  • Stornoway, Scotland
  • Airlie Beach, Australia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Bay of Islands, New Zealand (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Benoa, Bali (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Cairns (Yorkey’s Knob), Australia
  • Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Dravuni Island, Fiji (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Isle of Pines, New Caledonia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Kiriwina, Papua New Guinea (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Kitava, Papua New Guinea (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Komodo Island, Indonesia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Lifou Isle, New Caledonia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Lombok, Indonesia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Mare, New Caledonia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Moreton Island, Australia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Moorea, French Polynesia (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Mystery Island, Vanuatu (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Port Arthur, Tasmania (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Port Denarau, Fiji (no accessible water shuttles available)
  • Port Douglas, Australia (no accessible water shuttles available) 

Norwegian Cruise Lines

  • La Digue, Seychelles
  • Luderitz, Namibia (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Mossel Bay, South Africa
  • Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Praslin, Seychelles
  • Richard’s Bay, South Africa (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Astoria, Oregon (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Catalina Island, California
  • Juneau, Alaska (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Ketchikan, Alaska (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • Sitka, Alaska (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Charlottetown P.E.I., Canada (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
  • Newport, Rhode Island
  • Rockland, Maine
  • Saguenay, Canada (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Sydney Nova Scotia, Canada (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Basseterre, St. Kitts (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Castries, St. Lucia (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Cozumel, Mexico (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • George Town, Cayman Islands
  • Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas
  • Harvest Caye, Belize (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Ocho Rios, Jamaica (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Road Town (Tortola), British Virgin Islands (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • Huahine, French Polynesia
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Ile des Pins, New Caledonia
  • Moorea, French Polynesia
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Kahului (Maui), Hawaii
  • Kona, Hawaii
  • Nawiliwili (Kauai), Hawaii
  • Papeete, French Polynesia
  • Raiatea, French Polynesia
  • Buzios, Brazil
  • Castro, Chile
  • Ilha Grande, Brazil
  • Puerto Chacabuco, Chile (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Puerto Montt, Chile (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Punta Del Este, Uruguay
  • Stanley, Falkland Islands
  • Augusta, Italy
  • Bar, Montenegro (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Cannes, France
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Katakolon, Greece (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Korcula, Croatia
  • Kotor, Montenegro (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Monte Carlo, Monaco (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Mykonos, Greece (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Nafplion, Greece
  • Nessebar, Bulgaria
  • Paros, Greece
  • Patmos, Greece (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Praia da Vitoria, Portugal
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Sorrento (Capri), Italy
  • Split, Croatia (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Varna, Bulgaria
  • Villefranche, France
  • Cobh (Cork), Ireland (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
  • Eidfjord, Norway (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Geiranger, Norway
  • Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
  • Hellesylt, Norway
  • Invergordon, United Kingdom (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Isafjordur, Iceland (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Kirkwall, United Kingdom (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Nanortalik, Greenland
  • Newhaven, United Kingdom
  • Nuuk, Greenland (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Nynäshamn, Sweden (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Olden, Norway (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Qaqortoq, Greenland
  • South Queensferry, United Kingdom
  • Stornoway, United Kingdom
  • Ullapool, United Kingdom
  • Ulvik, Norway
  • Visby, Sweden (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Benoa (Bali), Indonesia
  • Coron, Philippines (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Vietnam
  • Ishigaki, Japan (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Hirara (Miyakojima), Japan
  • Kanazawa, Japan (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Ko Samui, Thailand
  • Komodo Island, Indonesia
  • Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Muara, Brunei Darussalam (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Naze (Oshima island), Japan (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Nha Trang, Vietnam
  • Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russian Federation
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Sabang, Indonesia
  • Airlie Beach, Australia
  • Akaroa, New Zealand
  • Albany, Australia
  • Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  • Cairns, Australia (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Cooktown, Australia
  • Dravuni, Fiji
  • Geraldton, Australia (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Gisborne, New Zealand (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Kangaroo Island, Australia
  • Lautoka, Fiji (ship can dock or anchor, varies by call)
  • Mystery Island, Vanuatu
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