Some destinations don't have the facility for a large ship to dock - especially smaller islands. Your ship will drop anchor some way out and use boats called 'tenders' to ferry passengers back and forth to shore. The tenders might carry 100 or so people at a time and also double as lifeboats. I posted a picture of one recently:
A tender is a ships lieboat used in ports of call where there is n place to moor alongside and thus walk off. These boats can hold over 100 passengers and usually are accessed from the lowest deck via a pontoon, They always add to the enjoyment and sometimes the Staff Captain has been known to 'drive' one!
Have a great cruise.
Thankyou both for your answers.
A tender is a smaller boat ( life boats) and are used when the ship is docked alittle way from the shore side. The sea being too shallow for the big ship. They are usually organised very well and only a short distance from the shoreline and take only a few minutes each way.
Tender just means the ship cannot get right up to the island as sometimes it is difficult to dock, so they have to tender a boat to take people ashore. Beryl Clayton, Birmingham.
A tender is a small boat (lifeboat) that is used to take passengers ashore as the ship may be too big to berth alongside a quay.
We went on the Sea Princess to the Mediterranean this year and had an excellent time. Ship and staff are 1st class, hope you enjoy it.
As below, but another thing is that when going ashore by tender it means yor boat is anchored off shore so you can usually get nice photos of it from a good angle, unlike when it is in dock!
Lowering the lifeboats & the landing stage and steps is a fascinating operation to watch - as is the process in reverse at the end of the day.
Excursions parties are usually called in turn and people not on tours have to wait a minute and make way for them - all very efficient and usually runs like clockwork. After the tours have lefet, they set up a shuttle service that runs all day so that you can come and go at any time.