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What is a tender?

In some ports, it's necessary to anchor offshore rather than alongside. When this is the case, we use a tender to take you ashore. A tender is a small vessel with a capacity of around 100 people. The tenders are usually our own, manned by our crew, but sometimes they are chartered through a trusted external provider.

Embarking and disembarking the tender safely

In order to board the tender, please note that you will be required to use steps (up to 20cm/8 inches high) and navigate the gap between the platform and the tender (of up to 45cm/18 inches).


In the interests of safety, we require all guests wishing to use the tenders to have sufficient independent mobility to negotiate steps and traverse a gap of up to 45 cm/18 inches. Anyone wishing to board the tender will need to demonstrate this ability via a mobility test prior to tender embarkation by stepping unaided over a distance of 45 cm/18 inches. Children who are unable to step across a gap of this size will be permitted to use the tender service provided their parent/guardian is able to demonstrate that they can carry or pass them safely across the mobility test gap.


There will be crew members there to guide and steady you as you embark, but they cannot support, carry or lift guests on board the tender for safety reasons. Please wear appropriate, flat, and securely attached footwear, when embarking and disembarking the tender.


If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, please note that you or your travelling companion are responsible for assembling and disassembling your wheelchair/mobility scooter. The crew will endeavour to assist where practical and safe to do so, providing that no individual part weighs more than 20kg/40 lb.


If you have notified us that you have reduced mobility you will be invited to a tender briefing on board and given the opportunity to take part in the mobility assessment (described above) in advance. This must be completed independently, without any assistance. If an officer decides it is not safe for you to board a tender, please respect their decision as this decision is taken to ensure your safety, in accordance with health and safety law.

You may find the following question useful - Can wheelchair users use tender launches to go ashore?

Safety while on board the tender

Once you have embarked the tender, please follow the instructions given by crew members and find a seat as soon as possible. Do not get in or out of the tenders until told to do so.

Shore experience

Priority will be given to you if you are on a shore experience. Please see the mustering details in the Daily Programme for more details.

How do the tenders run

Tenders are run on a continuous loop, please see the Daily Programme for times and frequency. As mentioned above, we will embark shore experience guests first, then all other guests.

Naturally, most guests will want to disembark as early as possible, so we do expect a very busy period in the morning. Therefore, we will stagger disembarkation and ask you to collect a ticket at a particular venue and then wait for your group to be called before making your way down to the tender platform. Public announcements will be made throughout the morning, so please listen carefully.

Once the busy period is over we will make an announcement and you will be free to use the tender without a ticket.


The tender is free of charge all day.

Should you have any questions about the tenders, including concerns about safety and mobility, please ask at Reception.


On Queen Mary 2 there are 14 steps from the Deck one down to the pontoon for the tenders. There is 20cm between steps and the steps are 24cm deep. The forward Tender lounges (port & stbd) have lifts, so are accessible for guests with walking difficulties.

On Queen Victoria there are 10 steps down to a landing followed by a further eight steps to get onto the pontoon. Guest will then need to climb up four steps to get into the tender and a further two more to get down to the seating area.

On Queen Elizabeth there are 10 steps down to a landing (however there is also a lift going down) landing followed by a further eight steps to get onto the pontoon. Guest will then need to climb up two steps to get into the tender and a further four more to get down to the seating area.

Those who are unable to do this due to mobility issues would be unable to go ashore at ports of call where a tender is used.

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