There is no doubt that cruiselines prefer to come alongside than tender and that voice is getting louder as delegates heard at the Cruise Europe conference in Stavanger (pictured) in May.
However it all depends on what the port has to offer the passengers in terms of a destination. Stein Kruse, president and ceo Holland America Line, said: “We much prefer going to a port with a dock. We try to maximise ports with facilities and minimise those without. But, for example, Geiranger and Sitka, we have to go to as they are so beautiful.”
While HAL “tends to avoid ports without piers” he explained that those that do tender should look at the tender operation on offer and ensure it is seamless.
Meanwhile Kay Uwe Maross, senior manager port operations AIDA Cruises, commented: “Alongside is best. Some of the new ships will not have tendering capability so [ports will need to] either provide berth facilities or a shore tender service.”
While Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd prefers its ships to dock, Patrick Schneider director shore excursions, explained that where the ship comes in is important. “Our ships are your competition. If guests cannot get into town easily they will go back on board.”
Speaking on behalf of many ports, Michael McCarthy commercial manager Cork, pointed out the large investment necessary for certain ports to be able to accommodate larger ships alongside. Recognising that ships are “moveable assets” he asked whether it might be possible to get some long-term commitment from cruiselines to visit before construction goes ahead.