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How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

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Wales
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How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

Hi,

I am arriving at Airlie Beach on cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas on 25th February 2013 at 8am and departing at 6pm. I am looking to book an independent Seaplane flight over Whitsundays and boat/snorkelling etc. for when I arrive there but need to allow for the time it takes me to Tender ashore and back from the ship.

Could anyone give me some idea as to how long it may take me to get from ship to shore please, especially if someone has done the same previously?

Thanks in anticipation of a response.

Sarasota, Florida
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1. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

RunnerWales. We are going to ne on the same cruise. I am wondering where the tenders dock. See you on board.

Nova Scotia
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2. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

The Boards at Cruise Critic are the place to go. boards.cruisecritic.com

Here are a couple posts:

boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php…

boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php…

Edited: 28 December 2012, 17:06
Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

The ship will decide what time you are tendered. Rhapsody had it well planned when we cruised on her.

We have done a helicopter tour over Heart Reed and Whitehaven Beach which was fantastic. Enjoy!

Edited: 29 December 2012, 06:17
Wales
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4. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

Thanks to everyone for your responses

Airlie Beach...
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5. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

Runner Wales, I am a local resident at Airlie Beach and a "Voluntary Ambassador" who assists with greetings and directions at cruise ship arrivals.

Each ship has its own timetable, but at the latest arrival of Rhapsody, they had some passengers ashore within an hour of dropping anchor. Also bear in mind that ships that include Cairns in their schedule have arrival and departure times influenced by Cairns tides, so double check your times with the cruise line. The ship anchors in Pioneer Bay and uses its own tenders + local high speed ferries to disembark passengers. The transit time to Able Point Marina is about 15 minutes - we do not have a deep water dock in Airlie Beach.

Many travellers expect to be able to pick up a local tour on arrival but underestimate the travel time to places like the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven beach. If you want to cruise by high speed transport to Reefworld or catamaran to Whitehaven you must prebook them through the shipping line as these tours are taken directly from the ship (GBR is about 100km offshore). This also ensures that you return in time for ship's departure.

There are several helicopter or seaplane adventures which can be accessed from the marina by taxi, or sometimes the operator will arrange to collect you from a prearranged rendezvous in the town. Airlie Beach town centre is an easy 15- 20 minute walk or there are regular bus shuttles.

I personally took a seaplane trip to Hardy Reef and Whitehaven Beach and whilst it wasn't cheap, the experience was worth a million dollars to me.

See my review at tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g261596-d… (or click on my user name) but don't forget that we have large tides here and departure and return times of local tours may be influenced by tides. If you are lucky, the best conditions are on a low tide when the reef is above water. You also get to see Heart Reef (part of Hardy Reef). If you want to take a land based tour/flight, ensure that you take one of the early tenders so you have plenty of time.

Edited: 04 January 2013, 21:15
Sarasota, Florida
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6. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

Thanks a lot for the reply this is a lot of great info. I checked the tides for Cairns. High tide is 7:40AM on our arrival day so we should be docked there by 8:00 AM. I'm going to book the ocean rafting excursion out of Arlie Beach..They state they will be back to the gock by 4:30PM the ship gets underway at 6PM.

Whitsundays
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7. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

Hi Mike,

There are so many risks involved in booking your own tours without the links to the cruise ship. The cruise ship ensures all passengers who booked tours through the ship get off the cruise liner first, and there is no guarantee that you will even get to shore in time for your trip's departure. The volunteer cruise ship ambassador above stated that Rhapsody had "some passengers ashore within an hour of dropping anchor" - so don't anticipate being on land until after 9am.

And if you miss your day trip, you aren't entitled to a refund.

Secondly if there is some sort of mishap and your day trip is late returning, and you can't get back to your cruise liner on time - they will depart without you and it is your responsibility to make your way to the next port under your own means to meet the ship and retrieve your luggage!

If the ship gets underway at 6pm, when is the last tender to the vessel leaving Airlie Beach? You might find you don't have quite as much luxury of time as you think.

We'd hate for you to have a bad experience visiting Airlie Beach by criise ship as so many people have a fabulous time. We can highly recommend choosing a tour offered by the cruise ship, as they are insured, and you will be looked after if you are late/miss out/sick/need a refund for any other reason, etc.

Cruise ship passengers, please be wary of booking tours privately as so many things can go wrong and spoil your holiday.

TW

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

Totally agree with TW.

On the cruises I have been on, people booked on ships tours are always tendered off the ship first.

Whitsundays
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9. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

Hi RunnerWales,

I'm curious, how did you go? Did you manage to find a day trip to suit you, what did you do? And did you enjoy your cruising experience and visit to the Whitsundays overall?

TW

10. Re: How long does it take to Tender from Cruise ship to shore?

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