Any first hand experience this year with tendering in Ketchikan. We are on Island Princess Aug 9th, northbound and will arrive (so they say) at 0630. We booked a independent tour (Non-Ship) tour for 1000 and was wondering how long it has been taking to get to shore once they start letting passengers off. Is 2 hours enough time?
Worried about making the tour on time. Except Ketchikan, I've booked all my tours through the ship for that "Peace of Mind".
We just had that experience last week. Our ship was due to arrive at 9am, and we had a tour booked for 9:30. Since our tour was not booked through the cruiseline, we did not receive any priority disembarkation. To add further delay, the ship didn't arrive in port until 10am. I think the tour companies are familiar with these situations, thus, they moved our tour back to 2pm. It ended up being cancelled because of rain anyway..........but I would recommend to anyone, book your tour at least 2 hrs later than the designated arrival time in port.
Certainly 30 minutes was not enough time and I am surprised the vender booked you. Generally they have good recommendations for tour times as a guide. 2 hours may be enough time- how many passengers on the Island???? But your best and least wait would be the first tenders. Especially 2 hours later- 8- 8:30 will have significant waits with more and more people getting up, more tours going etc to cause backups. I always think it is worth my early wakeup to be off early.
Hi Mike and JOn,
Last year while on Celebrity Infinity, we had to tender just in the morning until early afternoon when one of the Princess ships left. Seemed there was only room at the dock for 2 ships, so I think it just depends on who is there when. They did tell us beforehand that we would have to tender earlier in the day and then they would dock later, which is what happened. It was a short tender ride, but it still takes some time.
The actual boat ride is short, probably less than 10 minutes, its the lines and boarding and unloading that take up the time- don't forget security checks too. Certainly- you get in line and back on the ship at your choice.
When there's no more room at the docks, the ships anchor off shore and the passengers take small boats (Tenders) to the docks for the land portions of the cruises.
If you don't have a tour booked thru the cruiseline or are in a suite, there's usually a wait to get off the ship. So if you're booking a tour privately then give yourself plenty of time for getting ashore before your tour is scheduled.
Just got off the Island Princess yesterday and tendered in Ketchikan.
The Island's was on a first come, first serve basis even if you had a shore tour booked with them. It was well organized so no worries about getting off in time for a tour.
You just show up at the Wheelhouse Bar and get a ticket, wait 10-15 min. The call people by groups of 150 who are then led to the debarkation area. They had tenders (actually the ships lifeboats) running constantly so there was never a backup. The last tender back to the ship was advertised at 2pm but the line on the pier was a mile long. They got everyone on board by 2:30 AND WE LEFT ON TIME.
Ships in Port (Schedule) Ketchikan Friday 08/08/03
08/08/2003 NORWEGIAN SUN 06:00 12:30 DOCK 2 (TONGASS STORE)
08/08/2003 SEVEN SEAS MARINER 07:00 17:00 ANCHOR
08/08/2003 VISION OF THE SEAS 10:00 18:00 DOCK 1 SOUTH (NEW)
08/08/2003 VEENDAM 11:00 18:00 DOCK 1 (VISITORS BUREAU)
The Veendam arrived early, before 10:30 a.m.
We had a starboard side verandah cabin and filmed the Norwegian Sun's port side as she passed by us, leaving Ketchikan around lunchtime.