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The ship will usually dock at a pier.  If none is available, it will anchor or moor off-shore, and ship's lifeboats or commercial boats will '''tender''' you to a convenient place on-shore.  Your detailed itinerary will indicate how your ship will visit each port.
 
The ship will usually dock at a pier.  If none is available, it will anchor or moor off-shore, and ship's lifeboats or commercial boats will '''tender''' you to a convenient place on-shore.  Your detailed itinerary will indicate how your ship will visit each port.
 
* If you're on a large ship, this tendering may take some time.  Ship's tour members usually go first, then "early-birds" who've obtained first-come-first-served tender tickets or numbers.  Unless you've purchased a ship's tour, plan your time ashore accordingly.
 
* If you're on a large ship, this tendering may take some time.  Ship's tour members usually go first, then "early-birds" who've obtained first-come-first-served tender tickets or numbers.  Unless you've purchased a ship's tour, plan your time ashore accordingly.
* If weather generates rough seas at any port where your ship anchors/moors, tenders to shore may be cancelled.  The line ''may'' offer reimbursement for the disappointment, but ''will refund'' the cost of ship's tours purchased but unavailable.
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* If weather generates rough seas at any port where your ship anchors/moors, tenders to shore may be cancelled.  This rarely happens at ports where the ship is to dock.  In either case, the line ''may'' offer reimbursement for the disappointment, but ''will refund'' the cost of ship's tours purchased but unavailable.
  
 
'''Ship port visit times''' usually allow passengers to go ashore by 7-8 AM, with ship departure often at 5-6 PM.  Earlier or later departure times can be affected by tides, distance to next port or special tour needs, while disembarkation may be delayed slightly by port customs clearance of the ship or passengers.  At special stops, some ships may stay later, perhaps overnight.  
 
'''Ship port visit times''' usually allow passengers to go ashore by 7-8 AM, with ship departure often at 5-6 PM.  Earlier or later departure times can be affected by tides, distance to next port or special tour needs, while disembarkation may be delayed slightly by port customs clearance of the ship or passengers.  At special stops, some ships may stay later, perhaps overnight.  
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Very popular ship's shore excursions ''may'' fill-up days before you reach port – some even before you set sail.  You may be wise to research them and alternatives and sign-up online well in-advance as justified, e.g., if...
 
Very popular ship's shore excursions ''may'' fill-up days before you reach port – some even before you set sail.  You may be wise to research them and alternatives and sign-up online well in-advance as justified, e.g., if...
 
* You have your heart set on swimming with dolphins or stingrays, or climbing a glacier.
 
* You have your heart set on swimming with dolphins or stingrays, or climbing a glacier.
* You're focused on a full-day tour to a truly special locale some distance from the port.
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* You're focused on a full-day tour at a truly special locale some distance from the port.
  
At some ports, the ship may have to dock among '''commercial freight operations'''.  Walking from the ship to things worthwhile may be through unpredictably dangerous activity.  Look at the ship's newsletter for port conditions and listen for port adviser announcements.  At such docks, most ships will arrange a shuttle from the ship, to a terminal (with taxis, etc.) or to a shopping area or downtown.  If so, also look for details about a return shuttle.  Lacking any shuttle, you should request transport that avoids danger, even if at your expense.
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At some ports, the ship may have to dock among '''commercial freight operations'''.  Walking from the ship to things worthwhile may be through unpredictably dangerous activity.  Look at the ship's newsletter for port conditions and listen for port adviser announcements.  At such docks, most ships will arrange a shuttle from the ship, to a terminal with taxis, etc., or even to a shopping area or downtown.  If so, look for details about a return shuttle.  Lacking any shuttle, you should firmly request transport that avoids danger, even if at your expense.
  
 
The '''UV content of the sun can be very high''' on any tour, especially on or near water at any latitude during the Summer.  See "Stay healthy" below..
 
The '''UV content of the sun can be very high''' on any tour, especially on or near water at any latitude during the Summer.  See "Stay healthy" below..

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