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Tendering at Sitka - advice?

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Does anyone here have experience tendering at Sitka?  

 

I use a power wheelchair so I thought I’d have to miss this port, but I’ve been told by some rather insistent friends that it’s doable for me.

 

If anyone can shed any light on this topic, I’d be grateful.

 

 

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We could probably provide a little better advice if we knew the cruise line that you will be on.  Most cruise lines require you to be able to walk onto the tender (down a few steps) and many will not take a non-folding wheelchair on board.  Different cruise lines do have different requirements for tender accessibility.

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1 hour ago, Schoifmom said:

We could probably provide a little better advice if we knew the cruise line that you will be on.  Most cruise lines require you to be able to walk onto the tender (down a few steps) and many will not take a non-folding wheelchair on board.  Different cruise lines do have different requirements for tender accessibility.

We’re on Cunard.  As you’ve said, they mention steps in their tendering info.  I know about of the limitations for manual wheelchairs and using a power chair makes some things a manual chair user can manage impossible.

 

 

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This is taken directly from the Cunard Special Assistance Section on tendering:  if your friends have it in writing from the cruise line, or you wish to confirm, I would call their special needs phone number to discuss with a representative directly, and get it in writing.  

Embarking and disembarking the tender safely

In some ports it is necessary to anchor off shore rather than alongside the dock or quay . When this is the case, we use a tender to take you ashore. A tender is a small vessel that carries around 100 passengers. 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.

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I’ve cruised on the three Cunard ships so I’m familiar with all their documentation regarding special assistance.  I’ve never considered attempting a tender, just for this reason.

 

My friends were so insistent that I thought I must have missed something.  I guess they are just misguided or (gasp) pushy!

 

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You need to determine independently from the cruise line if Sitka is currently a tender port. Last year we cruised Alaska with Holland America and Sitka and Icy straight point we’re both listed as tender ports. I contacted HA directly and was told they are tender ports. You can google port schedules and they will list scheduled ship berths. For both ports our ship was listed with a dock, not a tender berth. I was in contact with tour providers in both ports and they said we would dock and they even confirmed with harbor master. Contrary to HA we did dock. Repeating cruise this year and HA site still list these as tender ports while port schedule lists a dock. Bottom line is you need to get information directly from the port rather than from Cruise line since at least HA for some unknown reason provides incorrect/outdated  information regarding tender ports

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Sitka and Icy Strait Point are listed as tendered on our dates by Cunard.  I’ve already cross checked the port schedules and the associated berth listings.  Sitka and Icy Strait are listed as anchor.

 

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On 4/17/2019 at 9:07 PM, sdschwrt said:

You need to determine independently from the cruise line if Sitka is currently a tender port. Last year we cruised Alaska with Holland America and Sitka and Icy straight point we’re both listed as tender ports. I contacted HA directly and was told they are tender ports. You can google port schedules and they will list scheduled ship berths. For both ports our ship was listed with a dock, not a tender berth. I was in contact with tour providers in both ports and they said we would dock and they even confirmed with harbor master. Contrary to HA we did dock. Repeating cruise this year and HA site still list these as tender ports while port schedule lists a dock. Bottom line is you need to get information directly from the port rather than from Cruise line since at least HA for some unknown reason provides incorrect/outdated  information regarding tender ports

 

Just to add to the confusion:

I contacted Celebrity re:  Millenium port stop in Sitka.  They said that it was a docked port.

I wonder if there is anyone in Sitka who can go down to the water and tell us if there is a dock.

It sure would be nice to get a definitive answer.

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10 minutes ago, 1980dory said:

 

Just to add to the confusion:

I contacted Celebrity re:  Millenium port stop in Sitka.  They said that it was a docked port.

I wonder if there is anyone in Sitka who can go down to the water and tell us if there is a dock.

It sure would be nice to get a definitive answer.

I think I just found the definitive answer.  On the tours by locals site, there are two pictures of the Sitka port with HAL ships clearly tied up at the dock.  Pictures (usually) don't lie.

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Thanks, 1980dory!

 

I believe the dock in Sitka is relatively new - which may account for some of the confusion - and there’s only room for one ship.

According to the port schedule, we’re supposed to anchor at Crescent Harbor so it’s a tender.

 

http://www.cruiseportinsider.com/sitkaonyourown.html

 

The majority of cruise ships arriving in Sitka will dock at the Old Sitka Cruise Terminal Dock at Halibut Point Marine, which is located about 5 miles north of the city proper. The terminal building features large restrooms, Alaskan gift shops, high speed WiFi, and an outdoor covered terrace for passengers to view activity in the adjacent boat yard. From the terminal, you'll take a free shuttle bus ride into downtown Sitka. 

 

On days when there's more than one ship in town, the second ship will lay anchor in Sitka's Crescent Harbor, and you'll take a ship's tender to one of two tender piers--either the Crescent Harbor Lightering facility (the most frequented), or the O'Connell Bridge Lightering facility.

 

 

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I am a fulltime wheelchair user and HAL tendered me into Sitka in 2011. This was on the Amsterdam and they bring the tender up to the davits on deck 5 and those who cannot walk or need assistance get on there. Then the boat is lowered to deck 2 where the rest of the guests board. On returning the reverse happens with most getting off at deck 2 and then the tender being brought up to deck 5 and the crew helped bump me up the one step with my husband. I would not try this or ask anyone to help me with my powerchair. 

 

And yes, there is now a dock there so try and find out which lines or ships normally dock.

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