At most ports, the ship will stay at the pier or dock, allowing you to walk down the gangway to the quayside. However, occasionally the water is too shallow for the ship to get close enough.
When this is the case, at these 'Tender Ports', small boats are used to take you from ship to shore and back again. Most of the time the ship’s own lifeboats serve this purpose but the local port authority does provide their own tender boats in some ports of call.
For any guests who are full-time wheelchair users, or with any serious mobility limitations, we advise you to carefully check your cruise itinerary at the time of booking to see if any ports of call included are shown as a Tender Port. This is because your opportunity to leave the ship at the said port may be restricted by the Cruise Line Health & Safety Regulations on Tender usage, especially under inclement sea conditions.
See here for a full list of tender ports.