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There is something special about a cruise ship at anchor, with a fleet of tenders gently bopping on the waves carrying guests to shore. A definite advantage of anchor ports is that generally, you will arrive smack in the middle of town. Downside, especially on larger ships, is that it will take a while before you are ashore. Many large ships issue so-called "tender tickets" to guests, making them wait in public rooms and calling down tender numbers one by one. On small ships, you will only have to descend a few decks, hop in the first available tender and off you are. Some tenders have outside seating areas and it is quite obvious these have my preference as you will have ample opportunities of snapping that perfect photo of your ship at anchor. Below are my 10 favorite snapshots of ships at anchor, taken from tenders, rocks and docks.
June 17, 2016 - Parked in front of the town of Thera, Santorini are (from left to right) Silver Spirit, Celebrity Equinox and Seven Seas Navigator. Contrary to the title of this article, these ships are technically not at anchor but are held in positioned by bow- and stern thrusters. Many modern ships use te "Dynamic Positioning System" which automatically positions the ship on an exact location. June 17 was a busy day in Santorini. Not in the picture are MSC Musica and Celebrity Reflection. With five cruise ships in port, there were long lines and many angry faces among cruise ship guests.
June 8, 2011 - A three-day shakedown cruise saw the brand new Seabourn Quest drop anchor off the ultra-stylish port of St. Tropez, France. After discovering the beautiful town, we saw a brilliantly sunny morning turn into a stormy afternoon and a hasty departure. Still, the pretty ship looks good in this photo which was shot when going ashore.
October 16, 2010 - Seen from the decks of Seabourn Pride as we sailed into iconic Hong Kong harbor is the former Royal Cruise Line vessel Golden Odyssey, built in 1974 in Denmark. This handsome 10,000 ton cruise ship has not changed externally over the years and is now used as a casino ship under the name of Macau Success, flying the Jamaican flag.
October 27, 2006 - After a wonderful day ashore in Lahaina, Hawaii, we return to our floating hotel Celebrity Infinity. Beautifully lighted up against a stunning Pacific sunset, she looks absolutely magnificent from the tender.
March 18, 2009 - Anchored in what seems like a big pond just off Belize City, Norwegian Pearl looks positively impressive. Sheltered by the world's second largest barrier reef, Belize City is the capital of Belize (formerly known as British Honduras). It is a popular cruise destination, but I found the town itself not that noteworthy. But then, the inland jungle and the offshore "cays" (islands) are the country's main tourist attractions.
October 8, 2011 - I shot this photo from the decks of Marina in beautiful Kotor, Montenegro. Docked with Marina was Sea Cloud II and anchored just off the main town was Celebrity Solstice. The fourth and last cruise ship to arrive on this busy day, Thomson Spirit, had to anchor at the other end of the fjord resulting in very long tender rides for its passengers.
August 26, 2002 - Photographed in Sorrento, Italy is Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' Radisson Diamond, the only large catamaran cruise ship ever built. She entered service in 1992 as ultra-luxury vessel with a capacity of only 354 passengers in all-suite accommodation. Most remarkable was her low service speed of 14 knots. She stayed in the Radisson (now Regent) fleet for 13 years. She left the fleet in 2005 and can now be found in Hong Kong waters as gambling ship China Star
September 5, 2007 - One of my favorite photos. It shows Fred. Olsen Cruise Line's Braemar anchored at Gudvangen, Norway. Only a few smaller cruise ships visit Gudvangen, located at the end of the stunningly beautiful Naerøyfjord.
June 15, 2002 - This photo shows what Caribbean cruising is all about. Pictured at the line's private Bahamian port of Princess Cays is Grand Princess. When she entered service in 1998, the 109,000 ton vessel was the largest cruise ship on earth. The innnovative location of the disco all the way aft led to her nickname "shopping cart". The disco was removed in 2011 resulting in a fuel reduction of 3%.
March 15, 2012 - In winter, Brazil is a popular cruise destination. Shown in this photo are Vision of the Seas and Insignia anchored off Porto Belo. The pretty anchor port is a great cruise destination and boasts some beautiful, gently sloping beaches.
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