Frequently Asked Cruise Questions

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For more details on any of these questions, please contact your Travel Agent
or call Cunard at (800) 728-6273.

On Shore

Mobility ashore.
When choosing your cruise, please bear in mind that it may not be possible for wheelchair users to get ashore at certain ports of call. At the majority of ports visited by our ships, we deploy a short ramped low-level gangway, commonly referred to as the ship’s brow. This is normally due to ports with a large tidal range, where a relatively shallow ramp may unavoidably become too steep to use safely during the course of the day with tidal movements. Some examples of ports with a large tidal range (but not an exhaustive list) are Bilbão, Brest, La Coruña, Le Havre, La Rochelle, Lisbon, Vigo, Zeebrugge, Canary Island ports, Hamburg, Boston, Halifax, Portland, Québec, Darwin, Lisbon, Mumbai and San Francisco. At ports where it is not possible to use the ship’s brow, all access to shore will be by a narrow stepped gangway, known as the accommodation ladder, that pivots to take account of the tide. When the accommodation ladder is in use, you will need some independent mobility in order to walk down the gangway. Each of our ships carries a wheelchair “stair climbing” machine which, where appropriate, may be used to allow wheelchair users to go ashore provided they transfer between their own wheelchair and the wheelchair that is fitted to the stair climber at the top and bottom of the accommodation ladder. The stair climber cannot be used with electric wheelchairs — these will need to be taken ashore separately.


What are anchor ports and possible anchor ports?
In some ports it is necessary to anchor offshore rather than alongside, indicated by the symbol A or PA, and where conditions permit, you will be taken ashore by the ship’s tenders, i.e. small vessels that carry around 100 passengers. 

In order to board the tender, please note that you will be required to use steps both up and down (where there may be a 6’’/0.15m to 8’’/0.20m height difference) and navigate the gap between the platform and the tender (which may be up to approximately 1.5ft/0.43m). There will be crew members there to guide and steady you as you embark, but they cannot support, carry or lift passengers on board the tender for safety reasons. 

Please wear appropriate flat footwear that is securely attached to your feet when embarking and disembarking the tender. If you have registered for mobility assistance, one of our officers will contact you once you’re on board to discuss your ability to embark and disembark the tender safely. If you use a wheelchair or a mobility scooter, you will be permitted to board the tender providing you have enough independent mobility to be able to get out of your wheelchair/mobility scooter and embark on foot. You, or your travelling companion, are responsible for assembling and disassembling your wheelchair/mobility scooter. The crew will endeavour to assist you where practical and safe to do so and providing that no individual part of the wheelchair or mobility scooter weighs more than 20kg. 

How long will I be in port?
Unless stated otherwise, the ship will be in port for a full day. This means the call will be a minimum of 7 1/2 hours and a maximum of 11 hours. Some ports of call are for a half day, which will usually be a minimum of four hours and a maximum of seven hours. Times will vary according to the cruise and port. Late evening departures will leave port after 1.00pm. For full itineraries and port times please visit

Please note that the timings are guidelines only and the actual times may vary. Details of the estimated times of arrival and departure will be provided on board.

How do I plan my shore excursions?
A brochure explaining all the shore excursions that will be offered on your cruise will be included with your preliminary cruise documents. Many shore excursions have limited space, so reservation requests will be processed in the order received. Therefore, we encourage you to reserve tours as early as possible, using the Voyage Personaliser at, contacting your Travel Agent or calling Cunard at (800) 728-6273. Shore excursions need to be paid in full at the time of reserving them. When excursions are fully booked, additional requests will be placed on the waiting list in the order received. Your tickets will be delivered to your stateroom on embarkation day. Consult your Daily Programme for information about getting ashore and time spent in port. You may also view ‘Port Talks,’ our onboard televised briefings with general information and shore excursions highlights for each port. Our onboard tour staff  can assist you in creating private tours or, if you have a large group (40 or more), offering existing shore excursions, tailor-made excursions and/or foreign language guides. Shore excursions are operated by local, independent companies, not by Cunard.

How do I get foreign currency to spend when going ashore?
You will be able to obtain suitable foreign currency for most ports of call on board. This can be purchased using cash. You are also able to purchase foreign currency using your onboard account. You can re-exchange your unused foreign currency, but only in the denominations sold on board (subject to onboard exchange rates). We are unable to accept foreign coins. All foreign currency transactions are exchanged using the U.S. Dollar.


Environmental statement.
At Cunard we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and are committed to reducing our environmental impact.

We are dedicated to preserving the marine environment in which we operate, and therefore believe it is our duty to introduce environmental practices which set a high standard of excellence and responsibility. To support our aim we have developed an environmental management system independently certified to ISO 14001, which is the most widely recognised global standard for improving environmental performance.

We recognise that without appropriate treatment the waste generated on board our ships, together with the fuel and other products we use to transport, feed, entertain and take care of you could have an impact on the environment. Our waste treatment facilities ensure that all waste water is appropriately managed to minimise its impact upon the oceans. All general waste is treated on board to reduce its volume prior to landing ashore, and wherever possible general waste is recycled.

We are reducing our air emissions through the implementation of fuel efficiency measures, including improved hull coatings, low energy lamps, increased recirculation of waste heat and improved efficiency in air conditioning, and we continue to explore new technologies.
Through these measures and other initiatives Cunard will ensure that we help preserve our environment for future generations.