Port Process--How Long Does it Take to Get Off The Ship at the Ports?

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72 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
How long does it take to get off the ships when you get to the ports? Are the listed times in the cruise paperwork pretty accurate?

We will be getting to Skagway around 7 a.m. and are planning to hop on the fast ferry to Haines and are wondering how long it will take?

Can you get off the ship right about the time it docks?
Sea of Tranquility
279 Posts
Joined May 2006
The times that are posted are accurate assuming there is no delay. Passengers are allowed to leave as soon as the ship is given clearance. There is usually no delay in this process but it could happen if there are problems such as a swine flu outbreak.

Assuming everything goes well, it's just a matter of waiting in line with other passengers who are trying to leave the ship at the same time. This process is delayed by the ship photographers trying to get photos of everyone disembarking. Sometimes ships will have more than one exit available.

If everything goes well, you can get off the ship in very little time. However, you should give yourself some cushion if you are planning on making an event that is close to the arrival time of the ship. You can never be certain that there won't be some kind of delay.
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
84 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
It took a LONG time to get off my ship in Galveston back in February.....but I think it's because all of us staring out the windows wondering what the heck was going on saw either local police or customs agents dragging a woman off the ship in handcuffs and ankle shackles. Cost us over an hour of just hanging around, waiting to disembark. I really wish I knew what she did to get arrested! : )
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Southaven, Ms
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Joined May 2006
Originally posted by mtnhappy
How long does it take to get off the ships when you get to the ports? Are the listed times in the cruise paperwork pretty accurate?

We will be getting to Skagway around 7 a.m. and are planning to hop on the fast ferry to Haines and are wondering how long it will take?

Can you get off the ship right about the time it docks?
we were in juneau on a tuesday and skagway on wednesday, since it was such a short trip between them..we were actually docked around 3am. we were up at 5am (for our 7:30am train ride), our ship and 2 others were docked.
what ship are you on and where is your ship the day before?
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We had no waits ever getting on or off the ship. However, we were on a HAL ship and they are smaller than the other cruiseline ships. We also had no photographers bothering us as we got off. The photographers were taking photos as we boarded our ship in Vancouver, but did not see them again as we boarded or disembarked at the other ports. As I researched before our trip, I was told to allow 15 minutes to disembark and/or board at ports. We never had waits.
Orange County, NY
3,085 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
I did the Radiance last week and we had no problems getting right off the ship.
Most ports I had early excursions and was concerned. Never had a problem even when we were tendered.

In fact my DH was first off in one port and we weren't waiting in a line to get off.


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I agree with Denise. The Radiance was a large ship (2300 passengers) yet we never had to wait in a line to get off at the Alaskan ports.
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324 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I've noticed on our 2 cruises to Alaska that if you arrive in port early morning, it's usually easy to get off. Arrivals later in the day tend to be worse because by then everyone is up and ready to get off at the same time. I think most all ships arrive in Skagway very early, ours said 7am but they were docked way before that, so disembarking there should be no problem.
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Birmingham, AL
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Joined Oct 2003
i've found that the first port is usually a longer wait to get off, everyone must be in a hurry to get to port. the later you get in the cruise the easier it seems, guess by then everyone has learned how the system works or they are just sleeping a little later.

have a great cruise!

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The Big Valley, California
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Joined Sep 2003
On Pacific Princess this year it seemed we never had clearance by the scheduled time. Always a few minutes late.
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Parker, Co
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Joined Dec 2006
Have done the catamaran to Haines more than once. You should have no problem getting off the ship in Skagway and the ferry is between the Broadway dock and the Railroad dock with easy access and a short walk. Get the schedule and plan your departure. Don't remember exact travel time to Haines maybe 35 40 min.

It is a wonderful scenic ride to Haines and if your lucky you will get a history lesson.

Be there again in little over a week.

for the lovely and talented
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