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Monaco harbour and Ventura, 2013

Something I read about on the P&O Facebook group was that there were significant tendering problems at Monaco on Sunday. This was during Ventura’s call there as a part of cruise N914. Monaco is almost always a tender port, certainly for the larger ships, and it’s not unusual for calls there to be diverted or cancelled because of the sea conditions.

Apparently the problems, which were caused by the swell, only arose later in the day when it came to take passengers back to the ship. It was of course the off-loading at the ship that caused the problems: whereas a large swell doesn’t really affect the ship, having a tender bobbing up and down a couple of metres (or more) inevitably slows down the rate at which passengers can be brought safely back onto the platform. So apparently passengers were spending long periods in the tender waiting to unload, and during unloading. A lot of passengers were quite frightened – the tenders were banging against the hull, it was difficult to get off them, and they were so rocky and bouncy that a number of passengers were ill. All in all, it seems to have been a bad experience.

I understand that in the end it got so bad that tendering from Monaco was stopped and the remaining passengers still ashore were bussed round the coast to Villefranche. Villefranche is generally regarded as being more sheltered – there’s a long bay with deep water (the US 6th Fleet use it as a safe anchorage). Ventura sailed round and the passengers were tendered back from there. However, I don’t know how long it all took – I read a report that passengers were still being tendered aboard at 8:30 pm.

Looking at Marine Traffic I see that Ventura made it to Ajaccio (generally a docking port) yesterday (Monday) and is in Barcelona (always a docking port) today.

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