Docking a Cruise Ship: 101


While cruising into port may seem like an effortless occasion, docking a cruise ship actually requires a huge amount of skill and expertise. After all, captains are responsible for hundreds of feet and thousands of tonnes worth of ship. To give you an idea of how they pull it off, we’ve put together a few videos which offer an insider’s guide to how to dock a cruise ship.


As one of the world’s leading lines, Disney captains are well versed in the art of docking their vessels. The process is smooth, seamless and jolt free. Want to see their skills in action? Check out this video from Disney which offers a behind the scenes look at docking Disney Magic in Castaway Cay.

Perfect parallel

Parallel parking a car can be difficult enough, but parallel parking a 965 foot cruise ship is a whole different ball game! Thankfully, the Norwegian crew is more than capable of pulling it off! We’re certain that the ship’s passengers barely felt a thing!

And something totally different…

Or course, not all cruise ship docks are designed to allow passengers to disembark. In October 2013, the 26 year old MS Pride of Calais headed for the scrapyard to be salvaged for parts. Needless to say the captain was not too concerned with perfection. Check out the video.

Perhaps you’ve seen a cruise ship dock recently or been on-board? Do you have a great story to tell? Let us hear all about it in the comments section.

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: viajor


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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