What Are the Boats on a Cruise Ship Called?

By Alice Nichols

A cruise ship is a large passenger vessel that typically sails from one port to another, offering passengers a chance to relax and explore a wide range of destinations around the world. Cruise ships offer a variety of activities and entertainment onboard, as well as opportunities to visit several different ports of call during their journey. All cruise ships have boats on board, which are used for various purposes. These boats are an integral part of the cruise experience, ensuring that passengers are able to get off the ship and explore the many islands and cultures they will be visiting.

So, what are these boats on a cruise ship called?

Tender Boats

The most common type of boat used on cruise ships are tender boats. These small vessels transport passengers from the ship to shore at certain ports of call. They also provide access to less-accessed ports or areas where larger ships cannot dock safely due to shallow water or other navigational hazards. Depending on the size of the ship, there may be multiple tender boats with different capacities for transporting passengers ashore at any given time.


All ocean-going vessels must carry lifeboats as mandated by maritime law. These small craft provide additional safety for passengers in case of an emergency situation such as a fire or collision at sea.

Lifeboats can hold several dozen people and usually have enough supplies onboard for up to twenty-four hours at sea in an emergency situation. While they are rarely used, lifeboats are an important part of every cruise ship’s safety protocol.

Service Boats

In addition to passenger transport and emergency vessels, many cruise ships also carry service boats that handle various tasks related to operations onboard the vessel. These include delivering supplies from land-based suppliers or providing maintenance services such as painting or welding on the ship’s external hulls and decks while afloat at sea. Service boats may also be used for recreational activities such as ferrying passengers between beaches during shore excursions or providing access to fishing spots off-shore from the main vessel itself.


What Are The Boats On A Cruise Ship Called? Cruise ships have several types of boats on board including tender boats, lifeboats and service boats which all play important roles in making sure passengers have an enjoyable experience while cruising around the world’s oceans and seas. Tender boats transport passengers between shore and the main vessel while lifeboats provide additional safety in case of an emergency at sea; finally service boats help with onboard operations such as delivering supplies or providing maintenance services while afloat at sea.