« Back to Glossary Index

What is Tender?
Meaning, Origin, Popular Use, and Synonyms

Tender - osam tour

What is Tender?

In the context of travel and transportation, “Tender” refers to a small boat or ship used to transport passengers between a larger vessel (such as a cruise ship) and the shore when the destination lacks a dock or pier. Tenders are commonly used in locations where the water is too shallow or the port facilities are limited, making it impossible for larger ships to dock directly. These smaller vessels provide a safe and efficient means for travelers to disembark and explore destinations that are not accessible by larger ships.

Origins of the term Tender

The term “Tender” has nautical origins and dates back to the early days of seafaring. It derives from the Old French word “tendre,” meaning “to offer” or “to extend,” which reflects the act of transferring passengers between a ship and the shore. The concept of using small boats to ferry passengers and goods to and from larger vessels has been a common practice for centuries and continues to be a vital aspect of maritime transportation.

Where is the term Tender commonly used?

The term “Tender” is commonly used in the cruise industry and in regions with ports lacking proper docking facilities. It is particularly prevalent in remote or island destinations, coastal areas with shallow waters, and natural harbors where the use of larger ships is not feasible. Cruises that include tendering often offer unique opportunities for travelers to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations and experience natural wonders up close.

Synonyms of the term Tender

Tender is known by several synonyms, each emphasizing the transportation of passengers between ships and the shore:

  1. Shuttle Boat: Refers to a small boat that shuttles passengers between a larger ship and the destination.
  2. Water Shuttle: Emphasizes the boat’s role in providing waterborne transport between ship and land.
  3. Ship’s Boat: Indicates a boat used by a larger ship for passenger transportation and other purposes.
  4. Launch: A term used in some regions to describe a tender used for transporting passengers.

How to say Tender in other languages?

Translation - osam tour

Here’s how “Tender” is expressed in various languages:

  • Spanish: Bote de Desembarque / Barcaza
  • Italian: Barca di Trasbordo / Tender
  • French: Navette / Bateau de Transbordement
  • German: Tender / Pendelboot
  • Chinese: 摆渡船 (Bǎidùchuán)
  • Hindi: टेंडर (ṭēnḍara)
  • Japanese: テンダーボート (Tendā Bōto)
  • Arabic: قارب النقل (Qārib alnaql)
  • Russian: Тендер (Tender)
« Back to Travel Terms Dictionary