Travel documents

When You Miss the Boat

Posted August 7th, 2017

Lost in a world of culture, history, amazing food and more, it can be easy to lose track of time while in port. Or maybe that tour you thought would take 20 minutes is still going…an hour later. What about traffic jams, poorly signed streets, illness and misplaced belongings?

 When that 30 minute guided tour turns into more than you planned for..

Yes, there are many reasons passengers may be delayed in returning to their cruise ship, only to find that it has set sail without them. There’s no need to panic, though – the Cruiseabout team has put together some ideas on what to do when you miss the boat.

 Always make note of the time your ship is due to depart 

Locate the port agent

While your cruise ship’s captain will do everything they can to wait for you, cruise ships often have tight scheduling needs and the staff have thousands of other passengers to consider. So if the cruise terminal is painfully empty when you return, your first port of call should be the port agent. Most cruise lines have port agents located within the vicinity of the port whose job it is to look after any guests who have missed the ship.

Not only can the port agent assist you with accommodation, travel arrangements and contacting the ship, but they may also retrieve your belongings from the cruise ship staff, including essential items such as passports. This is why it’s important to keep an eye out for the port agents’ details in daily schedules or newsletters and make a note of them.

 Tip: keep a note in your phone with emergency contacts & travel document details in case paperwork is left onboard 

Get in touch with the ship

With the help of the port agent, your next course of action is to contact the ship’s staff and let them know what has happened. Then you’ll need to confirm the ship’s itinerary and figure out the next steps, such as which port you’ll be able to meet the ship at and when.

 Watching the ship depart the dock is not meant to be part of the plan

Make a trip to your embassy

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you don’t have your passport, you’ll need to make your way to your country’s embassy. Here, the staff will be able to provide you with options, such as cancelling and reissuing your passport (at a cost).

 Be careful of booking cheaper shore excersions at inconvenient times - it might not be worth the risk

Cut your losses

Want to return home or make alternative travel arrangements instead of re-joining your ship? If your belongings weren’t left with the local port agent, you’ll need to provide the cruise ship’s staff with an address and request that your belongings are shipped there. Just remember that this may be quite expensive.

 Ensure you have important documents with you in person whenever you leave the ship

Try to stay optimistic

While inconvenient, stressful and expensive, missing your cruise ship is not the end of the world. With the right contact information on hand, you can calmly and efficiently take steps to ensure that you and your belongings remain safe, leaving you to enjoy the rest of your holiday and make the best of a bad situation. 

 Sometimes, you just need to smile and look up

Filled with tips and advice, the Cruiseabout blog is a great resource for first-time and seasoned cruise passengers alike. If you have any questions or would like further information on what to do if you miss your cruise ship, speak with one of our friendly and experienced cruise consultants on 1300 954 661 today. 


Set sail on a dream holiday with CruiseAbout

Images courtesy of Getty.


Cruise Specialist

  Absolutely nobody in Australia knows more about cruising than Cruiseabout. With close to 30,000 nights on ships all across the globe, our consultants’ extensive experience and passion for cruising is unequaled. We're here to share the joys of cruising holidays with more Australians and invite them into our world - because we love cruising!

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