Photos: Gangways located at: Port Canaveral, U.S. and Port of Venice, Italy
The gangway is the means of getting on and off a ship. In general shipping terms, it refers to a walkway or bridge connecting the vessel to land. Because access varies widely from one port to another, a cruise ship gangway simply refers to the place on the ship where you enter and exit. Today, different types of cruise gangways are available to meet these needs and provide safe boarding in all conditions.
Fixed gangways leading directly from the pier deck to the vessel door; fixed telescoping gangways that can accommodate a wider diversity of vessel door locations and tide ranges as pivot about the fixed building end; and mobile adjustable gangways that are not fixed at either the building or vessel end but provides almost unlimited access to vessel doors at any location and height and greatest control over ramp slopes are three of the most used of the options available.