What is the cancelling date?

The final day of laydays. Arrival after the cancelling date will give charterers the option of cancelling the charter and suing for damages. Charterers might, however, accept the ship for loading even if she is late.

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Charter party messages and market reports sometimes refer to a “laycan” or “lay/can” period. What is this?

Are charterers obliged to accept the ship if she arrives before the first layday?