60-second Cruise Tips 035: Is river cruising suitable for people with mobility issues or disabilities?
Gary Bembridge author of “The Cruise Traveler’s Handbook” provides another 60-Second Cruise Tip. For more visit http://www.60secondcruisetips.com and https://www.tipsfortravellers.com/cruise-travelers-handbook
Passengers with mobility issues wanting to do a river cruise should discuss their needs and limitations with the line before booking to see if it is suitable for them. It is not as obvious a choice as it may seem.
Some key factors to consider include:
Wheelchair access can be problematic on river ships. They are restricted in length, height and width to pass under bridges and through locks and so the cabins and bathrooms are compact. Ships usually do not have specific wheelchair accessible rooms and bathrooms. In port passengers need to navigate ramps on and off the ships, which can be steep and narrow. Ships will also often dock side by side and require crossing through or over other ships to reach land adding to the difficulty of getting around.
Towns along the rivers are historic and tours involve walking on cobblestoned streets and hills. You need to be able to comfortably explore towns this way. Cruise lines like Uniworld include “gentle walking options” for less mobile passengers and transportation to the entrances of less accessible sites where possible but what you can explore can be limited.