Q. Can I disembark at every port if I am a full time wheelchair user?

At ports where it is not possible to use the ship’s brow, access to shore will be either by a long shore gangway fitted with self levelling steps to take into account the tidal conditions or in some cases, wooden batons for foot grips – dependant on tidal conditions the baton type can be quite steep at times.

The ship may also use its own narrow steeped gangway (the “accommodation ladder”) which also features self levelling steps to take account of the tide. 

 

Mobility ashore

Due to the extreme tidal nature and the gangway configurations required to cope with large varying height differences between the quay and the gun-port doors, there is a strong chance that full time and/or part time wheelchair users may not be able to go ashore in ports including, but not limited too; Bilbao, Brest, La Coruna, Le Havre, Le Verdon, La Rochelle, Lisbon, Zeebrugge, Canary Island ports, Hamburg, Boston, Halifax, Portland, Quebec, Darwin, San Francisco & Mumbai. This is in the interest of the guests's safety.

Please see the question - How accessible are the ports?

 

Tenders

 

 

In some ports it is necessary to anchor off shore rather than alongside the dock or quay . When this is the case, we use a tender to take you ashore. A tender is a small vessel that carries around 100 passengers. In order to board the tender, please note that you will be required to use steps (up to 20cm/8 inches high) and navigate the gap between the platform and the tender (of up to 45cm/18 inches).

 

In the interests of safety, we require all guests wishing to use the tenders to have sufficient independent mobility to negotiate steps and traverse a gap of up to 45 cm/18 inches. Anyone wishing to board the tender will need to demonstrate this ability via a mobility test prior to tender embarkation by stepping unaided over a distance of 45 cm/18 inches. Children who are unable to step across a gap of this size will be permitted to use the tender service provided their parent/guardian is able to demonstrate that they can carry or pass them safely across the mobility test gap.

 

There will be crew members there to guide and steady you as you embark, but they cannot support, carry or lift guests on board the tender for safety reasons. Please wear appropriate, flat, and securely attached footwear, when embarking and disembarking the tender.

 

If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, please note that you or your travelling companion are responsible for assembling and disassembling your wheelchair/mobility scooter. The crew will endeavour to assist where practical and safe to do so, providing that no individual part weighs more than 20kg/40 lb.

 

If you have notified us that you have reduced mobility you will be invited to a tender briefing on board and given the opportunity to take part in the mobility assessment (described above) in advance. This must be completed independently, without any assistance. If an officer decides it is not safe for you to board a tender, please respect their decision as this decision is taken to ensure your safety, in accordance with health and safety law.

For more information on tenders please refer to What is a tender? and tender ports please refer to the question Can wheelchair users use tender launches to go ashore?

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