Mobility Issues And River Cruising -
IMPORTANT Please Read.
We recently received a question concerning the viability of
river cruising for those with mobility issues.
Q: Are the Viking River Cruises shops handicapped
accessible? What about walkers, scooters, canes, wheelchairs
A. Viking does not have wheelchair-, nor handicapped
accessible cabins. Scooters are a problem as well. That is
the same for most river cruise ships, regardless of
Before you make your river cruise booking, there are certain
things that you need to be aware of:
•Gangways can have steep angles, although there are metal
grips to aid guests who are on-foot. If you use a walker, or
cane this will be a problem. During the high season when
ships are sometimes docked three and four abreast guests
will have to travel between vessels.
•River cruising involves a fair amount of " walking" shore
excursions and in the old towns of Europe, most of these
walks are along cobbled streets and cobbled steps. If you
are unable to traverse these streets, you will not be able
to take the shore excursions.
•Boats may be moored a distance from the historic centers.
You may have quite a walk into town. At other destinations
where it was too far to walk, you may be transported by
•You need to make sure that the person you are travelling
with is able to help you with all your physical needs. River
cruises generally operate with a smaller crew than the ocean
cruises and they do not have staff available to personally
attend to passengers with mobility problems.
Be aware that river cruising is now a very popular form of
travel and when there is more than one boat in port, the
boats could be moored alongside each other. If your boat
happens to be the one that is moored away from the landing
pier, then passengers are required to walk across gang
planks through the lobby of the other ship before getting to
the landing pier. Be aware that this could happen to you.
In the end, your ability to take a river cruise may depend
largely on the extent of your mobility issue.
If you are unable to travel without
physical or mechanical assistance, we recommend you NOT take
a river cruise; a cruise aboard a larger cruise ship with
handicapped accessible cabins and facilities to assist you
would likely be a better choice.
From Viking River Cruises
"Viking River Cruises requires you
to report any disability requiring special attention while
on your Viking Cruises itinerary to Viking at the time
the reservation is made. All vessels and motorcoaches
are equipped to European standards. Most transportation
services, including the vessels and motorcoaches, are not
equipped with elevators or wheelchair ramps. Viking will
make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of
disabled travelers, but is not responsible in the event it
is unable to do so nor is it responsible for any denial of
services by vessel operators, air carriers, hotels,
restaurants or other independent suppliers. We regret that
we cannot provide individual assistance to a vacation
participant for walking, dining, getting on and off vessels,
motorcoaches and other vehicles, or other personal needs. A
qualified and physically able companion must accompany
travelers who need such assistance and must assume full
responsibility for their well being. The guest assumes the
full risk of use and of any prohibitions imposed by vendors.
Motorized scooters are not typically suitable on
international cruises and cannot be accommodated. The
carrier reserves the right not to accept passengers who are
in an advanced state of pregnancy either upon commencement
of or at any time during the river or ocean cruise."