Cruise lines continue to promote wider accessibility for physically disabled
The European cruise industry today pledged its support for the European Day for People with Disabilities and further demonstrated its commitment to ensure cruise ships remain accessible to all.
CLIA Europe, the trade association representing Europe’s cruising industry, today highlighted its members’ continuous efforts to improve accessibility in their ships in order to make sure that people with disabilities can enjoy a cruise holiday.
Cruise lines offer a wide range of measures to meet the needs of passengers with mobility impairment, eyesight or hearing incapacities, or other disabilities. Examples of on-board facilities include wheelchairs access within public spaces, assisted listening devices or systems in public spaces and in-room kits for the hearing impaired. Wheelchair-accessible cabins are also available and designated seating is available in entertainment areas. Wheelchair seating is also available at most restaurant and dining locations. Ships are also accessible to passengers who use mobility scooters.
Additionally, members work to make special arrangements available for embarkation (including early boarding), disembarkation, and land excursions. Many cruise lines also arrange meetings on the first day of the trip to advise passengers with disabilities individually on a range of matters related to their cruise holiday, such as on-board amenities and land excursions.
Cruise line personnel receive extensive training in assisting all passengers including those with disabilities or restricted mobility. In case of an emergency, specially trained crew members will assist persons with disabilities to meeting points.
Robert Ashdown, Secretary General of CLIA Europe, said: “Currently one in six European Union citizens – about 80 million people – has a physical disability. With this figure set to rise as the EU population grows older, cruise line companies fully understand the need to continue improving ships’ infrastructure and services to ensure that this important segment of the European population can also enjoy a holiday at sea.
“Today, more than ever, we are proud to say that there is a cruise for every person.”
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28 November 2013
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