August 20th 2017

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River Cruising for the less mobile River Cruising for the less mobile River Cruising for the less mobile River Cruising for the less mobile River Cruising for the less mobile River Cruising for the less mobile

 

Continent: Europe. Country: Netherlands. City: Amsterdam.

River Cruising for the less mobile

By Steve Riley, Ashley Adams Yorkshire Ltd

Sometimes life can be hard especially as we all get that little bit older, our minds tell us we are 20 years old and can still run the 4 minute mile, sadly our legs say different. We all want to still enjoy life but are restricted through mobility problems. As an Independent travel agent I have seen this many times that’s why I started thinking is there alternatives out and how can I help.

There is an alternative ship Called MS Alegria which is one of 3 ships owed by Adele Cruises. The Alegria has been purposely converted into a leisure river cruiser for people with less mobility and  I have seen here both during and after convertion. The final result is a 4 star ship with 2 completely disabled cabins which are huge, with every detail thought through, like all the doors are wide enough for an electric wheelchair, The showers are wet rooms, with seats and low taps and grab rails to help you move around, the beds are low with easy access from a chair, the wardrobe with low hangers and separate toilet with grab rails and low wash basin.

The Alegria has 4 decks; sun deck, promenade deck, main deck and lower deck, all cabins have either a porthole window or a picture window. The lower deck is accessible via stairs or an electric chair lift, the main deck, promenade deck and sun deck are accessible via stairs or via the one of the 2 lifts which have room to hold 4 wheelchairs with 4 people pushing the chairs.

The other cabins are various in design all with wet rooms instead of showers. The simple reason for this is that less mobile people may have a completely mobile person travelling with them but need a different cabin. All the less mobile cabins are on the main deck which is accessible via 3 lifts, which makes this ship really stand out as theses lifts go up to the upper deck (restaurant, and lounge) as well as the sun deck, making all areas really accessible. Each cabin has its own TV and telephone which allows you to talk between cabins.

The on-board facilities have been designed with everyone in mind, the receptions and the bar have 2 levels for serving, The restaurant, the lounge, the cabin hall ways are all extra wide so people can pass with ease and people in wheelchairs are not left feeling they are causing obstructions. The food is excellent and both lunch and dinner are served to the table with breakfast been a buffet style, however the counters are on 2 levels and if you need waiter service they are happy to serve it to your table.

Entertainment on-board is quite low key, there’s no live cabaret or rock climbing wall, but has a live singer from usually the piano and electric keyboard, If this is still too noisy for you there is a library  where you can sit and read or just relax.in your cabin watching the English TV channels.

All in all Alegria is a perfect way for those with mobility to still have that river cruise they always dreamed of with your own independence to move around. You may be thinking this sounds perfect and are fearing the cost of a 7 night cruise, well here’s another surprise this is still one of the best value for money on the market and a typical 7 night cruise is around £899 in the low season and £1200 in the high season depending on the itinerary.

I hear you thinking this sounds all well and good, but how do we get to and from the ship?  I have solved this problem within by using coaches with electric lifts, which collect you from a central location, then transport you to the ferry which takes you onto the continent where you will re-board the coach and onward to the ship. If you wish to take electric wheelchairs only certain ones are allowed, the battery must be removable and sealed, the handle bars must be able to fold and it must be light enough to lift by one person. The easy way to think is if it will fit in a car boot we can take it. On-board the ship there are plenty of charging points although you will need a continental socket adapter..

If you would like to know more about this ship and some of the itineraries I have with her please feel free to call me at my office, and if I’m away escorting a cruise, one of the friendly staff will be able to advise you. If you prefer you can email me on steve@ashleyadams.biz  or follow me and see where I have been or are planning on going onmyrivercruise.co.uk 


By Steve Riley

Ashley Adams Yorkshire Ltd

Keywords: Europe, Netherlands, Amsterdam, River Cruising, Mobility, MS Allegria, Adele Cruises