Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
This section outlines the accessibility of cruises with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. If you are booking a fly-cruise, please also refer to our travelling by air page for information.
Please read through the applicable sections carefully. If you need to notify us of any special requirements, please do so at the time of booking. If you've already booked, you can still notify us of your assistance requirements by calling our Customer Care team on 0800 373 034. You must provide at least 48 hours notice if you have any special requirements. We'll do our very best to make the necessary arrangements but are unable to guarantee all requests.
You are responsible for making Saga aware of your requirements when making your booking. Failure to notify us in advance of any requirements for disability assistance may result in such assistance being unavailable or, if necessary for safety or operational reasons, denial of your boarding, or curtailment of your cruise.
Please note that whilst every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, cruise lines may change their policy from time-to-time so it's important to contact us if you have any particular requirements relating to a disability or medical condition.
If you have a disability or reduced mobility, it is recommended that you are accompanied by a companion who is responsible for providing any assistance that you may require both on board and ashore. On board, it is not possible to offer any sustained or long term assistance.
If you opt to travel alone but it transpires on board that you are unable to cope you will be required to meet with a senior officer to discuss the situation, and in extreme circumstances asked to disembark the vessel at your own expense. If in any doubt prior to departure as to whether anybody can safely be accepted for passage, the cruise line does reserve the right to insist that a guest is accompanied by an able-bodied companion.
If you require any assistance with embarkation or disembarkation, please let us know at the time of booking. If you've already booked, you can still notify us of your assistance requirements by calling our Customer Care team on 0800 373 034.
If your cruise embarks or disembarks in Leith, please note there is a sloping gangway, of which the angle will be subject to tidal conditions.
Regrettably, owing to the non-availability of either an overhead air-bridge or sloped gangway in the regional ports of Liverpool and Rosyth, full-time wheelchair users are physically restricted from getting on board. You must be able to manage a stepped gangway with minimal assistance from either a crew member or suitably able bodied travelling companion. The angle of the gangway is subject to the tidal conditions.
Also, unless the overseas ports have an overhead air-bridge facility, full-time wheelchair users may not be able to disembark.
At times when the ship cannot be allocated a physical berth in a port it may be necessary to anchor off and utilise a ship to shore tender service. We regret that on safety grounds full-time wheelchair users will be unable to go ashore.
Please note that on these occasions there may be up to 24 steps down to the tender platform. Fully collapsible wheelchairs can be carried on board a tender, but you must be able to board the tender with the minimum of assistance. Whilst tender ports are generally known in advance of arrival and are as detailed in both our brochures and on our website, unforeseen circumstances on the day may necessitate such a service should the original berth become unavailable for any reason.
If you require an adapted cabin, please let us know before booking by calling one of our cruise advisors on 0800 505 080.
A limited number of cabins on each ship have been adapted for wheelchair use and only these cabins have thresholds wide enough to allow access of a wheelchair or scooter. These are subject to availability.
However, it is important to note that these cabins have been modified based on original specifications as opposed to purpose built, and consequently may still pose difficulties to anybody fully reliant upon a wheelchair.
For example, bathrooms on Black Watch have a small ‘ridge’ to negotiate in the shower area which retains the shower water. This can hinder the manoeuvrability of a wheelchair. On Braemar the adapted cabins are not recommended for a full-time wheelchair user, owing to the very limited turning circle within the cabin, restricting easy access to the ramped bathroom entrance.
For all adapted cabins, there are no handrails in the main room area, only in the shower/WC. A rail is provided to assist with use of the WC and a fixed seat is provided in the shower. In effect the entire floor of your bathroom acts as the shower tray. Your dedicated Stewardess will naturally clean and dry the floor as required. Bed and toilet heights are relatively low, however, an additional mattress and/or raised toilet seat can be requested. All rooms have a telephone link with both the ship’s Guest Services and Medical Centre.
You are also welcome to bring or privately hire additional equipment, such as hoists if required with prior approval from Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines. The delivery/collection and safe use of such equipment will be entirely the responsibility of the individual. If you intend to bring any of your own mobility equipment onboard, you must notify us at the time of booking.
If you require a fridge in your cabin to store medication, please let us know at the time of booking.
It is strongly recommended that you are accompanied by a companion who can assist you both on board and ashore if you have a hearing or visual impairment.
Infra-red hearing loops are fitted on all vessels, with headsets available from Guest Services for use in the main ‘Show Lounge’. Please note that this headset system is not suitable for anybody who wears permanently inserted hearing devices. Also, none of the cabins feature any additional emergency equipment such as flashing lights or ‘bed shakers’ that can be used in the event of an emergency.
In the event of an emergency, specifically trained and assigned crew will come directly to your cabin. However, please notify us in advance of any serious hearing or visual impairment, ideally at the time of booking. If you've already booked, you can still notify us of your assistance requirements by calling our Customer Care team on 0800 373 034.
You must inform us at the time of booking if you require an assistance dog in order for us to make the necessary arrangements where possible.
Please note that carriage of recognised assistance dogs on board are subject to animal health rules applicable to the voyage. We will be able to advise you of these when you make an enquiry. In addition, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines will require evidence that the assistance dog has been appropriately trained and you will need a valid pet passport including front page with owner and microchip details.
If you intend to bring any of your own mobility equipment onboard, you must notify us at the time of booking. If you've already booked, you can still notify us by calling our Customer Care team on 0800 373 034.
The number of either full or part-time wheelchair or scooter users or passengers with reduced mobility that can be accepted on board is governed by the number of crew that can be assigned to assist them in the unlikely event of an emergency. For your own convenience, comfort and safety it is also requested that you are accompanied by an able-bodied companion.
Please note that motorised wheelchairs and scooters will only be accepted on Braemar when occupying a designated wheelchair-accessible cabin.
Those who request to bring a wheelchair or scooter solely to assist them in covering significant distances ashore will therefore be restricted from using their wheelchair when the vessel is at sea. These chairs will be stored safely in the vicinity of the gangway by the Security Officers. Owing to limited storage space it is also neccessary to strictly limit the number of wheelchairs or scooters accepted for this purpose.
In all cases, you will need to supply your own wheelchair or scooter. On safety grounds, such devices weighing in excess of 25 kgs unladen cannot be carried ashore at any ports of call, unless easily dismantled with each part weighing no more than 25 kgs. Wheelchairs must not be left unattended at anytime in public areas and/or corridors.
In general and particularly on guest accommodation decks, wheelchair users will encounter shallow gradient ramps and shallow risers as a result of the vessel’s construction and location of fire and water tight doors. Similarly, public areas and Promenade Decks are accessed via shallow ramps or a gradual slope. Subject to the vessel's superstructure, not all doors leading on to open deck areas will be suitable for wheelchair users. The ship's staff will be happy to offer advice on the most practical exit/entrance for you. While all ships have public lifts to all guest decks, excluding Sun Deck, these do have restricted space for wheelchairs, particularly for the larger motorised type. Please bear in mind that most doors leading to outside decks are non-automated and to serve their purpose are very heavy and could not be negotiated by a wheelchair or scooter user unless accompanied by a companion.
Oxygen concentrators are allowed onboard but please be aware that all ships in the Fred.Olsen fleet feature dual voltage - 110 volts requiring a US style flat 2-pin plug, and 220 volts requiring a continental round 2-pin plug (both have a 60 volt cycle). Therefore you may need an adaptor and/or a transformer. You may wish to contact your supplier or local electrician if you are unsure of what you need.
Oxygen cylinders are also allowed but not liquid oxygen. We'll need to know the number and size of the cylinders you wish to take.
If you need to take any oxygen cylinders or a concentrator on board, please let us know at the time of booking. If you've already booked, you can still notify us of your assistance requirements by contacting our Customer Care team on 0800 373 034.
Regrettably, the ships cannot accommodate guests who are on haemodialysis but can accommodate if you are on peritoneal dialysis.
If you require Peritoneal dialysis on board, please let us know at the time of booking.
Unless you are able to climb the steps of a coach, it will not be possible to participate in the programme of organised shore excursions. This includes tours with minimal walking involved at the destination. Easy wheelchair access to all attractions visited on shore excursions cannot be guaranteed, or access to shuttle buses provided by the local port authority.
Please however visit the on board Tours Team should you wish to explore private tour arrangements with suitable transport.