This section outlines the accessibility of cruises on board Saga ships. Please read through the applicable sections carefully. If you are booking a fly-cruise, please also refer to our travelling by air page for information.
It is your responsibility to inform us if assistance is needed. If you need to notify us of any special requirements, please do so at the time of booking. If you've already booked please make sure you notify us no later than 48 hours before departure by calling our Customer Care team free on 0800 373 034.
Every effort will be made to cater for your requirements. However, there will be some instances where a passenger should be accompanied by a fare-paying travelling companion who is capable of dedicating the time and attention needed to ensure the required care is received. For safety reasons there are certain types of assistance that cannot be offered.
Assistance that is not offered:
- Carriage of passengers up and down gangways in ports other than embarkation and disembarkation ports.
- Assistance in using personal hoists.
- Any level of personal care.
- Routine daily care of assistance dogs including but not limited to feeding, exercise and sanitary needs.
It's important that you discuss your needs with us prior to booking so that we are able to assess your individual circumstances and inform you if a travelling companion is required. Failure to notify us of any requirement for disability assistance may result in denied boarding, or curtailment of the cruise.
If you are travelling alone and it transpires once on board that you are unable to cope, a senior officer will discuss the situation with you and you may be asked to leave the ship at your own cost in extreme circumstances.
If you are taking advantage of our included travel to the port, please also see our transport and transfers section.
We do not offer assistance for embarkation or disembarkation unless you have told us that you need assistance in an emergency on board.
If you have registered for emergency assistance, then we will assist you with getting to the ship (gangway entrance) from the check-in. You will need to walk from the car to the check-in desk. If you have booked a wheelchair or scooter for use on board then a porter will assist you from the car to the ship.
During the cruise, the crew are unable to help you getting on and off, you will be expected to be able to do this yourself. We will always try to use accessible gangways where the port facilities are available. The gradient of the gangway will be dependent on tidal conditions. As your safety is our priority, the crew will stop you from using the gangway if they feel you would not be able to manage it safely, if this is the case you will have to stay on board.
Assistance in an emergency
If you feel that you cannot safely get yourself to your muster station in an emergency without help, then you must tell us. During an emergency the lifts will not be operational, and you will be required to climb stairs. If you have a disability, we recommend that you have emergency assistance. If you have booked a wheelchair or scooter for use on board then you will automatically get emergency assistance.
Please note that each cruise has a maximum of 50 Emergency Assistance spaces, if these are all booked for the cruise you are interested in, we will look to suggest an alternative cruise. We will have to refuse you travel if you have not booked it and arrive at the port and request it.
At some ports the ship will anchor offshore and you will be taken to land by small boats called tenders. We highlight planned tender ports in our brochures using an anchor symbol and also point out in the itineraries on our website where a tender port is planned. It's important to note though that even if the ship is scheduled to dock at a pier, it can change to tendering without notice due to weather, sea conditions and other factors. On Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure our tenders are wheelchair accessible, however we cannot guarantee the accessibility of the shore tender landing area. If it is not accessible, then you will have to remain on board.
We will provide you with any assistance that you need if you have a disability, please let our sales team know at the time of booking. We recommend that you book emergency assistance if you have a disability.
Adapted cabins are available on each of our ships. They are:
- Spirit of Discovery – Cabin numbers A021, A523, A028, A531 (A deck) S009, S509 (Sun Deck), C036, C537 (C Deck), D025, D526 (D Deck)
- Spirit of Adventure – Cabin numbers A021, A523, A028, A531 (A deck) S009, S509 (Sun Deck), C036, C537 (C Deck), D025, D526 (D Deck)
If you require the use of a wheelchair or mobility scooter for permanent or regular use on board you will need to be booked into a wheelchair-accessible cabin.
Please contact one of our Cruise Advisors on 0800 505 030 to enquire about the availability of an adapted cabin and wheelchair space.
If you will require a wheelchair on board, please be aware of the following lift dimensions:
- Spirit of Discovery – 4 guest lifts 176 cm(l) x 156 cm (w) with 89cm door
- Spirit of Adventure– 4 guest lifts 176 cm(l) x 156 cm (w) with 89cm door
If you require a wheelchair for use on shore excursions only and not on board the ship, the ship will store it for you. As storage is limited please make us aware if you will be bringing a wheelchair on board for use off the ship.
If you have reduced mobility but do not require an adapted cabin, there are a number of different cabin grades are available with different features, please speak with our cruise advisors about the cabin amenities when you call to book.
Although not a requirement, it is recommended that a blind or visually impaired passenger travels with a fare paying companion. This recommendation is made purely on the basis of personal safety. In the unlikely event of an emergency on board, a travelling companion will greatly aid your timely relocation to your allocated muster station.
Assistance that can be provided includes:
Upon arrival at the terminal
- Someone to meet you at the terminal.
- Guidance to and through check-in and to your cabin.
- Assistance with baggage through check-in and to your cabin.
During the cruise
- Assistance in making your way to toilet facilities in public spaces.
- Assistance to your seat in any dining facility.
- If accompanied by a companion, a cabin adjacent to them, if available at the time of booking.
- Orientation tours on request.
- Advice on essential information regarding the planned route.
- Retrieval of baggage and assistance with its transfer to the terminal.
- Assistance from your cabin to disembarkation and through customs and immigration.
- Assistance from baggage collection to the point of exit.
The vessel can provide all of its daily publications (e.g. cinema guide, daily paper) in large print upon request; Braille playing cards are also available upon request.
In order to assist deaf or hard of hearing guests with the passenger embarkation safety drill, a subtitled safety video is available on the cabin's television. This video runs on a loop and is available 24/7. Those who are unable to hear the Captain's safety announcement on embarkation day should take the time to watch this video at the earliest opportunity. Any member of the ship’s crew will be happy to answer any questions you may have resulting from watching the video.
A number of visual alarm units are available on request. When fitted into the cabin these will flash indicator lights when loud alarms sound. Also they provide a fixture that will vibrate a pillow to alert you whilst you are sleeping.
Most entertainment rooms on each vessel have hearing loop systems installed. This will improve sound volume and clarity with hearing aids switched to the 'T' position.
If you need to notify us of any special requirements, please do so at the time of booking. If you've already booked please make sure you notify us no later than 48 hours before departure by calling our Customer Care team free on 0800 373 034.
We welcome assistance dogs on board our ships and this section outlines the procedures for arranging booking, embarkation, disembarkation and onboard service for guests with an assistance dog. Please read the information carefully.
If you need to take an assistance dog on board, please let us know at the time of booking. If you've already booked please make sure you notify us no later than 48 hours before departure by calling our Customer Care team free on 0800 373 034.
The limitations on assistance dogs carried on each vessel at any time are:
- Registered assistance dogs only.
- Maximum of 1 assistance dog per passenger.
- Maximum of 2 assistance dogs per vessel.
It's therefore essential that you let us know at the time of booking if you require an assistance dog so we can ensure there is the availability and make the necessary arrangements.
The limitations on cruises that can be booked if you are travelling with an assistance dog are:
- All ports of call must be within EU Pet Passport Scheme Qualifying Countries and Territories.
- There must be a port of call available for tapeworm treatment for the assistance dog 1-5 days before the disembarkation in the UK.
You will need to ensure that the assistance dog complies with the Pet Passport Scheme.
Please be aware that some ports of call may not allow the assistance dog to go ashore.
Assistance staff in the cruise terminal can be found along the boarding route, and will escort you and your assistance dog from the terminal check-in to the ship. An appointed vet arranged by us will be present when you embark so that they can check the pet’s passport and scan the microchip using either their own scanner or the scanner provided by you.
Whilst on board, it is your responsibility to ensure that:
- The assistance dog’s general welfare shall be looked after.
- The assistance dog shall be fed with pet food supplied by yourself.
- The assistance dog shall not disturb fellow passengers.
The assistance dog must have a tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before returning to the UK. The ship's Chief Purser shall locate a port of call available for a treatment, arrange transport for you, and maintain a copy of the treatment document.
During disembarkation, the appointed veterinarian shall check the assistance dog’s passport and scan the microchip using either their own scanner or the scanner provided by you.
To ensure that the crew can cope in an emergency situation, the number of passengers who require a wheelchair or mobility scooter to be booked on any cruise is restricted for safety reasons. It's therefore essential that you ask at the time of booking if there will be space for you to bring your wheelchair, mobility scooter or other equipment on board. Please contact a member of our Sales Team on 0800 096 0079 to enquire about availability. If you've already booked, please call our After-sales Team on 0800 504 505 instead.
Wheelchairs are not available for loan on board or for use during excursions. Anybody that requires the use of a wheelchair must provide their own.
Please note that if you arrive at check-in with a wheelchair or mobility scooter and have failed to declare that you are bringing this with you, and no wheelchair spaces are available, then you will be denied boarding on the grounds of safety.
All passengers that require the use of wheelchairs or mobility scooters for permanent and regular use on board will only be booked into a wheelchair accessible cabin.
Things to note if bringing a wheelchair or mobility scooter onboard
- Wheelchairs or mobility scooters must be stored within your cabin when not in use and must never be stowed in corridors as they are considered an emergency escape route.
- Wheelchairs and mobility scooters cannot be taken ashore in tender ports including when a port that is expected to be a berth has changed to a tender port for operational reasons.
- Crew members are not able to carry passengers up or down the gangways; this is a risk to both crew and passengers.
- In a berth port it may be concluded, on occasion that the gangway presents too much of a risk to put wheelchairs or mobility scooters ashore. On these occasions you may need to remain on board.
- You must be able to manoeuvre yourself or have a travelling companion who can assist you.
- In some ports tour coaches may not be able to accommodate wheelchair users, or carry mobility scooters.
- Wheelchairs are available in Southampton and Dover, but these are for embarkation and disembarkation only.
Walkers, rollers and other mobility equipment
The following equipment is available on board. There is only a limited number of each item so if you require the use of any mobility equipment, please let us know at the time of booking or at the earliest opportunity to enable us to ensure that the necessary equipment is available.
Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure
- Bath step
- Bath board
- Shower stool
- Raised toilet seat
- Toilet frame
- Toilet frame and seat range
- Commode with wheels
- Bed rail
- Bed raiser
- Memory pillow
If you need to bring any other mobility equipment on board, please make sure you let us know. This equipment must be stored within your cabin when not in use and must never be stowed in corridors as they are considered to be an emergency escape route.
Certain types of gaseous oxygen or portable oxygen concentrators will be accepted on board. If you have such a requirement you must notify us at the time of booking and no later than 48 hours before you travel. This time is required in order to check whether your type of oxygen can be carried and, if so, to make the necessary preparations before the oxygen is brought on board. Also, the ship will have limited storage capacity so notice is required for us to check if this will be available. Please note, liquid oxygen is not permitted.
Only one oxygen cylinder may be stored in your cabin at any one time. This is in addition to the cylinder currently in use. Any remaining cylinders must be stored in the appropriate ships storage facility elsewhere if available.
You will be responsible for providing any supplies or equipment needed. You also need to be able to administer the oxygen yourself or you'll need to travel with a fare paying companion capable of performing this function.
Due to the specialised equipment and expertise required to safely administer haemodialysis, regrettably you will be unable to cruise with us if you require this treatment.
We can however accept peritoneal dialysis patients. Please let us know at the time of booking, providing at least 48 hours notice if you require pritoneal dialysis. You'll need to supply your own equipment and need to be able to carry out the procedure yourself or be accompanied by a fare paying companion who can do this for you.
For safety reasons, if you are permanently reliant upon medical equipment or need to take bulky, heavy equipment (ie. unable to be carried in a rucksack or similar case) you will not be able to use the ship's passenger tender service. Consequently, at ports where the vessel is at anchor, if you carry such equipment or are unable to assist yourself into the tender, you'll need to remain aboard the vessel.
Wherever possible, we arrange a choice of excursions to match a variety of tastes and walking abilities.
We will notify you when excursions for your cruise are on sale and provide information for each that can be booked. To help you choose the excursions most suitable for you, we have graded each according to the walking involved, as detailed below:
- Panoramic Tour – A slower paced excursion with the majority of sightseeing taking place from your vehicle. There may be a short walk at the port to join your vehicle and any other walking will be at your own discretion, for example at photo stops.
- Easy Activity – Up to approximately 500 yards on mainly flat terrain, with the possibility of some steps.
- Moderate Activity – Between 500 yards and one mile over mixed terrain, often with steps.
- Strenuous Activity – Considerable walking for distances over a mile, usually over uneven terrain with many steps.
In some ports tour coaches may not be able to accommodate wheelchair users, or carry mobility scooters. Please inform us if you require the use of a wheelchair or scooter while on tour so that we can check if there is suitable transport available in that port. We will also be happy to arrange private transport if you’d like to explore independently instead.
If you are in any doubt over the suitability of any excursions, please contact our Customer Care team on 0800 373 034 or speak to the Travel and Tours team on board.