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  #1  
Old February 22nd, 2014, 03:35 PM
Tubasop Tubasop is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Yorkshire
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Default Europe ports shuttle bus access for wheelchair/scooters

Where ships dock at industrial ports in Europe, how do you get from the ship to the nearest town? Is the shuttle bus do-able if you can tackle a couple of steps and your scooter/wheelchair folds down. We are on Celebrity visiting Le Havre, La Rochelle, Bilbao and Vigo and any insight as to what you've done at these ports would be great. Not really thinking of doing excursions as such, other than the very local area, but at some of these ports you are not allowed to be on "foot" as such and must use the shuttle bus.
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  #2  
Old February 23rd, 2014, 12:49 PM
Going Coastal Going Coastal is offline
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In those cases often the shuttle is provided by the port to the front entrance,and a rollator may be able to be loaded on the bus with you, or in some cases there is even room for a folding wheelchair.
Please come back and let us know what you find there. You might also check the boards for those ports here on cruise critic.


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  #3  
Old February 23rd, 2014, 03:06 PM
LondonTowner LondonTowner is offline
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In Vigo the ship docks in town. You can walk to the HOHO bus and take a collapsible mobility scooter or wheelchair on the bus. The centre of town is also very close and walkable. although in parts it is hilly. Right next to the cruise terminal is a nice smallish shopping centre where you can also get food and drinks.

Although I have visited your other ports of call I haven't been to those places on a cruise. In general, both Spain and France are disabled friendly, including public transport.
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  #4  
Old February 24th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Chunky2219 Chunky2219 is offline
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I assume you are doing the Celebrity wine cruise. We did it on Constellation Oct 2012, now replaced by an S-class ship. It was a mix of free and charged-for shuttle buses.

Le Havre was charged, but not particularly expensive, maybe $5 return. The bus was wheelchair friendly, RORO with a ramp. It's possible and permitted to walk/wheel into town and we were told it would take about an hour. Unless you have a passion for square, concrete, post war architecture and will not be mildly miffed by the over sized war memorial that seems to suggest only Americans and free French libereated La Belle France, I would suggest taking one of the organised tours. The centre of town takes no more than about 45 minutes to see on the noddy train. Aside from that, unless you are very early off the ship you will get tired of peering through the windows of shops that have closed for the mandatory 3 French hour lunch hour. Many people recommend a trip to Honfleur by taxi. The war memorials trip looked good but wasn't going to be great for a wheelchair.

Le Verdon (if you are going there) was a lengthy, free, shuttle bus into town with little or no waiting at either end. Stow your chair under the coach and step up. The place is very pretty, has a pleasant beach/sea front and is a good spot to stock up on inexpensive plonk/good stuff. They might temporarily confiscate it when you return to ship but in our case it went straight to our cabin and not all of it survived unopened until disembarkation.

Bilbao was a push out of the docks and a reasonably easy climb up into the loca area with lots of nice bars and scenery. Once over the top of the hill there are excellent transport links into town. But I would strongly recommend also taking one of the tours, since the place was the best on the entire cruise and it's well worth a good look around. It shows what can be achieved in a previously industrial town if you just spend a barrel of European money. Avoid the toilets under the cable car bridge at the one 30 minute stop - find a bar or shop nearby.

Vigo, as LT sugggests is docked right beside town, but the immediate area has gone a bit tatty since we first visited about 8 years ago. The main area is a steep climb but you will get to see some nice buildings and if you are nostalgic, they still have a C&A. Lunchtime isn't as long as in France, but many shops still shut. We've previously also done the panoramic tour, which was a bit ho-hum.

I don't know if you will also be doing Lexios/Porto. The arrangements here were a shambles. There was a mandatory free shuttle bus (wheelchair RORO) to the dock gates with quite a wait at busy times. Then at the gate, nothing. Maybe a couple of taxis intermittently turning up. You can wander into town (nothing special) or along the beach front, but to get any benefit you need to go into Porto. There's a subway system within walking distance, but I didn't check if it was wheelchair friendly. Ask the cruise desk to check for you.

I did a review of the cruise - you'll find it if you do a search by my user name or just scroll through the Celebrity Reviews.
.

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Last edited by Chunky2219; February 24th, 2014 at 07:24 AM. Reason: typo
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  #5  
Old February 24th, 2014, 06:11 PM
Tubasop Tubasop is offline
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Thank you for the replies they are very helpful and will make my planning much easier....I love this board...how did I manage before cruise critic and the wonderful people who take time to answer the questions.
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