Posted February 24th, 2014, 08:08 AM
Last edited by Chunky2219; February 24th, 2014 at 08:24 AM Reason: typo
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.
Queen Victoria V525 Spain, Portugal, Morroco - Nov 2015
Celebrity Sillhouette Shakespeare Cruise - April 2016
Queen Elizabeth Q620 Portugal & Canaries - November 2016