European Cruise Port Accessibility Reviews

Europe cruise port accessibility varies wildly…from excellent accessibility at Naples and Barcelona to poor accessibility at Livorno and Athens.

The pages listed below are based on my first-hand accessibility research while traveling in Europe in my wheelchair.

Disabled cruise passengers and their companions will have several important questions in each port.  These questions will determine how you will spend your time in port and how much you will enjoy it!
– Can I get off of the cruise ship onto the cruise dock?
– Is the cruise port exit within walking/rolling distance or is there an accessible port shuttle?
– What are the accessible travel options to get to the city center?
– Which attractions are accessible?
– Are there any hills or cobblestones in the city?
– How can I travel between the tourist attractions?


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Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Accessibility

Shuttle buses at the accessible Piraeus cruise port have wheelchair ramps to bring you from the cruise ship to the cruise terminal. Although the train from Piraeus to Athens has step-free access, the bus to reach the train station does not have a wheelchair ramp. Accessible private van excursions are available for those who need them.

Barcelona Cruise Port Accessibility

Barcelona is one of the most accessible cruise ports in the Mediterranean. The T3 port shuttle has a wheelchair ramp and brings disabled cruise passengers from the accessible Barcelona cruise port to the Columbus monument near the Gothic Quarter. The medieval portion of Barcelona has fewer cobblestones than other medieval city centers.

Civitavecchia (Rome) Cruise Port Accessibility

Accessible public transportation travel from Civitavecchia to central Rome is possible by using 3 buses and a train each way. Disabled assistance and accessible seats are available for the Civitavecchia to Rome 1 to 1.5 hour train ride. The biggest challenge with Civitavecchia cruise port disabled access is the port shuttle without a wheelchair ramp.

Istanbul Cruise Port Accessibility 

The Istanbul cruise port terminals are wheelchair accessible, and an accessible tram is available to travel from the cruise terminal into Istanbul’s Old Town. Unfortunately, the tram is extremely crowded in the morning. Due to poor disabled access in Istanbul, including cobblestones and steep hills, a private driving tour is a good option for disabled cruise visitors.

Kusadasi Cruise Port Accessibility

The accessible Kusadasi cruise dock and cruise terminal make for a great jumping off point to the world class Ephesus ruins and the House of the Virgin Mary. There is no accessible public transportation to these sites, so you’ll need to reserve accessible transportation in advance.

Livorno (Tuscany) Cruise Port Accessibility

Because cruise ships share the same docks as commercial ships, Livorno cruise port wheelchair is challenging. Cruise passengers are forbidden from walking/rolling out of the port, and disabled travelers will need to arrange for accessible transportation in advance.

Monaco Cruise Port Accessibility

By using 4 elevators and a flat 500 meter walkway, disabled cruise passengers can travel from the accessible Monaco cruise dock up to Monaco-Ville. Disabled cruise visitors will need to decide whether they want to spend their time in Monaco or driving along the scenic French Riviera.

Mykonos Cruise Port Accessibility

Depending on whether or not your cruise ship is using a cruise tender, you will either arrive at the Mykonos accessible cruise port or in the middle of Mykonos town. While there are a few sights in Mykonos town, the real attractions here are the famous beaches found around the island.

Naples Cruise Port Accessibility

When you arrive at the accessible Naples cruise port, you’ll be in the very middle of the city with numerous accessible attractions to visit! Ferry transportation, train transportation, and accessible van transportation can bring you to Pompeii, Capri, Mt. Vesuvius, and beyond.

Sorrento Cruise Port Accessibility

The accessible Sorrento cruise port is located at the bottom of the cliffs. An elevator is available to get up to the town of Sorrento, or you can take the accessible ferries to Capri or Naples, or you can book a wheelchair accessible driving tour to Pompeii or the Amalfi Coast.

Venice Cruise Port Accessibility

The accessible Venice cruise port is located at the far western end of the city and has numerous cruise terminals. To get into central Venice, you have a variety of options including public vaporetto boats, the People Mover light rail, and private accessible water taxis.

Cruise Port Accessibility Ratings – The Sage System

I use the following system to evaluate cruise port accessibility. Rather than use vague descriptions of accessibility, these description use specifics like step-free, short distances, and wheelchair accessible vans.

* These ratings assume that you are able to get from your cruise ship to the cruise dock. Some cruise ships may tender and not allow disabled passengers ashore. Be sure to check with your cruise line!

5 Star Accessibility – Step-free, flat, smooth, and short distances

The attractions are within walking distance of the port and can be reached with minimal hills or cobblestones OR
The attractions can be easily reached using wheelchair accessible public transportation that does not require advanced reservations
Examples: Naples (can walk/roll to tourist attractions or can take nearby accessible ferry to Sorrento), Barcelona (T3 Port Shuttle into town), Monaco (4 elevators to get to Monaco-Ville)

4 Star Accessibility – Step-free with cobblestones and/or hills
The attractions are within walking distance of the port but have hills and/or cobblestones on the route OR
The attractions can be easily reached using wheelchair accessible public transportation that does not require advanced reservations. Cobblestones or hills are present near the attractions
Examples: Istanbul (can take the accessible tram into the Old City where many hills and cobblestones are present), Mykonos (cobblestones throughout town)

3 Star Accessibility – Single step and/or need to transfer into car
Attractions are not within walking distance of port.
Need to ascend single step into bus or transfer into car to reach sights.
Examples: Rome (because the port shuttle does not have a wheelchair ramp and the port entrance is a long way away), Kusadasi (because accessible vans must be arranged in advance to get to Ephesus), Venice (because the vaparetto are only accessible to wheelchair users who can manage a single step)

2 Star Accessibility – Few steps
Attractions are not within walking distance of port.
Need to ascend multiple steps into bus
Examples: Livorno (because disabled passengers are not allowed to walk/roll to the port entrance and there are no readily available port shuttles with wheelchair ramps)

1 Star Accessibility – Many steps
There are stairs with many steps to get from the ship to tourists attractions.
Taking a taxi can not get around these stairs.


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Read more:

Accessible Cruising in Europe
Accessible Cruise Travel vs. Accessible Land Travel
Choosing Your Accessible Cruise
13 Tips for Disabled Cruisers in Europe
Top 20 Accessible Mediterranean Cruise Itineraries
Accessibility Reviews of European Cruise Ports
Are Cruise Tenders Accessible?
Accessible Mediterranean Cruise Excursions
Discount Accessible Cruise & Excursion Packages
Cruise Port Accessibility Reviews
Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Accessibility
Barcelona Cruise Port Accessibility
Civitavecchia (Rome) Cruise Port Accessibility
Istanbul Cruise Port Accessibility
Kusadasi Cruise Port Accessibility
Livorno (Florence) Cruise Port Accessibility
Monaco Cruise Port Accessibility
Mykonos Cruise Port Accessibility
Naples Cruise Port Accessibility
Sorrento Cruise Port Accessibility
Venice Cruise Port Accessibility
Accessible Mediterranean Cruise Excursions
Athens Accessible Cruise Excursions
Barcelona Accessible Cruise Excursions
Civitavecchia (Rome) Accessible Cruise Excursions
Ephesus (Kusadasi & Izmir) Accessible Cruise Excursions
French Riviera Accessible Cruise Excursions
Istanbul Accessible Cruise Excursions
Livorno (Tuscany) Accessible Cruise Excursions
Mykonos Accessible Cruise Excursions
Naples Accessible Cruise Excursions
Venice Accessible Cruise Excursions
Accessible Cruising with Sage Traveling – Receive our City Accessibility Guides & accessible hotel recommendations for free!


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