Wheelchair accessibility in Alaska (posted on another board,
We are traveling NCL, starting July 24, 2005, for a round-trip Alaskan tour from Seattle, Wash., to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Canada.
My legally blind, legally deaf, wheelchair-user mother wants to know:
1) if the shore excursions are wheelchair accessible, and if so, which low-key activities are the best;
2) if the boats dock or tender at these ports, and if a tender is required, is the boat extremely accessible;
3) if the streets and sidewalks in each port are in respectable shape for wheelchair access;
4) if anyone has done a comparable tour in previous years, when is the best time of year to go for whale watching; and
5) what is the suggested attire for onshore activities.
Thank you for your time and consideration of a reply.
Re: Wheelchair accessibility in Alaska (posted on another bo
Can't speak to NCL's offerings, but there are tours available in Juneau that are wheelchair accessible (lift equipped van). We did not go to Ketchikan. We stopped in Juneau on a Princess ship. We used their trip (had to be VERY insistant that my mother could not walk up "just 4-5 steps" in a regular van to get this arranged). We went to the Alaska State Museum (very good), the Mendenhall Glacier (good exhibits, look for the elevators), and a fish hatchery (so so) as well as a botanical garden (not accessible, but they did have an accessible bathroom). You should be at a pier here right near the shopping areas. I would avoid the cable car. While technically accessible you cannot see out of the car from a wheelchair.
In Skagway, about every 6th shuttle into town is wheelchair accessible. Tell the person at the pier that you need this and they will arrange for your mother to be accomodated. We took the Whitehorse Pass train here. It comes right to the pier, and there is one car with a wheelchair lift. A good tour with good views, but maybe not what your mother would be interested in?
You don't get off the ship at all at Glacier Bay. The trip is an all day cruise around the bay. Beautiful views, but usually VERY cold. Be sure to take plenty of clothing (dress in layers).
Too bad you are not going to Sitka. We had a good wheelchair lift tour there as well.