Port Of Liverpool Refuses Boarding To Disabled Woman

January 18, 2016

A disabled woman was denied access to a cruise because she could not get out of her wheelchair to board her ship.

When booking the cruise her husband was told that if they wanted to use the port of Liverpool, which does not have specialised equipment, he could not book a place for his wife on the cruise set to depart in May.

Ann Fisher had wanted to travel on a seven night Emerald Isle cruise with Fred Olsen but was told that unless she was able to get out of her wheelchair and get up the gangway steps alone she could not board.

Miss Fisher is a retired lecturer and had previously cruised twice with Fred Olsen from this same port. Due to a policy change, she has now been left without a holiday to look forward to.

Speaking about the upset she said: “It’s quite devastating. I wouldn’t consider going on a cruise from another port because of the travelling involved.”

She is also confused at why she was able to cruise without hassle in the past, despite her disability: “It was so easy when we did it before. We got a taxi to Liverpool, and were in our cabin just over an hour from leaving home. It was ideal for someone like me who finds it difficult to travel. Long journeys by car would be too much of an ordeal.”

Her husband John Fisher also spoke about how her disability had previously not been a problem: “We were able to enjoy two Fred Olsen cruises from Liverpool in 2013 and 2014 aboard the Boudicca, occupying a wheelchair-adapted cabin.

“Access to and from the ship was easily accomplished with the help of four sturdy members of the crew lifting my wife’s wheelchair at the corners. Her chair is lightweight, as is she.”

Fred Olsen responded to the news to say: “Regrettably, due to the non-availability of an overhead air bridge or a sloped gangway at the Port of Liverpool, we are restricted from assisting guests, who are fully confined to a wheelchair, to board our ships.”

If you’re worried about the facilities available for disabled cruisers, have a look at our guide to disabled cruising here.

What do you think of the news? Do you think that all passengers, regardless of ability, should be able to cruise?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!