by Kevin Griffin writing for cybercruises.com
Not that long ago, it was pretty well standard that European river cruise vessels did not have lifts, or elevators as the North Americans call them. To-day, there are several lines whose ships all have lifts.
Most lift installations on river cruisers operate between only two decks, the upper deck and the middle deck, while usually the lower deck is not served, nor is the sun deck. But the two-deck option at least allows passengers to move between lounge and restaurant and cabin areas with the least inconvenience. The installation of these lifts allows those that are not as mobile as others to get around more easily.
The lift on board Amacerto (Courtesy of AMA Waterways)
One of the new generation of lift-equipped operators is Tauck Tours, with its all-new all-inclusive ships. Even one of Tauck’s older ships, Swiss Sapphire, had four decks, Sun, Diamond, Ruby and Emerald, with an elevator running between the Diamond Deck and the Dining room, including stops at the Lounge and the Ruby Deck.
Elsewhere, Viking River Cruises’ large new fleet of Viking Longships all have lifts incorporated into their building.
Several of AMA Waterways’ ships and five of the Uniworld river cruise fleet also incorporate elevators, although they do not have wheelchair accessible cabins.
But one line, Australia-based Scenic, has not only incorporated elevators into its four newbuildings, but has gone a step further by fitting them with wheelchair accessible cabins, something that others have not yet done.