River cruise ships are much smaller in size when compared to ocean-going vessels. Elevators are always part of a large ship’s structure, but this isn’t necessarily true for smaller ships.
While most of the newer river cruise vessels have an elevator, some of the older ones do not. Is it something that even matters? Well, it might make a difference to some travelers who have physical challenges. It’s important to note that even if a river cruise ship has an elevator, it doesn’t mean it can accommodate passengers with accessibility needs in other ways. For most travelers, it may be good to know whether or not a river cruise ship has an elevator.
- All European vessels have elevators onboard.
- There are no elevators on the AmaLotus and La Marguerite in Vietnam and Cambodia or on the Zambezi Queen in Africa.
- All American Cruise Lines’ ships have elevators.
- For A-ROSA’s North American market, there is only one ship in its fleet that has an elevator – the A-ROSA Aqua. The two other vessels that serve this market do not – the A-ROSA Silva and A-ROSA Stella.
- All ships in the Avalon Waterways’ European fleet have an elevator. A few ships no longer in rotation did not feature an elevator onboard: Avalon Imagery, Avalon Tapestry, Avalon Tranquility.
- There is no elevator on two ships that sail on the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam or the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar – the Avalon Siem Reap, Avalon Myanmar. However, both the Century Paragon and Century Legend on the Yangtze River have elevators onboard.
- In South America neither the Isabella II to the Galapagos Islands or the MS Aria on the Amazon River in Peru have an elevator onboard.
- There are elevators on all of CroisiEurope’s ships that have three decks, which include the Beethoven, Belle de Cadix, Fernao de Magalhaes, Cyrano de Bergerac, Gerard Schmitter, Infante Don Henrique, MS Gil Eanes (to be launched in 2015), Vasco de Gama and Vivaldi.
- All ships for Emerald Cruises have an elevator onboard.
- All European ships in Grand Circle’s fleet have an elevator with the exception of those sailing in France – River Chardonnay and River Provence.
- There is an elevator on all Scenic Space Ships.
- Tauck has an elevator on all of its ships.
- Most but not all Uniworld ships include elevators.
- There is not an elevator on the following vessels: Ganges Explorer, River Ambassador, River Baronness and River Tosca.
- Viking Longships and other European river cruise ships have elevators onboard.
- There is not an elevator on the Nile River cruise ship in Egypt – the MS Mayfair.
It’s Likely Your Ship Will Have an Elevator
If you’re planning to take a river cruise, you might prefer a river cruise ship that has an elevator. Fortunately, most U.S. and European vessels do have at least one. If you have mobility issues, a river cruise could present some other obstacles on the ship as well as during land tours. For those who only have a little trouble getting around, it’s nice to have the option of taking the stairs or taking the elevator.
Read More About Accessible Travel River Cruises.