Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
NoVAgeek

Semi-accessible nature walks?

Recommended Posts

We're traveling to Ketchikan/Tracy Arm/Juneau/Skagway/Victoria on the Emerald Princess July 29-August 5, as part of a 7-person extended family group. We love the outdoors and want to see wildlife, but my wife has some mild to moderate mobility issues. She has an autoimmune disease that affects the motor neurons in one leg, so she walks with a brace that locks her ankle at 90 degrees. Paved level surfaces are fine, but ramps/inclines are problematic (I'm a little worried about getting on/off the ship in port, but that's another topic), and non-level trails with rocks, roots, etc. are right out. Can anyone recommend some places in our ports of call that we'll be able to explore, either as part of an organized excursion or on our own? From what I've found so far, it looks like some of the trails near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center might be good, as well as the boardwalk through the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary in Ketchikan. Can anyone who's been to these places confirm that there's little to no walking on non-level or unstable surfaces? Are there any other places you'd recommend? Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most ships use ramps to disembart. There also is an elevator to go down to the disembarkation area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you contacted the cruise company Special Needs Dept about the ship ramp problem or perhaps posted on the CC special needs board. I am sure that there is someone there who has dealt with the same problems and can help you. They may be able to take her off w a wheel chair at each port.

 

DON

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd suggest you now find out what dock you are at in Ketchikan, Both Dock 3 and 4 have very steep ramps at low tide.

 

Mendenhall Glacier Photo Point Trail is accessible. I'd avoid Nugget Falls trail. The Visitor Center is worth some time as well, being elevator accessible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're traveling to Ketchikan/Tracy Arm/Juneau/Skagway/Victoria on the Emerald Princess July 29-August 5, as part of a 7-person extended family group. We love the outdoors and want to see wildlife, but my wife has some mild to moderate mobility issues. She has an autoimmune disease that affects the motor neurons in one leg, so she walks with a brace that locks her ankle at 90 degrees. Paved level surfaces are fine, but ramps/inclines are problematic (I'm a little worried about getting on/off the ship in port, but that's another topic), and non-level trails with rocks, roots, etc. are right out. Can anyone recommend some places in our ports of call that we'll be able to explore, either as part of an organized excursion or on our own? From what I've found so far, it looks like some of the trails near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center might be good, as well as the boardwalk through the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary in Ketchikan. Can anyone who's been to these places confirm that there's little to no walking on non-level or unstable surfaces? Are there any other places you'd recommend? Thanks in advance!

 

The Photo Point Trail at Mendenhall Glacier is accessible by wheelchair but it is far from level, so might be an issue for your wife to walk if she has issues with inclines. We saw many on canes and in wheelchairs on that trail but we also saw some having issues with the incline. If you had a wheelchair and someone able to push her, that is a great place to view the glacier.

 

We were just on Radiance of the Seas, not Princess, but went to a lot of the ports you listed. We had some very long piers to walk and some steep gangways. The one in Ketchikan was very bizarre, it was stairs that were only about and inch or two high.

 

Is renting a wheelchair an option? With all the long, uneven piers and trails, it might be a safer option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone, for the information so far. I've got an inquiry in to the Princess accessibility office asking about getting on/off the ship, but haven't heard back yet (the auto-reply says it can take up to 10 business days). I'm especially concerned about Ketchikan, since we'll be at berth 4.

 

 

I hadn't found the CC special needs board yet - I'll check that out now.

 

 

 

We have a collapsible wheelchair that we're considering bringing, but we're hoping to avoid the hassle if we can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, everyone, for the information so far. I've got an inquiry in to the Princess accessibility office asking about getting on/off the ship, but haven't heard back yet (the auto-reply says it can take up to 10 business days). I'm especially concerned about Ketchikan, since we'll be at berth 4.

 

 

I hadn't found the CC special needs board yet - I'll check that out now.

 

 

 

We have a collapsible wheelchair that we're considering bringing, but we're hoping to avoid the hassle if we can.

 

You can not expect Princess to get out all the way out, of the Ketchikan dock, yes they will get you off the ship, but the ramp is past that. Multiple cases I've seen of passengers- struggling up with it being past ship personnel service. Being you have 7 people I'd suggest you bringing your own folding transfer chair. There's likely to be fatigue setting in with touring, and having the chair is essential.

 

2 people can then push your wife on ramps, without assistance that may or may not be available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Juneau there is a walk described as being flat and not too long called Gold Creek Flume Trail. I am not sure how close it is to where the dock is. Read about it on Trip Advisor. Anyone??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In Juneau there is a walk described as being flat and not too long called Gold Creek Flume Trail. I am not sure how close it is to where the dock is. Read about it on Trip Advisor. Anyone??

 

The Gold Creek Flume Trail is a well maintained mostly boardwalk trail - it's essentially a really long foot bridge! It's a bit narrow in places, and if it's raining, can be a bit slick, so wear shoes with tread. But then again, I'm a bit of klutz. ;) Note that the trail head area is dirt/stone/gravel. The planked portion is level; the stone/gravel sections have a slight elevation; and I do mean slight.

 

The trail is a little less than a mile and a half (edited to add, that's round trip); and the trail head is about a mile and a quarter from the cruise ship dock. You can either walk up the stairs behind the cemetery on Evergreen to reach one trail head; the other is off Basin Avenue. (Both trail heads are about the same distance from the dock, at least Google maps tells me so!)

 

It's been several years since I walked it (and then only a section of it on a private tour, mostly to take pictures), so it may have changed.

 

And here's a link with photos from 2017, if that helps: https://juneaureview.com/flume-trail/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone, for all of the information! The Gold Creek Flume Trail is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! I emailed the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary in Ketchikan about their boardwalk, but never got a response. So I guess that's off the list.

 

 

I got a less-than-helpful response from the Princess accessibility office, and my wife is now in "I don't want to be a bother" mode and talking about just staying on the ship on port days. But that's a conversation for the CC special needs board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may end up taking your chair. My dad had one of those transport chairs. Maybe rent? They are easy to use and not heavy. It would be a bummer to not go out and explore. Sounds like Ketchikan may be your most difficult port. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...