Vancouver is a wonderful vibrant city – and totally accessible for wheelchair users. It has a very pleasant climate and offers loads of activities. We used the SkyTrain – built for Expo ’86; it is a cheap and accessible way of getting around – alternatively accessible taxis are plentiful and well priced. As Vancouver is one of the main ports for cruises up to Alaska during May to September, occasionally one has to wait up to 20 minutes so pre-booking is advised.
The waterfront offers a whole array of views – especially the float planes taking off and landing in between the yachts and ferries. We went up the Vancouver tower – spectacular views of the Rocky mountains and surrounding areas.
Loads of restaurants and snack bars offer a huge range of food – we even discovered a “Pannekoek Huis” on the Waterfront – delicious Dutch pancakes with afternoon tea – a must. Everywhere had good accessible toilets.
Cruising out of Vancouver is relatively easy – I say “relatively” because we discovered that the transport companies who transfer you from hotel to port do not have good wheelchair facilities. In fact after an exhausting attempt to load my scooter into the minibus, we opted to go by taxi. A lot less hassle all round! However once aboard the cruise ship, it was easy to get around.
We used the Celebrity Infinity to sail up to Alaska: Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan were the three ports and all were very accessible. There were loads of excursions and this is one cruise where I would really recommend you do lots of homework to see which ones are most accessible. I found everyone most helpful but discovered that the ship excursion staff were not always fully up to date with excursion accessible details. However the whale watching excursion in Juneau was a wonderful adventure and totally wheelchair friendly. Ensure that the coach coming to transfer you to the fishing port has a lift. We felt that since it was unlikely that we would do this cruise again, we should make the most of all on offer!!