AIDA Cruises Leads the Way in Barrier-free Travel

Jun 17, 2023

Recognizing the importance of accessibility, AIDA Cruise has taken significant steps to accommodate the special requirements of individuals with disabilities and health impairments. Through its commitment to inclusion and participation, AIDA strives to make cruise travel accessible to all guests, regardless of their unique needs.

In April 2022, AIDA established an expert council under the patronage of Kristina Vogel, comprised of individuals with diverse disabilities, including restricted mobility, sight, and hearing impairments. This council collaborates closely with the cruise company to provide insights and advice from the perspective of various guest and interest groups. The continuous exchange between AIDA and the Expert Council is crucial in enhancing the ships' accessibility and ensuring a carefree travel experience for all guests.

Enhancements for Barrier-Free Travel

With the support of the Expert Council, AIDA has made significant progress in optimizing barrier-free travel both on land and on board. The company has focused on improving guiding systems, signage, and communication to enhance accessibility throughout the service areas, including restaurants and elevators. Notable advancements include the implementation of ring induction loops, enabling hearing-impaired individuals to receive amplified acoustic signals directly in their hearing aids. AIDA also offers a specially designed catalog for barrier-free travel that can be read aloud using text-to-speech software.

Accessible Shore Excursions and Beyond

AIDA has expanded its offerings to provide barrier-free shore excursions at no extra charge, allowing guests to explore destinations comfortably. Low-floor and wheelchair-accessible buses are increasingly available in many ports, and excursions are now categorized based on difficulty levels to aid guests in selecting suitable options. The company has also focused on simplifying personalized booking processes and developing digital solutions to enhance the overall travel experience for individuals with disabilities.

Expert Council Voyages:

In June 2023, AIDA organized its second expert council voyage aboard AIDAnova, featuring patron Kristina Vogel and visually impaired TikTok star Nikolaos Rizidis. The voyage served as a platform to gather further insights and discuss topics such as personalized booking processes, expanded excursion possibilities, and enhanced digital solutions for different types of restrictions on board.

AIDA's continuous dedication to barrier-free travel has earned them recognition as a leader in the cruise market. Their ships feature almost all public areas, including bars, restaurants, elevators, outer decks, public toilets, and cabins, designed to be accessible and equipped with orientation signs in profile and Braille. Barrier-free cabins offer wider doors, spacious closets with lift systems, height-adjustable washbasins, ground-level showers with seats, and additional amenities for guests with disabilities.