Cruising with a wheelchair – Naples to Barcelona

After a day at sea we arrived in Naples where we were met with another tour guide, driver and vehicle. This time we used Sage Traveling and the vehicle had a wheelchair ramp. We spent the morning walking around the alleyways of Pompeii, Massimo our guide was a historian and full of interesting information. A guide who knows the accessible paths in Pompeii and Herculaneum is very useful as both sites are not particularly wheelchair friendly. However, there are wheelchair routes and we managed to see most areas. Then after delicious Margherita pizza , buffalo mozzarella, coffee and wine at a local (not touristy) restaurant we drove to Herculaneum. The way this site was preserved is so different from Pompeii, whereas Pompeii was buried in ash that caved in houses and destroyed most buildings, Herculaneum was buried in mud from a pyroclastic flow. Amazingly the frescoes, wooden doors and entire houses survived. 

Pompeii with Vesuvius in the background. 

Inside excavated house in Herculaneum.

Next was Civitavecchia, in Italy, this is the port nearest to Rome but as we have already visited Rome we spent the day exploring the old medieval town. As the ship docked in a working port we were not allowed to walk through it to the town. The port authority provided buses including some that had wheelchair lifts. This town had a long beach front with life guard stations equipped with beach wheel chairs and ramp access to the beach.

Wheelchair beach access.

Livorno was our next port of call, again a working port, but as there were no wheelchair buses the port provided wheelchair accessible vehicles at no cost to get into the town. An old fort to explore as well as parks and canals.

Canals and forts.

Next we docked in the bay off Monte Carlo, we tendered into the marina but despite there being millions of dollars worth of boats moored in the bay the facilities were not very good for the general public. Steps everywhere and no ramps even to get off the dock, my husband and another wheelchair user had to be carried up a flight of steps. We caught a Hop on Hop off bus to the top of the hill by the Palace and walked back down. The aquarium was well worth visiting and we also looked around the cathedral where we enjoyed the organist rehearsing.

The final port on the cruise was Toulon in France. This town is very nautical and is the home of the French navy. We went for a tour on a boat along the 8km of the navy dockyard to view all the fleet. The town market was in full swing and it was interesting to browse along with the local population.  Afterwards we visited the marine museum which had lifts so we could access every floor.

A furtive frigate of the French fleet.

Enjoying the French food and wine with the MS Oosterdam in the background.

We disembarked in Barcelona and spent a few days in the city before we continued. I have written about our experiences in Barcelona on the Europe forum on this site, under Barcelona.

Published in Travel


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