AIDA Cruise Welcomes First Guide Dog

Nine-year-old Alfa helped her blind owner, Frank Kähms.  Image courtesy of AIDA Cruise.
Nine-year-old Alfa helped her blind owner, Frank Kähms. Image courtesy of AIDA Cruise.

File this information under: things I like to hear.

I always say cruising is for everyone, and it makes me happy to hear that the cruise lines are consistently working toward making the experience possible for each and every person who wants to take a cruise vacation.

The lines have made great strides in becoming more accessible for those who may have physical limitations with larger, more wheelchair-friendly cabins and public spaces, pools and whirlpools with lifts, Braille menus and elevator buttons, assisted-listening devices, push-button access to doors, and much more.

And Aida Cruise has just had a wonderful first on their line; in May 2014, a certified guide dog accompanied a couple on their AIDA cruise.

Here are details from the line:

“Nine-year-old Alfa helped her blind owner, Frank Kähms, make his way around the ship. This was a first for him and also for his wife Annelore and their Labrador Retriever Alfa. “Except for a ferry ride, we had never experienced traveling on a ship. Thanks to the competent advice provided by the AIDA barrier-free team in advance and their helpful support throughout the trip, we always felt right at home with AIDA,” said Annelore Kähms.

The fact that Frank Kähms’ faithful companion Alfa was also able to be by his side every day on board was a great help for the couple. Pets are not normally allowed on AIDA ships. However, in order to ensure that guests with limited vision can navigate without any barriers even when they are vacationing at sea, the cruise line has allowed guests to bring certified guide dogs on board.”

This is great step for the line, who has been offering guests with physical or health-related restrictions a comprehensive overview of barrier-free travel matters on its website since 2013.

The site provides information to guests with limitations in mobility, vision, or hearing, about onboard options, and there is a special area of AIDA’s website that has an FAQ section about barrier-free accessibility. Guests can also email or call and speak to specially trained staff discuss any disability concerns.

In addition, AIDA holds barrier-free meeting on the first day of travel helps guests navigate the ship, and along with various ship amenities, their shore excursion options include choices well suited to guests with limited mobility.

Here’s to more expansion by the lines in this arena.

Find out more about AIDA.


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