Holland America Line: Committed to Serving Everyone
Holland America Line is committed to providing safe, easy, and accessible accommodations for all persons with disabilities, to the extent that is feasible. Holland America Line is dedicated to offering the finest cruising experience to our guests, including those with disabilities. Our ships provide a quality of service and a variety of accessible features to make your voyage a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
The Importance of Planning Ahead
Holland America Line does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of disability. We seek, to the extent feasible, to accommodate guests with disabilities. However, some needs require adequate time to prepare for a guest's arrival. It is recommended that guests make every effort to contact our Access & Compliance Department and to submit a Special Requirements Information (SRI) Form well in advance of the departure of their cruise and/or Land+Sea Journey. We recommend submitting an SRI upon booking or a minimum of 45 days prior to departure. Guests who are unable to care for their basic needs (e.g. dressing, eating, and attending safety drills) MUST have a capable traveling companion. The medical staff on board is not available for daily care unless an individual is hospitalized in the ship's Medical Center. In limited situations (either on board or ashore), we may find it necessary to ask the individual to make alternative travel arrangements, such as if an individual with a disability is unable to satisfy certain specified safety and other criteria, even when provided with appropriate auxiliary aids and services.
Do You Have Accessible Staterooms?
Yes, our vessels have specially designed staterooms for guests who require mobility assistive features. If you have not booked one of these accessible staterooms but instead will be using a standard stateroom, you need to know about some limitations that adversely impact maneuverability, especially ingress and egress into bathrooms. For example, bathroom dimensions, doorsills, and the height of bathtubs in standard staterooms are often difficult to negotiate for guests who have mobility limitations. Additionally, standard stateroom doors and hallways may be too narrow for a wheelchair or scooter to maneuver into and out of the stateroom. Note: For safety reasons, these mobility devices must be stored and charged in the guests' staterooms. There are three types of accessible staterooms on our vessels.
Fully Accessible rooms are designed for use by guests with highly limited or no mobility who require regular use of a wheelchair, scooter, or other similar assistive devices and provide accessible elements including turning space, accessible routes throughout the cabin, and accessible bathrooms.
Fully Accessible – Single Side Approach rooms are also designed for use by guests with highly limited or no mobility who require regular use of a wheelchair, scooter, or other similar assistive devices. These rooms provide an accessible route and clear floor space on only one side of the bed in a cabin configured to provide one bed and between the beds in a cabin configured to provide two beds.
Ambulatory Accessible rooms are designed for use by guests with mobility disabilities who do not require the regular use of a wheelchair, scooter, or other similar assistive devices. These rooms provide some accessible features.
Details regarding accessible rooms on each ship are listed below and can be found on each ship’s Deck Plan.
Accessible stateroom locations are noted on the Deck Plans for each ship and can be found by selecting the individual ships within the "Onboard our Ships" section of this website.
What Are My Ship Transfer Options?
For individuals with limited mobility, the use of a wheelchair will be the primary mobility assistance aid for getting on and off the ship. Certain ship transfer operations (i.e. during tendering and at the gangways) may not be fully accessible to wheelchairs or scooters. When a ship is unable to dock, guests are taken ashore on smaller boats called tenders. Some guests with limited mobility may find it difficult to embark or disembark the ship at certain times while tendering or while docked due to steep gangways and steps, particularly during low or high tide. Also, please note that scooters and wheelchairs which are more than 100 lbs. without the battery are not allowed to be transferred from the ship to tender and/or from tender to shore. Follow this link to view the Tender List by port.
As to tenders, with the exception of the ms Veendam and ms Prinsendam, Holland America Line vessels have been retrofitted with a tender-lift system that enables guests to roll directly on and off tenders while remaining in their wheelchairs. However, please be advised that adverse weather conditions such as wind, swells, or extreme tide levels may prohibit the use of the ship's tender lift equipment. Additionally, some port facilities may not be able to accommodate the lift equipment. If you require the use of this equipment, please speak with the Guest Relations Manager upon embarkation for further details or to coordinate specific arrangements.
Situations may occur in which guests with limited mobility may not be able to go ashore at the time they desire or are unable to go ashore at all in certain ports. For the safety of all concerned, the Captain shall make the final determination regarding whether or not it is advisable to provide assistance to guests with mobility limitations, or to carry their mobility assistance device (wheelchair, scooter, walker, etc.), taking into account all appropriate matters including, but not limited to, weather conditions, ship's location, weight of the guest or their mobility device, etc.
Are Service Animals Permitted On Board?
Holland America Line only permits service animals on board, defined as those animals that are individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. We do not permit our guests to bring pets, therapy/companion animals, and other animals that do not meet the definition of service animals. If you have any questions about whether the animal you wish to bring on board is, in fact, a service animal, you may contact our Access & Compliance Department.
Your itinerary may include ports of call that have very specific and strict requirements that need to be met prior to your service animal being allowed off of the ship. Please be sure you understand the requirements for a service animal to disembark in each port of call. The best places to obtain specific information on required documentation and immunizations for your service animal are the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website, local customs offices in the specific ports, and from your service animal's veterinarian. All documentation and immunization requirements are established by government authorities and not by Holland America Line. Should you need assistance in locating this information, please contact our Access & Compliance Department.
To board the ship, your service animal must have current vaccinations. Records confirming the vaccination status should be provided to our Access & Compliance Department prior to your departure. We also recommend that you carry the immunization records with you in case they are required at any port of call. If you do not have the proper documentation and proof of vaccinations for your service animal required at a port of call, or if there are local quarantine requirements, your service animal will be denied the right to leave the ship. If your service animal is denied the right to leave the ship in a specific port of call, the staff and crew will work with you to determine what actions may be possible to allow you to visit the port without your service animal. Please note that in your absence, you will need to provide for the care and supervision of your service animal. Except in those circumstances where your service animal has been denied disembarkation, you may not leave your service animal unattended on the vessel or in your stateroom at any time.
Important Information for Service Animals on Australian Cruises
The Australian quarantine authorities have changed their approach regarding service dogs on-board cruise ships. Unfortunately, their new approach makes it practically impossible for us to accept service animals on domestic or roundtrip cruises from Australia. The Department of Agriculture now considers these cruises to be akin to an international voyage and therefore under ‘biosecurity control’. As a company, we are incredibly disappointed with the Department’s new approach, and we have written to the Federal Minister to ask for a return to their previous way of doing things. At this time guests will not be able to travel with service animals on voyages that end in Australia or call upon a port in Australia after visiting a foreign country. Guests sailing on voyages that begin in Australia will be able to sail with their service animal provided the voyage does not return to Australia after visiting a foreign port. Should you have further questions please contact our Access & Compliance Department via email at HALW_Access@HollandAmerica.com.
What Options Are Available For Guests Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing?
To help maximize the cruise experience for our guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, Holland America Line has made the following items available:
- Stateroom kits that include a visual and tactile alert for someone knocking at the door, the phone ringing, or an alarm.
- Stateroom televisions capable of showing closed captioning (some satellite feeds do not transmit with captioning, so this feature is available only when the signal the ship receives has captioning).
- Telephones with amplified sound or an amplification attachment for telephones in staterooms.
- Assistive Listening Systems with portable receivers in the show lounges to assist guests who are hard of hearing to hear the shows.
- Written safety information and a copy of the lifeboat drill safety speech.
What If I Have Food Allergies?
For guests with food intolerances or allergies that are not life-threatening, please contact our Ship Services Department at (800) 541-1576. For guests with life-threatening food allergies, we ask that guests provide detailed information to our Access & Compliance Department by completing a Special Requirements Information (SRI) Form. Guests should indicate on this form which foods may potentially cause a severe reaction.
Guests with a variety of severe food allergies sail with Holland America Line regularly. Our galley staff on board is accustomed to and experienced in dealing with these types of needs. The galley itself has many different areas of food preparation, which can help reduce the possibility of cross-contamination. It is important to note, however, that meals are prepared in mass quantities on board, thus there is always the possibility of some cross-contamination. As such, Holland America Line cannot guarantee that a guest will not come in contact with those items. Although our Access & Compliance Department will provide the ship with an advance notice of all food allergies detailed on an SRI submitted to them, it is recommended that guests also contact the Dining Room Manager upon boarding to review the details of these special dietary needs.
What About Cruising For Children With Special Needs?
At Holland America Line we do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of disability. We seek to the extent feasible to accommodate the needs of all individuals with disabilities, including children. However, due to the sensitivity of caring for any child, with or without a disability, we must first determine what the child's specific needs are so we may properly evaluate and determine the best and safest way to meet the child's needs. We encourage families to contact our Access & Compliance Department prior to their cruise, to evaluate and determine what the child's specific needs will be and how best to accommodate those needs.
Who Do I Contact For More Information Regarding Accessible Cruising?
For additional information on the ship's facilities or ability to accommodate guests’ needs that may not be covered in this section, please feel free to contact the Access & Compliance Department at:
Phone: 800-547-8493 (or locally at 206-626-7044)
For post sailing questions or concerns please contact our Guest Relations Department at:
Phone: 800-599-8256 (or locally at 206-626-9000 ext. 2290)
Holland America Line's ADA Responsibility Officer is Kelly Clark, Chief Ethics Officer and Senior Vice President of Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory Services. For information regarding the Transportation Security Administration’s Screening Tips for Persons with Disabilities, please visit the Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions section of their website.
Can I Use My Personal Mobility Equipment On Board?
For the safety of all our guests and crew and to enhance accessibility, Holland America Line strongly recommends that all personal electric mobility equipment meets the following criteria:
Width: 23" maximum in order to be accommodated in a standard stateroom, unless collapsible to a width of 23" or less
Weight: 100 lbs. maximum without battery
Batteries: Must be Gel or Dry Cell or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) only
We recognize that for some people, a larger scooter may be essential. If you believe you need a larger scooter, please contact our Access & Compliance Department so that we can discuss your requirements.
For the safety of all guests and crew:
- Scooters and other mobility equipment need to be securely stored and charged in the guest's stateroom; not in hallways or elevator lobbies.
- Scooters left in hallways and elevator lobbies could restrict people needing to travel through these areas in an emergency, particularly other guests using mobility aids, since they would have no way of getting by a scooter left in a hallway.
Holland America Line is no longer able to provide complimentary wheelchair assistance for any purpose other than embarkation, disembarkation, and emergency situations. Holland America Line wheelchairs are not available for shore excursions or for use on board. If you will require regular use of a wheelchair, we recommend that you bring your own wheelchair with you. You may also make advance rental arrangements prior to your sailing and have a wheelchair delivered directly to the ship for use on board and in ports of call.
Special Needs at Sea and Scootaround are vendors we recommend for delivery of mobility devices. Please contact these vendors directly for pricing and availability. Their contact information is listed below for your information.
Please be advised that all pre-arranged mobility equipment rentals must be made by the guest and the third party provider. Consequently, you assume the entire risk of utilizing these third party services subject only to whatever terms or arrangements are made by you or on your behalf with the service provider. Refund issues must be dealt with solely between you and the service provider. We recommend contacting one of these companies to confirm your arrangements as soon as possible in order to ensure the availability of your specific requests.
Is Wheelchair Assistance Available Shoreside?
Airports and/or Train Stations
Wheelchair assistance that is requested for airports or train stations must be done directly through the airline or rail station. Holland America Line is not able to arrange for wheelchair assistance at airports or train stations.
Land Tours and/or Shore Excursions
Because facilities in ports around the world vary significantly, wheelchair accommodations may not be available for some land tours and/or shore excursions. Furthermore, many transportation vehicles around the world do not have wheelchair lifts. Thus, it may be necessary for Holland America Line to make alternate transportation arrangements such as a sedan vehicle. This requires that a guest who uses a wheelchair be able to transfer from his/her wheelchair to the front or back seat of a sedan. Additionally, when lift equipped vehicles are available, many do not have the facilities for the safe transport of mobility scooters in the passenger compartment. Therefore if you are using a mobility scooter you may be asked to disembark your scooter and enter the coach by the front steps and ride safely in a regular coach seat, transfer to a provided boarding chair and take the lift onto the coach and transfer to a regular coach seat, or ride the lift on your scooter and then transfer to a regular coach seat. In some cases, it may be possible for your scooter to be stowed in the luggage compartment for use in the ports of call. If your scooter must be stored in the luggage compartment of a motorcoach it may be necessary for someone traveling in your party to load the scooter into the luggage compartment; the policy as to whether or not the coach drivers are able or allowed to provide assistance is that of the Tour Operator and not Holland America Line. The ability to provide assistance may depend on certain factors such as the weight or dimensions of the scooter. If you are unable to transfer from your mobility scooter and alternative arrangements are required, please advise Holland America Line at the time of booking or as far in advance of your sailing as possible. Please be assured this is for your safety.
Due to the limited number of lift-equipped vehicles in foreign locations, guests may incur additional costs for transportation related to airport transfers, shore excursions, and tour/hotel packages. Please note, lift equipped transportation within the United States may be arranged without additional costs. For information on alternative transportation arrangements and associated costs please contact our Access & Compliance Department. Please advise Holland America Line as far in advance as possible of any special needs for transfers. This will help to ensure availability of the appropriate vehicle(s) and for Holland America Line to provide an estimate of additional associated costs.
Guests should be aware that certain third party shore excursion facilities may not be fully accessible to guests with disabilities. Although we endeavor to make sure these companies comply with legal requirements, we cannot guarantee that all are able to provide facilities that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. For detailed information on accessibility of shore excursions, we strongly recommend contacting our Shore Excursions Department prior to embarkation at 1-888-425-9376 (or locally at 206-626-7320) or visiting the Shore Excursions Office on board.
What Options Are Available For Guests Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision?
To help maximize the cruise experience for our guests who are blind or have low vision, Holland America Line has made the following items available:
- Screen reader computer software in the Explorations Café that allows guests to navigate the web by listening to the text.
- Downloadable daily activities, news, and menus for guests with laptops with screen reader programs. These items may also be downloaded to the screen reader-enabled computer in the Explorations Café.
- With 45 days notice, large print or Braille menus describing the inspired cuisine offered across a myriad of venues, from the elegant Dining Room to the casual Lido Restaurant.
- A familiarization tour of the vessel upon arrival.
Can I Receive Oxygen Deliveries On Board?
Guests requiring continuous or intermittent oxygen for chronic conditions must make their own arrangements prior to travel. Holland America Line ships are not equipped to provide guests with these services other than on an emergency basis in the Ship's Medical Center. For security and safety reasons, we have selected Scootaround and Special Needs at Sea as the only outside vendors that we will permit to deliver oxygen supplies to our ships:
Phone: (888) 441-7575
Note: Oxygen and/or oxygen equipment deliveries will not be accepted from any other companies.
Please be advised that all oxygen and oxygen equipment rental arrangements must be made by the guest and the third-party provider. Consequently, you assume the entire risk of utilizing these third-party services subject only to whatever terms or arrangements are made by you or on your behalf with the service provider. Refund issues must be dealt with solely between you and the service provider. We recommend contacting one of these companies to confirm your arrangements as soon as possible in order to ensure the availability of your specific requests.
You are also welcome, however, to bring your own oxygen and/or oxygen equipment from your home. Please note that our staff and crew are not permitted to handle your oxygen and/or oxygen equipment during the embarkation and disembarkation process. Thus, you must be able to handle your supplies if you bring your own. Please contact the Access & Compliance Department prior to sailing if you will require oxygen while on your cruise.
Please Note: In accordance with FAA regulations, airlines have restrictions concerning traveling with oxygen and oxygen containers. It is the traveler’s responsibility to be familiar with and comply with the regulations of the airline they are traveling on.
How Do I Know What Routes Are Accessible On Board?
For individuals using a wheelchair or scooter, accessible route maps for each ship are available by selecting the below links.
Holland America Line Website Accessibility
Holland America Line welcomes all guests to explore our cruise vacation offerings. Our websites follow the official guidance of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). To ensure our websites are as easy to use as possible we incorporate assistive technology including Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA).
Due to web accessibility standards, users may experience slight variations according to the browser used. We recommend that visitors to Holland America Line websites who require screen reader software use specific combinations of screen reader and browser. For Microsoft Windows, NVDA and the Google Chrome browser are recommended. For OSx, MacOS and iOS systems, VoiceOver and the Safari browser (with Safari's support for keyboard shortcuts enabled) are recommended.