Tourism Abroad - Disabled Accessibility

Normandy, France October 2012

The Ferry

We boarded Brittany Ferries at Portsmouth bound for Caen. The ferry may seem accessible, but I noticed a few missed opportunities. When we drove on to the ferry and got out the floor was rather bumpy and not good for mobility, even though we were registered to board as disabled.

There are lifts taking you up to the nine decks with plenty of disabled toilets. However, the disabled toilets are quite strangely placed. They are located next to the mains on a corner angle, and both the mains and disabled doors open outwards, making it easy to hit other people.

Brittany Ferries have adequate lighting, but the poor contrasting colours between the poles and the carpet patterns can be an issue for the visually impaired.

At the Hotel

At the hotel Le Relais du Roy, there were no accessible rooms as all rooms were located on the first floor with no lift. The shower was very slippery and there was no handrail for support, even though there was a chair inside.


The attraction of Mount St Michel is not accessible as it involves ten steps down to enter the attraction. From here, it is an incredibly steep climb with cobblestones which can be very tiring. I couldn't attempt the steps to climb all the way to the monastery as I was so drenched; it had been raining heavily.

There are buses to and from Mount St Michel which are accessible for wheelchair users. I believe this is the 'reasonable adjustment' as a wheelchair user can get to the Mount, but it is unlikely they can enter the grounds.

Eating Out

The restaurant La Rotisserie, where we had our evening meal was fully accessible with plenty of space to move around and there were disabled toilets located in the main areas. The lighting was excellent in this restaurant.


At the Hotel

The Mercure Hotel has a lift taking you up to all floors; however, this hotel does not have adapted rooms for wheelchair users. Even the bar and restaurant are up a short flight of stairs with no ramped or lift access.


The Titanic Museum was located right across the road from the hotel, with six disabled parking bays. There was a ramp for wheelchairs taking you inside, with disabled toilets found in the main areas. There are concessions provided for the disabled with lifts to access all levels.

There was a submarine tour, Marché sous la mer, in the same area as the Titanic Museum which was accessible for wheelchair users. However, it was quite dark with dim lights and there was a ride which was not accessible for wheelchair users as there were four steps up to enter.

The Ferry

On our return, the Ferry was the same one that took us out. As we drove on to the ferry, we were shown to a parking section in the middle which was not easy to reach the lift area due to the closeness of the cars. Even though we were marked as a vehicle carrying a disabled passenger; a wheelchair user would have found this parking section completely inaccessible.

Unlike the journey out, the journey home was rather rough which made mobility an issue.