Travel SOS: Perry Morcombe offers his take on limited mobility travel

Perry Morcombe offers his insider tips on travelling with limited mobility.

perry morcombe

A couple of weeks ago, we answered a question for Bill, who wanted some general information about travelling with limited mobility. We also asked our friend Perry Morcombe, chief executive and founder of Seniors Travel Holiday Team, if he had some more detailed advice for Bill. Perry graciously gave us his take on the subject.


I guess it all depends on what he means by ‘travelling with limited mobility’, and what sort of support/carer he can have with him, as well as what sort of holiday he’s after.

Cruise ships in Australia (Princess and so on) have several wheelchair cabins, with wider doorways, ride-in/sit-down showers and so on. Although they often book out quite quickly. Having said that, many of the ports in these cruises go ashore by ‘tender’, which is a largish boat that wouldn’t be wheelchair friendly. However, many wheelchair bound passengers are happy to stay on board these days and just enjoy the shipboard facilities with fewer people around.

disabled passenger on a cruise ship

I know that many river cruise companies in Europe grade their passengers into fitness levels. This is so the fitter ones go off together at their speed, while the slower ones can take it easier  at their speed. Usually each group of about 20 passengers has their own local tour expert to show you the highlights of their town or village.

It is possible and often easy to organise your own ‘group’ of two passengers with an  English- speaking local guide and driver in many Asian countries who may offer extra assistance depending on the extent of  ‘limited mobility’.

If money is no object, there are companies which supply either ‘a strong young man’ or ‘a fully-trained nurse’ to travel with incapacitated passengers.

On a Russian River Cruise with my family a few years ago, there were some couples who ‘hired’ a staff member to push their wives’ wheelchairs. For some cash in hand, a strong young man relieved the husbands of this chore.

We advise that you contact the tour company directly to find out what options are available to you.

Perry runs Seniors Holiday Travel Team and is a specialist in organising custom tailored tours as well as a range of other fantastic guided holidays. If you'd like to find out more about Perry and his expert travel team, please visit Seniors Holiday Travel Team.

If you have a Travel SOS question, email it to and we’ll do our best to answer it!



    To make a comment, please register or login
    2nd Sep 2017
    I'm going to sound really mean but I get concerned when I read such stories. My concern is that if people with limited mobility book themselves on a tour and they really are not able to manage. The travel agents should assess this etc., however I suspect that they may be more concerned with getting the booking.

    Personally, if I'm frail and aged, can't manage steps into a bus easily then I wouldn't go on a trip. End of story. People pay big $ for their trips, sometimes the trips are a once only - its selfish to spoil someone else's dream trip.
    fish head
    2nd Sep 2017
    Kind, CindyLou.
    Unfortunately some people allow emotional wants obscure practicalities.You need to do the research then ruthlessly balance what you can do with what you will face.Never imagine that 'a kind person' will materialise to assist. It rarely happens.There are a few places that I have had to cross off my wish list because physically I am incapable of operating at that level any more.Bloody irksome but that's life.

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