The large tidal range within the Channel Islands makes embarkation and disembarkation from ferries and boats particularly difficult for passengers requiring assistance. Exposed landing points on Alderney, Herm, and Sark are an additional challenge.
Passengers requiring assistance arriving in Guernsey directly from the UK or EU can expect to be treated by carriers in accordance with EU Regulation 1177/2010. This is intended to improve the experiences of sailing from the moment passengers book their journey to when they exit their destination harbour. The regulations apply to all EU based ferry and cruise liners entering or leaving from EU harbours, even where the point of embarkation or disembarkation happens in a port which is outside an EU member state.
In practice, travellers can expect the same standard of service from operators on the inter island legs of such journeys.
Passengers requiring special assistance should notify their ferry operator as soon as possible, and no later than 48 hours prior to departure. If applicable, ferry operators also need to know whether passengers are travelling as a foot passenger or in a vehicle.
Condor Ferries who operate car ferry services to the UK, Jersey, and St Malo in France have vessels equipped with lifts, accessible toilets and accessible sleeping cabins on overnight ferry crossings.
Manche Iles Express offer seasonal passenger ferry services from French ports in Normandy (Dielette, Carteret and Granville) to Guernsey, Sark and Jersey and Alderney. Their landing point in Guernsey is known as the 'cross berth', a floating pontoon at the end of the New Jetty. This involves traverse of a short gangway which at present is not wheelchair friendly.
Wheelchair users travelling to Herm and Sark, are able to use the number one ro-ro ramp, or the ramp at the St Peter Port Inter Island Quay by prior arrangement with Travel Trident or Sark Shipping. Landing in Sark almost always requires transfer from vessel to steps ashore. Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs are not allowed to be used in Sark unless licensed by the island's government - the Chief Pleas. To apply for a permit please click here.
The States of Alderney operates Alderney's harbour facilities. Seasonal passenger ferry services are operated by Manche Iles Express from Guernsey and France, and the Alderney-Guernsey passenger ferry service is operated by the Little Ferry Company. Further information about the facilities at Braye Harbour can be found here.
Cruise ship passenger access
Passengers arriving at the cruise liner pontoon, who require assistance have reasonable access to and from their tenders.
The local and visiting marinas in St Peter Port and St Sampson's are operated by Guernsey Harbours. Most of the access ramps from pontoon to jetty level, are wheelchair friendly. The Victoria Marina is set aside for visiting vessels. The access ramps from pontoon to jetty level, are wheelchair friendly. From pontoon level at lowest impounded tide up to deck level is a height difference of about five metres. None of the marina pontoons offer specific adaptations or equipment such as hoists or lifting platforms to assist wheelchair users. The Albert Pier shower and toilet facilities have step-free access.