Accessibility - Access to our boats

Choosing a cruise if you have specific access needs

Our fleet consists both of modern and historic vessels. If you have limited mobility, some vessels offer better access than others.

The guide below should help in choosing a cruise that is right for you. Our timetables show which type of vessel should be operating on each route and departure, but wheelchair users are advised to call us to confirm which boats are operating on each day.

Jump to 👉 Vessel Guides | Carer Goes Free Policy | Guide Dogs | Blue Badge Parking | Accessible Toilets | Quiet Times

Vessel Access Guides

Access swift optimised

MV Swift - our most accessible vessel

Access steamer optimised

Historic ‘steamers’ – MV Swan & MV Teal.

Access tern opt

Historic ‘steamer’ MV Tern

Access launch optimised

Modern launches such as Miss Cumbria/Miss Lakeland

Access trad launch optimised

Traditional wooden launches such as Queen of the Lake and Muriel II

Carer Goes Free Policy

If a disabled adult in your group needs a carer, then the carer travels free.

For more information about this scheme and to see all the terms and conditions, please read our company policy for disabled passengers (PDF, 120k).

Guide dogs

All dogs (including guide and assistance dogs) are welcome on board our cruises and self-drive boats and travel for free. You do not need to mention them when booking.

🐕 Looking for more dog friendly information ?

Blue Badge Parking

There are a number of blue badge parking bays in each council-run car parks around our piers. You can see a full list of the car parks at each location here .

The closest blue badge bays to each pier are below (on Google Maps)

Bowness Pier (Nearest postcode - LA23 3HQ)

  • Nearest Blue Badge Parking: 4 places on Glebe Road, just along from the Tourist Information Centre
  • Exact parking location: 📍Google Maps 📍 What 3 Words
  • Drop off available directly outside Bowness Pier, but it is used by local bus services - no stopping please.

Ambleside (Waterhead) Pier (Nearest postcode - LA22 0EY)

  • Nearest Blue Badge Parking: 6 spaces on the council-run pay & display parking (5 mins walk away from the pier)
  • Exact parking location: 📍 Google 📍 What 3 Words
  • Drop off available directly outside Ambleside Waterhead Pier, but no parking please.

Lakeside Pier (Nearest postcode -LA22 0EY)

  • Nearest Blue Badge Parking: 4 spaces on our pay & display parking (1 mins walk away from the pier)
  • Exact parking location: 📍 Google 📍 What 3 Words

Accessible Toilets

  • Ambleside (Waterhead) Pier - There are disabled toilets in our Ambleside (Waterhead) Pier.
  • Bowness Pier - The nearest disabled toilet to Bowness Pier is the community-run toilet block right next to the tourist information centre. Its a 2 minutes walk from our pier and needs a RADAR key.
  • Lakeside Pier - We have our own disabled toilet on the pier/platform at Lakeside. Baby changing facilities too.

Quiet times

  • For visitors who prefer not to be here during our busier times we would recommend that you visit outside of the school holidays and on weekdays where possible. Our earlier sailings are much, much quieter and you can usually find plenty of space on board on inner or outer decks.
  • The first departure of the day from Lakeside on the Yellow Cruise is our quietest sailing - perfect to experience the beauty of Windermere but free from any crowds and queues.

Graph of our busiest times

  • Bowness can get extremely busy during the summer months and there may be queues when boarding. If you wish to avoid queues then please select an earlier sailing in the day or choose a departure from Ambleside (Waterhead) or Lakeside.