Travelling to the Arctic with a Disability
Every year we send many hundreds of clients to the Arctic. More frequently we are working with clients who have disabilities from paralysis to visual impairment.
If you have a disability and are thinking about travelling to the Arctic but are worried about how the conditions may affect you, read on! Some resorts are better at dealing with disabled customers than others. Unfortunately it is a reality that as the Arctic is still relatively new to tourism compared to more established tourist destinations, some resorts are not properly geared up for the complexities of disabilities. For customers with disabilities who want to travel to the Arctic, our first recommendation is ICEHOTEL in Sweden. (https://www.arcticdirect.co.uk/package/icehotel-3-night-package/)
Sweden. If you have a disability and want to visit Swedish Lapland then the Ice Hotel is, in our opinion, by far the best resort to visit if you have access needs. It is the most accessible resort and can also be teamed with a stay at a nearby Spa hotel which also has fully accessible rooms. The spa does however present a challenge for wheelchair users owing to the size of entrances.
If you have a want to travel to the Arctic with a disability then please discuss your requirements with us as the recommendations we list here may vary depending on your specific requirements. In addition, if you have certain medicines and are planning to travel, please advise us as some room types may not be suitable for you to stay in. If you are traveling with medicines, ensure you always carry these in hand luggage
For those in a wheelchair or with limited mobility Ice Hotel comes at the top of the list. This is closely followed by the Arctic Snow Hotel and Glass Igloos in Finland. The igloos do have a couple of small steps to the entrance which is something to be aware of however as long as notified in advance, arrangements can be made to ensure accessibility.
Iceland is a good option, particularly the city area of Reykjavik as this is mostly fully accessible. It is possible to arrange tours to suit your requirements – if you’re in a wheelchair make sure you’ve got sturdy tyres! Hotels in the central area are all accessible and again, as long as informed in advance, accommodation away from the central area can be suitable. The Blue Lagoon and many of the thermal pools are fully accessible.
If you have a disability and want to visit the Arctic generally we would not currently recommend Greenland if you have any form of limited movement as the terrain is generally unforgiving to wheelchairs and as Greenland is still a very recent arrival on the tourist map, there are generally limited disability friendly facilities in Greenland.
Many of the activities on offer in the Arctic – husky sledging for example, do require a degree of participation from the person controlling the sled so you may be required if you’re driving the sled to help the dogs out by running or jogging so a certain degree of fitness is required. Most of our activities can be modified in some way to suit your needs – provided we’re notified in advance. For example it may be more appropriate if you have mobility issues to travel as a passenger on a husky safari or in a snowmobile sledge rather than on a snowmobile. For snowmobiling a full driving licence is required but all controls are hand operated – ask if you have any questions. If you have a visual impairment it would be safer for you to be a passenger with the guide so you can still feel the thrill of the snowmobile however in a safe way. If you have any concerns about your own capabilities or disability, please talk to us ahead of booking and we can advise.