Can Whale Watch take passengers in wheel chairs?
Whale Watch Kaikōura Vessels are 18m in length. All seating is in the main cabin with viewing platforms around the lower deck and the upper deck. When we have guests join with us that are unable to move around we place them in seating on one side of our vessel and do our best to keep the windows clear and place our marine life sightings on that side of the vessel.
The first two rows on each side of the vessel are ideal places in which we would place people of limited mobility, they are close to the side door and easiest for us to monitor and keep the windows clear.
At check in We will issue our guests boarding pass and have them watch our safety video early so that they are able to go to marina and meet with their crew early so that we can get them on to the vessel without other guests there and have them all comfortable before they arrive. When and where possible we do ask that someone traveling with our wheel chair guest is able to assist with carrying them on to the vessel – we have a carry chair for this purpose. There are toilet facilities available at our booking office, at the marina and also on our vessel. We also have life jackets placed under each seat on our vessels with the donning procedures outlined during our safety video.
It is recommended to take precautions for sea sickness. We have herbal medication available at our Retail Store along with sea bands for hire.
We then walk along the deck to the front door where there is a step into the boat where we will then place our guests comfortably in their seat for the tour.
Our captains do their best at all times to provide the best possible sightings of marine life when we have a wheel chair passenger on board with us, but as I am sure you can appreciate when working with nature there are times when this may not to go to plan. Our captains also reserve the right to place a mobility restriction on our tours if they deem sea conditions unsuitable.
See here for further details on Wheel Chair Accessibility.
Whale Watch Kaikōura has a Gold Trax Seal of Approval. The Trax Seal of Approval is New Zealand’s benchmark of Adaptive Adventure Travel & Inclusive Tourism. Find other inclusive tourism operators in New Zealand here.