Wheelchair Policy

Whale Watch has a Gold Trax Seal of Approval, New Zealand’s benchmark of Adaptive Adventure Travel & Inclusive Tourism. The Gold Seal is the ultimate inclusive company.

The seal indicates that the company is willing and able to provide a tailored adaptive experience for different abilities when possible.

Whale Watch Kaikōura operates two 24m vessels that have the capability to support wheelchair bound passengers.

Key Points:

  1. Please advise us when making your booking or at check-in if you have any mobility or health concerns, we should be made aware of.
  2. When and where possible we do recommend a support person travels with the passenger to provide additional assistance where necessary.
  3. We can generally cater for up to two wheelchair bound passengers on each of our tours.
  4. We can also support the passenger in being positioned into a standard seat if that is a preferred option.
  5. Spacing is only available within our main Oceans Cabin situated on the lower deck of the vessel. Unfortunately, the Captain's Cabin situated on the top deck is unable to cater for wheelchair bound passengers.
  6. We are unable to take any electric wheelchairs onto our vessels because they are too large and heavy, a standard wheelchair is all we can cater for on our vessels.
  7. There are stairs at the bow of the vessels so the passenger will need to be lifted up and down these. This can be done using their own wheelchair or the individual can be transferred to our carry seat. 
  8. There is a disabled toilet onboard.
  9. A ramp system is used for the rear entry point into the main cabin supporting access to the rear viewing deck and along the sides of the vessel accordingly.    
  10. Any wheelchair bound passenger will be advised once they are checked-in to proceed over to the marina using their own vehicle.
  11. This allows for the passenger to be placed on the vessel by the crew ahead of the main group's arrival. 
  12. We have two dedicated parks at our marina for this purpose.
  13. Our shuttle buses are unable to cater for wheelchair passengers.

We have life jackets placed under each seat on our vessels with the donning procedures outlined during our safety briefing and on the safety cards.

We always recommended you take precautions for motion sickness. Options are available at our Gift Shop.

Our captains do their best at all times to provide the best possible sightings of marine life when we have a wheelchair bound 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 and weather conditions are unsuitable. 

Nau Mai Haere Mai Ki Whale Watch Kaikoura  


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