Wheelchair Policy

Can Whale Watch take passengers in wheel chairs?

Whale Watch Kaikōura has two vessel types ranging between 24m to 18m in length. All seating is in the main cabin with viewing platforms around the lower deck and the upper deck.

Vessel - Te Ao Marama 24m

Vessels - Tohora & Wawahia 18m

All seating is in the main cabin with viewing platforms around the lower deck and the upper deck.

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 go to the 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 presentation.

It is recommended to take precautions for sea sickness. We have herbal medication available at our Retail Store.

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.

Download for further details on:

Wheel Chair Accessibility 


Whale Watch Kaikōura has a Gold Trax Seal of Approval, New Zealand’s benchmark of Adaptive Adventure Travel & Inclusive Tourism.

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

Find other inclusive tourism operators in New Zealand here


Kia Ora

Whale Watch monitors the latest public health advice and adapts the operation accordingly.

Key Themes:

  1. If you are unwell, have been to a place of interest in the last 14-days or are awaiting a covid test please stay home.
  2. Contact tracing is required so we ask you to scan in with the covid tracer app or use the manual sign-in option provided.
  3. We ask that you wear a face covering.
  4. Our cleaning procedures have been enhanced and hand sanitizer is available.
  5. We ask that you listen to all instructions provided by our team, please be patient and kind.

Vaccination Mandates - The Vaccine Pass - Covid19 Protection Framework

From Friday 3rd December 2021 all customers to Whale Watch will be required to present a valid New Zealand Government vaccine pass as part of the New Zealand Governments Covid19 Protection Framework to travel on our tours and enter our premises unless they are exempt.

You are exempt if;

  1. You are ineligible for vaccination.
  2. Children under 12-years and 3-months of age.
  3. People who are clinically exempted.

Please note: You may also be required to show a valid form of ID in the form of a current New Zealand drivers license, Passport or 18+ Kiwi Access Card to validate your ID. Please ensure you have one of these options readily available upon request.

The message from the New Zealand Government is clear. To enjoy the full life everyone in New Zealand deserves, get vaccinated today. If you are already vaccinated, do your best to help your friends and family get their vaccinations so we can all enjoy life within the new system. 

Covid19 Protection Framework

Should you have any concerns or questions in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Support Services team.