If you are fond of cruise holidays, you are far from alone and if you have any form of disability, you can be assured that all cruise companies will do their very best to help you.
What has always been a problem for users of electric wheelchair, however, are those ports of call where the ship cannot moor alongside but has to drop anchor and ferry all passengers ashore using tenders.
To transfer from ship to tender and from tender to jetty, a wheelchair user has to be capable of a taking a few steps with help but also have a collapsible chair that can be easily lifted onto and off the tender. And, up to now, this has really meant using a manual one.
Now, though, things might change.
Some cruise companies don’t allow their staff to pick up electric chairs but others do as long as they don’t exceed their weight limit. For example, Princess Cruises allows its individual crew members to lift chairs weighing no more than 22kgs (49lbs).1
It is a lightweight folding electric wheelchair. It folds and unfolds in seconds and can be lifted easily when collapsed. This particular model has two batteries, together weighing 4kgs (9lbs) that can be slid out easily to be carried separately and, without them, the chair weighs just 21kgs (46.3lbs).
The model in question is the Chinese-made BPDP 06J available from Better Products for Disabled People and you can find all you need to know here. That company also sells another folding model, the 10J, which is heavier and more expensive.2
1Please remember to check your cruise company’s wheelchair requirements with respect to tendering.
2If you know of any other folding electric wheelchairs that meet these weight requirements, please let me know and I’ll update the details.
Please note: I am a person who likes to travel and enjoys cruising but needs to use a wheelchair. This blog post is for people in a situation similar to myself as well as family members and carers. It is purely for information and is not in any way commercial.