|Recently observed whales on a Boston Harbor Cruise Whale Watch.|
Though a quick check of the Massachusetts Office on Travel and Tourism website shows that most of the dozen whale watch companies offer "handicap accessible" tours, you'll want to be sure to ask in advance what that will mean for your particular needs. Kenny for instance, uses a power wheelchair, which probably represents the ultimate challenge for accommodation. Boat designs vary and some are no doubt older, which means that passageways may be too narrow - if a power chair can make it up or down the gangway and cross over to the ship's deck in the first place. And interestingly enough, in my first round of web research, only the New England Aquarium in Boston indicated any accessibility for people with disabilities on their website.
|Boarding a Boston Harbor Cruise Whale Watch vessel.|
|Kenny and his traveling crew ready to see whales.|
Chair users should definitely find out how much of the outside experience is accessible. Best experiences will allow you outdoor access all the way around the boat, as well as indoor access. It seems rare to be able to access the highest viewing deck. I recommend getting the name of the vessel that will best suit your needs and then be sure to get tickets for that boat.
Whales are in migration now, passing through Massachusetts waters as they travel south. It is a great time to go out for the numbers of whales you might get to see. Even seeing one whale is an amazing encounter. Most whale watch companies are on the water through October and feature on-board naturalists who can answer your questions. If you've never had this experience, consider it now, and if you've been out before like me, it is always worth doing again!
Thanks to Kenny and Paula Cieplik and thetravelingwheelchair.com for use of photos!