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Boat called Storo on a blue sky day

Accessibility

Getting here

Port Ellen Harbour, Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, PA42 7BQ.

Travel by public transport

  • You can reach us by bus.
  • The nearest bus stop is 0.1 miles away from Port Ellen Harbour pontoons and is located on Charlotte Street, Port Ellen.
  • Take a look at the bus timetable here.
  • If you are coming off the Islay ferry before your tour or getting onto the Islay ferry after your tour you can take a look at the ferry timetable and locations here.
  • Port Ellen ferry terminal is less than 0.1 miles away away from Port Ellen Harbour pontoons.
  • Port Askaig ferry terminal is 19.1 miles away from Port Ellen Harbour pontoons. You can get here via bus (details above), taxi or car.

Travel by Taxi

  • To reach us, ask the driver to be dropped at Port Ellen pontoons for an Islay Sea Adventures tour, they will know where our staff will be waiting for you.
  • Please be aware that taxis are limited on Islay and often booked up in advance.
  • Take a look at some local taxis here.

Parking

  • There is a drop-off point at the pontoons. There is no kerb here at the drop-off point.
  • There is on street parking at the harbour. The parking is on a paved surface. This can get quite busy during the summer months, especially on mornings when the ferry comes into Port Ellen. This can mean some passengers have to park further away. We recommend any passengers with limited mobility arrive early to ensure closer parking or make use of the drop-off point.
  • If you have any questions around parking, please feel free to contact us directly on 01496 300129 or email us at info@islay-sea-adventures.co.uk

Pontoon Entrance

  • The pontoons are reached by an accessible ramp. The ramp has an incline first, then a steeper decline onto the pontoons themselves.
  • Please be wary that this can be steep and slippery so always use caution. Our staff are more than happy to provide assistance if required, just let us know.
  • The pontoon gate is 121 cm wide. The gate can stay open on its own without needing to be held, or a member of staff can provide assistance.
  • The ramp down to the pontoons is 101cm wide and the pontoons are 94 cm wide at their narrowest point (not including the metal boundaries on either side).

Our Boats

  • Trips aboard our hard boats, Wavedancer and Iain Og, are accessible for persons of limited mobility and light wheel-chair users.
  • For some tours, we may use our non-accessible RIBs. We recommend anyone concerned about accessibility, contacts us directly, to let us know that you will be requiring a ‘hard boat’.

Boat Entrance

  • The entrance to Wavedancer has a small step up and both boats entrances can be narrow for some wheelchairs. This means that unfortunately some heavy motorised wheelchairs are not able to be brought onto the boat. We deeply apologise for this.
  • Wavedancer’s entrance is 66 cm wide and the step is 27 cm high.
  • Iain Og’s entrance is 73 cm wide. There is no step in.

  • The entrance to the boat’s cabin area from the deck also has a small step in to be aware of. The door is narrow into the cabin, so some wheelchairs would need to be folded to get through.
  • Wavedancer’s cabin entrance is 55 cm wide and the step in is 12 cm high.
  • Iain Og’s cabin entrance is 65 cm wide and the steps up are 40 cm high in total (19 and 21 cm each).
  • Passengers can be aided by staff to access the cabin areas, although during the season most guests choose to stay on the deck anyway to enjoy the tour.

  • The entrances to the boats can be made as level with the pontoons as possible to make it easy to get on and off if stepping on or using a small wheelchair.
  • In the case of wider wheelchairs, the dive platform at the back of Wavedancer can be used. This would be made level with the pontoon and then the height adjusted so the wheelchair user can then access the boat. If you are using a wide wheelchair, please contact us prior so any necessary arrangements can be made.

Toilets

  • The two hard boats have toilets on board, but again are compact, and have a step up to access them. Guests would need a reasonable amount of mobility to use them.
  • Wavedancer’s toilet entrance is 50 cm wide and the step in is 12 cm high.
  • Iain Og’s toilet entrance is 65 cm wide and the steps in is 35 cm high.
  • For guests without easy mobility, there are toilets near the pontoons which can be used prior to departure. Our staff greeting you before departure can direct you to them.

Corryvreckan and Staffa & Iona Tours

  • For our Corryveckan trips and our Staffa & Iona trips, we depart from Port Askaig.
  • There are no pontoons here meaning that access to the boats is not wheelchair accessible. We sincerely apologise for this.
  • For the Corryveckan trip, all passengers must have a reasonable amount of mobility to be able to get on and off the boats safely, mostly our RIBS rather than hard boats.
  • Photos coming soon.

Private Charters

  • The boats we use on Private Charters vary.
  • If you have a particular preference due to accessibility, please contact us directly to let us know.
  • For some longer trips, RIBs are strongly advised due to travel time, but our office staff can advice you on this.

Visual Aids

All of our boats have readable versions of our ‘Safety Talks’ available, tailored to each boat, along with brief descriptions of each of our tours.

We also have Google Translate available on our onboard tablets and crew devices. These can be used to translate the safety talk sheets along with any other information guide on the boats e.g. wildlife guides.

Ear Defenders

We have ear defenders available for any passengers who may need them, in both adult and child’s size. Just let a member of the team know either via email or phone prior to your tour. If you have forgot your own ear defenders when you arrive for your tour, let a member of our team know at the pontoons before your tour and we can provide some.

Additional Time To Board And Disembark

If you or any of your group need additional time to get onto and/or off the boat, you can let a member of our team know prior to arrival (either by phone or email) or let the crew know when you arrive for your tour. If guests would benefit from boarding and/or disembarking the boat prior to other quests, or after other guests, then again just let a member of our team know before your tour or upon arrival.

Staff Training

Our team have completed ‘Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Training’ , ‘Disability Awareness & Inclusion’ and ‘Mental Health Awareness Training’.

Sidekick Charity

We are working with the Islay & Jura based charity – Sidekick – for the 2024 season.

After four successful (donated) boat tours for the charity last summer, supporting local children with additional requirements and their families, we are working closely alongside the charity this year to further how we cater for those with additional support needs.

We will be working to create a social story (which will be a downloadable resource) based on going out on one of our boat tours. This is so that our passengers know what to expect in advance. This will include information, photos and videos such as; putting on lifejackets, the noise of the different boats, the motion of the waves, what happens when we see wildlife and other aspects of the tour to expect.

If you have any health problems and/or are pregnant, please let a member of staff know prior to departure of ANY trip. Some trips can be bumpy etc. and weather conditions can change. This may greatly affect those with certain health conditions/who are pregnant. It is at your own risk to carry on with the trip.

For any questions regarding accessibility, please feel free to contact us directly.

If you would like to see the boats we have, take a look at the ‘About us – Our Boats’ section on our website. Alternatively, you can come and see the boats in Port Ellen Harbour too.

Signed: Angus Newman, Managing Director

Reviewed: April 2024

This policy will be reviewed regularly to evaluate its continued relevance and to monitor our progress.