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Accessibility and Special Assistance

Interislander is committed to transporting passengers of all ages and abilities safely and comfortably. As the Cook Strait's premier ferry service, Interislander takes these responsibilities very seriously and is constantly striving to improve accessibility. At Interislander, we work closely with Be. Accessible to ensure we are meeting the needs of all our passengers.

Be. Accessible Silver Award

Each ship is structurally different and so we are limited in what developments we can make. Therefore, your choice of ship is important. So please read through the information we have provided select your sailing accordingly.

Ship Comparison

We have had each of our ships rated by Be. Accessible to help you assess the best sailing for your needs. The following table provides an overview:

Vision Hearing Mobility Learning Parents Rating
Kaitaki   81%  83%  81%  84%  83%  Silver
Aratere  75%  77%  75%  77%  76%  Silver
Kaiarahi   73%  73%  71%  74%  72%  Silver



Kaitaki is our largest and most accommodating ship, with access to Decks 7 & 8 and an extensive choice of lounges, eateries and café/bars.

Kaitaki has been accredited with Gold Status in each of the five categories and an Overall Rating of Silver. Full details can be found on the Be. Accessible website.

Click here to view the full list of accessible features on Kaitaki.


Aratere is our longest serving ship and was built (and later extended) to take rolling stock as well as provide car and foot passage. Aside from the Premium Lounge, all of Aratere's facilities are located on a single, very long, level (Deck 4). Aratere is also the only ship to have a viewing area at the front - and this is accessed directly from the Bar/Café.

Aratere has been accredited with Silver Status in each of the five categories and has an Overall Rating of Silver. Full details can be found on the Be. Accessible website.

Click here to view the full list of accessible features on Aratere.


Kaiarahi is the newest ship to the fleet and is still undergoing a steady transformation to bring it up to our high standards of passenger accessibility.  At present, we feel Kaiarahi has restricted lift access and we advise passengers with restricted mobility to use Kaitaki and Aratere. Full details of Kaiarahi's accessibility rating can be found on the Be. Accessible website).

Click here to view the full list of accessible features on Kaiarahi.

Passenger Areas & Eateries

If you need help through a doorway (e.g. to go outside) or a thoroughfare is hampered (e.g. people's bags or chairs are in the way), then our friendly on-board Customer Service crew are there to assist you - please ask any one of our crew for help.

Hearing impairment

If you, or a member of your travelling party, has a hearing impairment, then please advise our customer service team at check-in. The crew will need to ensure that you receive all important messages and announcements being made over the onboard loud speaker system. No hearing loop is available on board the ships.

Visual impairment

If you, or a member of your travelling party, has a visual impairment, then please advise our customer service team at check-in and a member of our crew can assist you with your orientation of the ship. We recommend that you travel with a fully sighted companion if you are likely to require assistance during the journey. If you are travelling alone and are likely to require additional assistance during the journey please call in advance to notify us using the details below, so that we can ensure a member of crew is there to help you.

Assistance Dogs

Certified service dogs are allowed on board, but it is essential that you notify us at the time of booking using the details below. You will be responsible for the welfare of the dog at all times. Please note that sea travel can be distressing for animals and the safety and comfort of other passengers should not be compromised. To prepare your dog, please follow the below steps:

  • The dog must wear an identification tag with the owner's name, address and telephone number;
  • During the sailing your dog must be restrained by its lead and seated on an absorbent mat which you’ll need to bring with you;
  • You will need to prepare your dog for the journey by exercising and limiting its fluid intake for several hours before boarding the ship;

Accessing the Terminal and Boarding the Ship

Please see the following section for accessibility information for the Terminals and Boarding:

Advance Notification of Assistance

To avoid any disappointment or difficulties on arrival, Interislander requests that all passengers requiring assistance call our terminal team to discuss their travel needs and to book. If you have already booked online and require assistance then please call the terminal staff at least 48hrs prior to travel.

The terminal bookings desks can be reached on:

  • Wellington: 64 4 815 9628 (6.30am to 6.30pm daily);
  • Picton: 64 3 520 3235 (8am to 8pm daily);
  • email:;

If you suffer from severe immobility or disability (i.e. you can't be carried by crew and/or carers) then it is possible that we will not be able to take you aboard. We have an obligation to keep all passengers and crew safe and if you can't be safely assisted to the lifeboats with out causing undue risk to crew or fellow passengers then you will not be allowed to sail.

Aratere Gangway

Gangway Access to Aratere

Aratere Gangway

Accessibility Carts are available at the Terminals

Wellington Terminal luggage belt

Luggage Belt at Wellington Terminal

Aratere parent friendly nursery

Put your baby to sleep in a Nursery

Aratere:360° View of Lounge & Play Area (Drag to View)

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