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Duty of Care and Safe Travel for all

As the Cook Strait's premier passenger service, we take safety very seriously. Our fleet includes the largest and most stable passenger ships on the Cook Strait and we can sail comfortably in bad weather. If we feel the conditions present any danger to passengers or staff then we will cancel the sailing or restrict it to freight only. If you are concerned about sailing, then don't be. We have an exemplary safety record and our terminal staff are always happy to give honest and expert advice on the sailing conditions. All Interislander tickets are transferrable to another sailing or another day right up until the point of departure and you are always welcome to switch to an alternative sailing if you wish.

Safety First

With over 50 years experience of operating Cook Strait passenger ferry services, Interislander and its staff are very knowledgeable at how to ensure the ship's environment is as safe as it can practicably be. Safety is a priority at Interislander and we operate a Zero Harm policy throughout the company to ensure our staff and crew are all trained to identify and mitigate risks. Throughout the sailing, crew will help maintain the ship's safe environment and may request you to move your bags and/or possessions, request you vacate an area or sit in a more appropriate place so that you are not blocking thoroughfares or posing a hazard. 

To help us maintain your own personal safety, we request that if you have a disability, restricted mobility or need assistance with stairs and the heavy doors, that you notify us either 48hrs prior to travel or call the terminal desks to make your booking using the details below. In extreme circumstances we may regrettably have to decline passage and recommend the use of an alternative ship or mode of transportation. This may occur in the following circumstances:

  • If, in the event of an emergency, a passenger is unable to move efficiently (with qualified assistance) to a safety zone or is unable to use emergency equipment aboard the ship;
  • If a passenger’s personal requirements put others on the ship at risk – i.e. other passengers or crew;
  • If the level of accessibility available on a particular ship has a limitation on the number of passengers travelling who can safely use the accessible emergency or evacuation equipment. For example, it takes time to safely and quickly lift passengers onto a lifeboat, and the use of accessible equipment takes longer and availability is limited.

If you have any questions, or want more information, please contact us using the details below.

First Aid Stations

All ships have a first aid station on-board. These are available on the main passenger decks. Customer Service crew are trained in basic first aid. Our first aid room contains a bed and medical supplies in case of emergencies. For your safety we ask that you have any necessary medical supplies with you at all times.

Passenger Areas & Eateries

All passenger areas need to remain clear of obstacles and remain safe for all passengers. Sitting on stairways or obstructing thoroughfares, gangways and aisles is not permitted. Please make sure that your baggage and straps are safely stowed at all times and not blocking thoroughfares, gangways and aisles. Crew may ask you to move or tidy if they are concerned about the safety of other passengers. Please notify crew if you spot any spillages or obstacles (bags, persons, etc) that you believe may present a risk to passengers.

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.

PA Announcements

Announcements are made periodically through the Public Address (PA) system to request vehicle owners to check their alarms, inform passengers when to prepare for disembarkation and other useful information. The Public Address system is also used to advise of closures to public spaces and to deliver safety information (such as requests to remain seated). Please ensure that you are able to hear the PA system at all times (the PA system is suitably loud to be heard over moderately volumed headphones).

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.

Safe Evacuation

If you have restricted mobility a disability that may prohibit your ability to evacuate safely or impinge on the safety of other passengers, then you must inform us at least 48hrs prior to travel or during the booking process. Failure to make it known that you will require assistance may mean we are unable to provide assistance - in which case we will be unable to take you on board.

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 will assist you with your orientation of the ship. We recommend that you travel with a fully sighted companion who can assist you. If you are travelling alone and will require assistance to evacuate, then you must call at least 48hrs in advance to notify us using the details below, so that we can ensure a member of crew is available to help you.

Pets & Assistance Dogs

For health and safety reasons, pets are not allowed in the passenger areas and must be kept in the owners car at the owners risk. Kennels are available for dogs and can be arranged at check-in or pre-purchased during the booking process. Caged cats and bird can be checked in as checked baggage and will be stowed at the front of the baggage truck and held within the cargo bay. Please ensure all animals are well trained, well fed and well ventilated.

If you are travelling with a certified service dog, it is essential that you notify us at the time of booking. 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;

Accessibility and Assistance

Please read the following sections if you have restricted mobility or a disability:

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:;


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