Tunç Tonger is one of the most successful businesspeople in Turkey who was paralyzed over twenty years ago. Together with architect Hacı M. Hekim, Tonger has designed a three-story wheelchair accessible yacht to provide the disabled with a comfortable and stylish atmosphere to travel at sea in calledWell-abled. Access to the three stories is accomplished with a hydrophilic elevator which measures 21m can even lower disabled guests into the water if looking to swim. Impressively, the yacht uses renewable solar and wind energy to power all electricity onboard. On board is one captain, seafarer and cook and all have a lot of hospitality experience.
There are three bedrooms (one VIP and two guest rooms) that are suitable for handicapped people and located on the first (ground) floor of the yacht. All three rooms are equipped with touch pad controls for the lights, music, HVAC system and even the doors. Furthermore, all the beds are hospital-style beds with controls for the feet and head and are at a height is 50cm from the floor to the top of the mattress. No matter what room you are staying in, disabled guests will find the comfort of grab-bars, a roll-up sink and roll-in shower in the bathroom. One can sit on the toilet or a portable padded stool to shower. The height of the mirror can be adjusted according to guest. In the VIP room there is one king-size bed (2m in length) and is composed of two independent bases to provide a comfortable arrangement for both our handicapped guest and his/her companion who may or may not be handicapped. In both guest rooms, there is only one twin bed but an air-bed can be provided for non-handicapped guests. One Roho airbed can also be provided (90cm X 200cm).
To ensure safety and peace of mind, panic buttons have been installed in every room on the yacht in case guests need assistance of any kind. In the main room, there is a sitting area for six people and the table’s height can be electronically adjusted; all other tables can be manually adjusted. There are even two cockpits (main and top floor) designed for handicapped guests to be able to drive as it is equipped with an electronic rudder and gas control lever. Although the kitchen (main floor) is not specially designed to be wheelchair accessible, some may still find it manageable. Plus, there will not be much need to prepare meals yourself because a professional cook accompanies the yacht. Guests are welcome to shop for their own food for the duration of the voyage or the staff can assist or do it completely. The kitchen also includes a ground level dish and clothing washer. A deck is also found on the main level with reclining lounge chairs for tanning and a misting system to help regulate body temperature.
The yacht’s main level (third floor) has even more reclining chairs for tanning as well as a misting system. On this floor is also a Jacuzzi (2m round) which can be filled with either fresh or sea water. If needed, the staff can assist in transferring handicapped guests into the Jacuzzi; simply use the panic button for help. From the Jacuzzi, guests can watch entertainment on the 180cm by 180cm HD screen. A portable Karaoke machine can be enjoyed on every floor; each floor has its own sound system so if a guest does not want to hear then he or she can move to another floor. Scuba diving can also happen right off the yacht but guests need to inform the crew well ahead of time so that a professional instructor can be on board. Scuba diving is only available for a minimum 3-night cruise.
Well-abled has an accessible vehicle with a lift and the ability to transport three disabled people along with some abled body people. Airport pick-up and drop-off is included in the price of renting the yacht. This vehicle also follows the yacht’s route, connecting at every port the yacht does. This allows Well-abled to take guests to attractions and other places of interest. For such day tour the cost is 400,00€, including fuel costs.
Currently, the yacht is in Istanbul but after May 2013 it will be available to handicapped guests on the coasts of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. All tours start at 10am but can be adjusted if needed. Guests can rent the yacht for a maximum of one month or as little as one night. Renting the yacht for just a day cruise (10am-10pm) is also an option and costs 1.000,00€. One overnight trip costs 2.000,00€. Guests need to inform Well-abled how many days and nights they wish to use to yacht and figure out food menu details. Food, beverage, fuel expenses are not included. One hour of cruising on the boat consumes an average of 70 liters of fuel which costs approximately 70€ per hour. Reservations must be made two months in advance and require a 20% deposit.
Please email wheelchairtraveling.com to receive 15% off the total price.