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The Algarve Welcomes First Boat Adapted For Disabled Passengers

THE ALGARVE WELCOMES FIRST BOAT ADAPTED FOR DISABLED PASSENGERSFor the first time in the Algarve, groups of people with physical disabilities or with reduced mobility will be able to stroll along the Ria Formosa and enjoy spectacular scenarios, up to now only available to those with the capacity to board regular boats.

The initiative came from a private company with Portuguese capital, based in Faro. Ria Formosa Boat Tours has built a catamaran from scratch, capable of transporting 16 regular customers or 10 in wheelchairs, thus allowing the latter to benefit from an experience that they previously could not enjoy as a group: “We believe that most companies that have been promoting tours in the region never really looked at these people, many of whom would like to be able to quietly enjoy the Ria, going to the Desert Island or to Barra Velha, being able to do birdwatching or simply enjoying an incredible sunset aboard a boat, which is an experience that many have never had”, says Paulo Gonçalves, owner and one of the skippers of the Algarvian Queen, the “friendly” catamaran for those with physical disabilities.

In addition, Paulo assures that a small crane will soon be introduced on board allowing these customers to have another experience with a little bit more adrenaline: a "suspended dive", something that will let the customers to stay suspended in contact with water in total safety, in a special chair custom-built for this purpose.

For several years now, Paulo has dedicated himself to boats and to the Ria, for which he has a huge passion, alongside with photography. This is one of the distinguishing features of the tours he promotes, by providing customers free photos of the experiences that Ria Formosa has to offer, whether they are on a trip to Ilha Deserta, a trip to the inlet, to the oyster farms or just watching birds at dusk, taking advantage of the spectacular sceneries.

“Surely we are a company and we have to make a profit, which is particularly hard in these circumstances, with the pandemic. We feel that people are more restrained when it comes to tourism. But over here, we stand for and apply all health and safety measures. Apart from that, we have a very special dedication to the client, the Algarve and nature itself, with all the amazing things it comprehends. This offer for people with disabilities is just another step in our path, in terms of social responsibility", says Paulo Gonçalves, ensuring that he will seek to make agreements with institutions to allow for lower prices or apply greater discounts for this segment - given that the boat’s capacity, in this mode, is somewhat reduced and that, in addition, the price of fuel has not stopped increasing.

Also working for groups or people who buy their tickets individually, the Algarvian Queen travels almost all year round through the Ria Formosa, a fantastic natural reserve which is extremely rich in biodiversity, both marine and birdlife. It is considered one of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal. The vessel's crew consists of a master and a sailor, assisted by an experienced member in the operational management of tours/experiences and activities.

Finally, in addition to Ria Formosa Boat Tours, Paulo also owns a sister company offering exclusive private charters on a high-end skippered yacht, through another brand, named Algarve WOW.

For more information, please contact: Paulo Gonçalves:

TM: (+351) 966 977 597 

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