If you’ve been on a cruise before which included stops at one or more large cities, you’ll no doubt have been presented with the option of the inevitable city tour excursion. A guided tour is a great way to see the best of a city for sure but growing in popularity is something else which you may have spotted on your cruise line’s excursion list; the Segway tour.
In case you’re not familiar with this relatively new form of transport, here’s the science. Giving it it’s full title, the Segway PT (Personal Transporter) is a two-wheeled battery-powered electric vehicle which is completely self-balancing, kept upright by its computer and motor housed in the base. You tell the Segway which way you want to go by shifting your weight on the platform and the clever computer detects this change in the centre of mass, with the help of gyroscopic sensors and levelling sensors, so it knows when you want to move. If you want to turn, you simple press the handlebar to the left or right.
The brainchild of American inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, the Segway first rolled onto the world stage in 2001 and since then its became much more than a transportation curio, with numerous worldwide cities offering rental services to the public for tourism purposes and China’s police force now using locally-produced version of the transport to help them patrol large public areas.
With a top speed of around 12mph, Segways are certainly quicker than walking when it comes to getting around, which makes them a logical choice for seeing all the sites on your cruise ship’s city excursion. Speed limits and rules for use vary depending on which countries and cities you visit but with lines such as Carnival Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises all offering excursions by Segway, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to try one out for yourself the next time you sail.
Celebrity Segway fans
You’ll certainly find it difficult to picture them all hanging out together, but former US President George Bush, teen icon Justin Beiber, musician Akon, TV’s Piers Morgan and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay have all been spotted riding Segways, with it has to be said, varying degrees of success. Ac tress and National treasure Dame Helen Mirren, MP Lembit Opik and martial arts legend Jackie Chan, meanwhile, are all confirmed fans.
By Simon Brotherton