EU ship passenger rights generally apply if you are travelling within the EU on large ferries and cruise ships on sea, rivers, lakes or canals. They do not apply to small ships (not more than 13 passengers and/or 3 crew members), most historical ships, excursion and sightseeing ships.
When buying a ship ticket, you may not be charged a higher price because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.
Delay or cancellation
If your ship is delayed or cancelled, you have the right to adequate and timely information. In case of a cancellation or a delay of more than 90 minutes, you have a choice between re-routing or a refund. A refund, where relevant, includes a free journey back to the initial departure point. You will be also be offered additional assistance such as meals and refreshments and, if necessary, accommodation.
In case of a delay of at least 1 hour, you may be entitled to a financial compensation of 25% to 50% of the ticket price. If the delay is caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters, or if you were informed of the delay before you bought the ticket, you will not receive any compensation.
Liability towards passenger and luggage
In the case of injury or death resulting from an accident at sea, passengers (or their successors) have a right to compensation from the carrier. In case of lost or damaged luggage resulting from accidents, passengers are also entitled to compensation.
If you are not satisfied with how your rights have been applied, you should first contact the shipping company. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can lodge a complaint with the National Enforcement Body in your country of residence.
For more information and advice on your rights and how you can get a refund or compensation, visit the ‘Your Europe’ passenger rights website. Maritime passenger rights legislation, policy documents and studies can be found here.