Cancellation or delay

When the departure of a passenger ship is cancelled or delayed, you could be entitled to care and re-routing or refund of the ticket price.

If the departure from the port is delayed by more than 90 minutes or is cancelled

1. You can require the shipping company to provide meals and accommodation when possible

The shipping company must offer snacks, meals or refreshments free of charge in a reasonable proportion to the waiting time.

If overnight accommodation or a longer stay becomes necessary, the shipping company must offer:

  • accommodation on board or ashore where possible. The shipping company may limit the cost of accommodation to 80 euros per night and to no more than three nights per passenger
  • transport between the port terminal and the place of accommodation.

The right to accommodations and transport does not apply if the shipping company demonstrates that the cancellation/delay was caused by weather conditions that compromise safety, such as heavy winds, rough seas or floods. In this case, the shipping company must demonstrate the reason.

It is not possible to claim meals and accommodation if the passenger was informed of the cancellation or delay before the ticket was purchased or if the situation was caused by the passenger themselves.

2. You can demand re-routing or refund of the ticket price

You can demand to be provided a re-routing to the final destination under comparable conditions as soon as possible and without an additional cost; or

You can cancel your trip and be refunded the ticket price within seven days. You can demand a refund for each cancelled leg of the voyage and an already completed leg of the voyage, if it carries no benefit for the original travel plan. In addition, you are entitled to ask for a free return journey, as soon as possible, to the point of departure shown in your ticket. With your consent, the shipping company may reimburse you for the price of the ticket in the form of travel vouchers or services.

Note: The demand cannot be made for cruises that include over two nights on board the ship. In these instances, you can refer to the terms and conditions of the trip.

If the shipping company rejects your claim

If the journey was not as agreed, you can file a complaint with the shipping company. You should do this as soon as possible. If the complaint does not produce results, you can file a complaint with an authority.

The rights apply on seas and inland waterways on passenger ships when:

  • the passenger boards the vessel in a port of an EU member state 
  • the port of embarkation is outside the EU and the port of disembarkation is situated in the EU territory and the service is operated by an EU carrier. 

Some of the rights are not applicable on cruises that include over two nights on board the ship. In these instances, you can refer to the terms and conditions of the trip 

The rights do not apply on vessels which 

  • are not allowed to carry more than 12 passengers 
  • have a crew of fewer than three, or the distance of the journey is less than 500 metres one way  
  • operate as excursion or sightseeing vessels and are not propelled by mechanical means, e.g. historical passenger ships. 

The rights are based on EU Regulation 1177/2010 on Passenger Rights when Travelling by Sea and Inland Waterways.