Compensation for damages

If you suffer loss due to an error or negligence on the part of the shipping company, a delay in the journey, or loss of or damage to luggage, you may be entitled to compensation. To receive compensation for damages, you must be able to show that the loss has occurred.

Shipping company’s liability for damage caused to passengers

The shipping company is responsible for personal injury caused by events during the voyage and damages caused by the delay to the passenger, if the damages in question were caused by an error or negligence on the part of the shipping company or a person authorised by the company.

Examples of damages caused by a shipping company:

  • personal injury
  • damage caused to the passenger by a delay
  • lost or damaged luggage.

Compensation for damages can only be received for verifiable expenses, such as a train ticket that could not be used because of a delay. Compensation cannot be received for displeasure and inconvenience. Keep receipts and other documentation to prove the incurred damages.

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.