You know that you have certain rights when traveling by boat to the EU?
First, when you buy the ticket for the journey it’ s forbidden to charge you an extra amount because of your nationality or place of issue of the ticket.
Second, you also have rights in case of a problem, e.g. delay or cancellation prevent your embarkation… applicable when:
- departing from EU ports with any carrier
- or arriving at EU ports with any carrier
These rules do not apply to ships:
- can carry fewer than 13 passengers
- requiring a crew three people at most
- route covering less than 500 meters (one-way)
- categorized as historical
- operating tours and sightseeing - if they do not provide accommodation or more than two nights on board.
Cancellation or delay
If the itinerary is canceled or delayed, you are entitled to fully and timely informed about what happens as long as you wait.
If the itinerary is canceled, or delayed departure for more than 90 minutes, you can choose between:
- taking your money backand, if appropriate, free back to where you started your trip - for example, if the delay or cancellation prevents you fulfill the purpose of your trip
- to being transferred, under similar conditions, to your final destination as soon as possible and at no additional charge.
- If your departure delayed for more than 90 minutes in most cases, entitled:
- Meals and refreshments - depending on the waiting time
- Accommodation - if you need to stay overnight
If you arrive at the final destination delayed over one hour, you are entitled to compensation. Depending on the delay, the compensation is equal to 25% or 50% of the ticket price.
You will not receive compensation if the delay is due to extreme weather conditions or natural disasters.
Grievances / complaints*
If you feel that your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the carrier within two months from the date the incident occurred. The carrier must respond within 1 month and give you a final response within two months of receipt of the complaint.
If the answer does not satisfy you, you can contact the national enforcement authority.
Accidents at sea
If you are injured in an accident at sea, you are entitled to compensation by the carrier or his insurance carrier. In case of death, compensation may apply for Dependent family members.
Also entitled to compensation from the carrier if the baggage, vehicles or other belongings lost or be damaged in an accident at sea.
If you are a person with reduced mobility, compensation for loss of or damage to wheelchairs or other special equipment must cover the full cost of repair or replacement.
Entitled to receive payment from the carrier for the immediate needs in case of injury or death caused by:
explosion or fire on board
Grievances / complaints*
In case of loss or damage in an accident at sea, you can claim compensation through the courts in any of the following countries:
- the country of main business activity of the transporter or his residence
- the country of departure or destination
- the country of permanent residence, if the operator carries on business in that country and subject to the jurisdiction of this country
- the country in which the travel contract concluded, if the operator carries on business in that country and subject to its jurisdiction
If your baggage is lost or damaged, you must notify in writing the carrier. Ideally you should do this either during the disembarkation from the ship, or on acceptance of your luggage. The latest, you should inform the carrier within 15 days from the disembarkation or delivery. Otherwise, you will lose your right to compensation.
In general, you should go to court within 2 years of the event - although the start time of this period may vary depending on the nature of the loss or damage.
Passengers with reduced mobility
Even if you are a person with reduced mobility, you have the right to travel by boat, like any other.
Also entitled to assistance when boarding and disembarking from the ship, change ship during the voyage and port.
To get the best possible service, you must contact the shipping company, the agency ticketing or travel office at least 48 hours before your trip and explain what kind of help you need.
Even if you have not done, the carrier and the terminal operator should make every effort to help you when boarding and disembarking from the ship, and during the trip.
Upon booking your ticket, please include any special needs of the accommodation, the choice of location to travel, required assistance or need to carry medical equipment.
The carrier may ask to be accompanied by another person if this is necessary for safety reasons, or because of the design of the ship or port infrastructure. The person is entitled to travel free.
If you face problem to get help on your journey, you should contact the relevant port authorities or the carrier.
If the answer does not satisfy you, you can contact the national enforcement body in the country where the incident occurred.
You need more help?
Did not find the information you seek? Have a problem you want to solve?
Ask for help and advice to the European Consumer Centre in your country on the following link:
HAVE A NICE BOAT TRIP!