Updated March 2020 

In light of the COVID-19 travel disruption, the European Consumer Centre Ireland is looking at what rights have changed for sea and waterways passengers at March 2020. 

Read about the latest changes here:  

COVID-19: Consumer advice for sea travel at March 2020


ShipPassenger rights when travelling by sea are governed by Regulation 1177/2010 (on the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway), which entered into force on 18th December 2012.


The Regulation guarantees the following rights for passengers:


  • In cases of cancellation or delay of more than 90 minutes at departure –

·         Reimbursement or rerouting

·         Assistance, to include snacks, meals, refreshments, and where necessary accommodation for up to three nights, with a cost of up €80 per night


  • In situations of delay in arrival or cancellation of journeys –

·         Compensation of between 25% and 50% of the ticket price


  • Protection for people with a disability or reduced mobility –

·         Assistance, free of charge, at port terminals and on board ships

·         Financial compensation for loss of or damage to mobility equipment


  • The right to information

·         Passengers must be provided with information on their rights both before and during their journey; general information about their rights must also be provided in terminals and on board ships


  • Complaint handling –

·         Carriers and terminal operators must have a complaint handling mechanism available to all passengers

·         Independent national bodies must be established in each Member State to ensure the enforcement of the Regulation and, where appropriate, the application of penalties.



The Regulation applies to passengers travelling

  • on passenger services where the port of embarkation is situated within the territory of a Member State
  • on passenger services where the port of embarkation is situated outside the territory of a Member State and the port is disembarkation is situated in the territory of a Member State, provided that the service is operated by an EU carrier
  • on a cruise where the port of embarkation is situated in the territory of a Member State.


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The Regulation does not apply

  • to passengers travelling on ships certified to carry up to 12 passengers
  • on ships with an operating crew of not more than three persons,
  • where the overall service is less than 500 metres, one way, on excursion and sightseeing tours
  • on ships propelled by non-mechanic means
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