Rights of passengers traveling by sea and inland waterways

Submitted by Aleta Paulauskaite on 10 March 2023

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Passengers, including those with disabilities or reduced mobility, travelling by sea and inland waterways enjoy the same rights wherever they travel in the European Union (EU). These rights, including the right to information or compensation in the case of delay or cancellation, complement similar rights for air, rail, bus, and coach passengers.

The legislation sets out the rights of all passengers, including people with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility, travelling by sea or inland waterway within the EU.


These rights apply to passengers travelling in the EU on large ferries and cruise ships on sea, rivers, lakes or canals.

They include:

1) reimbursement or rerouting in situations of cancellation or delay for departure of more than 90 minutes;

2) adequate assistance e.g. meals, refreshments and, where necessary, accommodation for up to 3 nights in situations of cancellation or delay at the departure of more than 90 minutes;

3) compensation of between 25 % and 50 % of the ticket price in situations of delay in arrival or cancellation of journeys;

4) non-discriminatory treatment and specific assistance free of charge for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility both at port terminals and on board ships, as well as financial compensation for loss or damage of their mobility equipment;

5) adequate information on travel arrangements for all passengers before and during their journey, as well as general information about their rights in terminals and on board ships;

6) establishment of a complaint-handling mechanism by carriers and terminal operators;

7) establishment of independent national bodies to enforce the rights guaranteed under the regulation, including, where appropriate, the application of penalties.

More legislations and best practices can be found in ENTRANCE’s knowledge hub which can be accessed for free HERE.

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