EU maritime passenger rights

Maritime (Ship) Passenger Rights

You have certain rights when travelling by sea and inland waterway as set out in EU Regulation 1177/2010.

The regulation is aimed at enhancing and strengthening the rights of maritime passengers particularly in the areas of information and ticketing provision, compensation and assistance when travel is interrupted and enhanced rights for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility.

The National Transport Authority is the designated National Enforcement Body for Maritime passenger rights in Ireland.  Passengers travelling by sea/inland waterway can avail of certain rights as set out below.

Information booklet for passengers

Maritime Passenger Rights booklet

Application of the Regulation

The regulation applies to passengers travelling on services which:

  • Sail from an EU port.
  • Sail to an EU port from a port outside the EU, if the service is operated by an EU carrier
  • Cruises where the port of embarkation is in a Member State of the EU although some exemptions apply in relation to rights on re-routing, reimbursement and compensation for delay in arrival.

The Regulation  does not apply to:

  • Ships that can carry up to 12 passengers.
  • Ships that have no more than 3 crew members.
  • Ships that cover a distance of less than 500 metres one way
  • Most types of historical ships
  • On excursion and sightseeing tours other than cruises

Right to adequate information

All passengers have the right to information about their rights under Regulation 1177/2010 including  details about your journey such as itinerary and cost, access conditions for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, how to make a complaint and the contact details of the relevant National Enforcement Body.  This information should be made available in accessible formats if so requested.

Any delays must be communicated to passengers within 30 minutes of the departure time and passengers must be informed of the new estimated departure/arrival time as soon as it is available.

Assistance during delays or cancellations

If your departure is delayed by 90 minutes or more, the operator must provide complimentary refreshments reasonable to the waiting time, if these are readily available.

If you have to stay overnight you are entitled to €80 per night (for a maximum of 3 nights) as well as transport to and from the  port terminal to the place of your accommodation.  Alternatively the carrier can offer accommodation on board the ship if available.

You are not entitled to accommodation if the delay/ cancellation was caused by severe weather conditions.

Re-routing or refunds in the event of delay or cancellation

If your journey is delayed for more than 90 minutes or cancelled, you must be offered a choice between:

a full refund of the price you paid for you ticket and where necessary a free return journey back to your initial departure point


re-routing under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity at no extra cost

Passengers who opt for a full refund will not be able to claim any further compensation from the operator as outlined below

Right to request partial compensation of the ticket price in case of delay in arrival to the final destination

Passengers who choose to continue with their journey, and incur a delay in arrival at their final destination, may request compensation under the regulation.

Passengers may request compensation of 25% of the ticket price for the affected part of the journey, where the delay in arrival exceeds:

Scheduled Journey Time

Time Delayed (Greater Than)

Up to 4 hours

 > 1 hour

More than 4 hours (not exceeding 8)

 > 2 hours

More than 8 hours (not exceeding 24)

 > 3 hours

More than 24 hours

 > 6  hours


 If the delay is double the duration set out above passengers may request compensation of 50% of the ticket price.

Circumstances where compensation does not apply

If the delay was a result of

  • weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship
  • extraordinary circumstances which could not have been reasonably avoided for example natural disasters
  • the passenger holds an open ticket (other than a season ticket)
  • the passenger was told of the cancellation or delay before purchasing the ticket
  • the passenger was responsible for the cancellation or delay

Rights of Disabled Passengers and Passengers with Reduced Mobility

In addition to the general passenger rights (above), disabled persons and PRMs also have the following rights when travelling

 All carriers, travel agents and tour operators may not refuse to accept a reservation, provide a ticket or embark persons on the grounds of their disability or reduced mobility.

Where it is not possible to carry a disabled person or a PRM on board a ship due to either safety reasons or the design of the ship or the port infrastructure or its equipment carriers, travel agents and tour operators must make all reasonable efforts to offer an acceptable alternative.

Tickets and reservations must be offered to disabled persons or PRMs under the same conditions as other passengers and at no additional cost.

Carriers and terminal operators must provide assistance free of charge to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility throughout their journey where such assistance is needed.  Operators must designate an assistance point where passengers requiring assistance can go to at the start of their journey to avail of this service.

Accompanying carers and guide dogs shall travel free of charge

The obligation on carriers and terminal operators to provide assistance is conditional upon the passenger notifying their need for it at least 48 hours before arrival, and arriving in sufficient time.

 You can ask for assistance when arriving at the port without having provided at least 48 hours notice and the carrier or terminal operator must make all reasonable effort to provide such assistance. However, any such assistance cannot be guaranteed.

If any medical or mobility equipment is lost or damaged during your journey as a result of neglect or fault of the carrier or terminal operator, they must  pay for repairs or a replacement

Right to Submit Complaints to the Carriers and National Enforcement Bodies (NEB)

Passengers must submit complaints to the carriers or terminal operators within two months from the date the service was operated, or when it should be have been operated.

 The carrier/terminal operator must have a complaint handling system in place. The passenger must be notified within one month of the complaint being received. A final reply must be provided within two months of the complaint being received.

Passengers may also submit complaints about alleged infringements of the Regulation to the National Enforcement Body, however it is advisable to try to resolve the issue with the operator in the first instance.

If you wish to submit a complaint to the national enforcement body you can do so by writing to

National Transport Authority

Maritime passenger rights

Dun Sceine

Harcourt Lane

Dublin 2

Telephone 01 8798300

or Email:

or     Click here for the Customer Support page

Please provide full details of your journey such as dates, times of sailings, the name of the carrier and vessel, port of origin and destination, a description of what went wrong and your full contact details together with any other information relevant to your complaint.  Please include a copy of any correspondence between you and the carrier

You should keep the originals of all correspondences you send and receive.

Maritime Activity Reports

Useful Links