Travelling by ship or ferry

You go to Sardinia with friends this summer and want to take the last ferry of the weekend. Upon arrival you notice however that the ferry is cancelled…

Update: July 2018

Since the entry into force on 18 December, 2012 of the European regulation 1177/2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway, passengers benefit from an extended protection. Following the consumer protection standard set by regulations concerning rail and air transport, it provides for obligations that carriers have to respect if a ship is delayed or cancelled.

Cancellation or delay of more than 90 minutes

In case of cancellation or delay in departure from a port for more than 90 minutes, passengers have right to:

  •  Re-routing to the final destination under comparable conditions or ticket refund
  • Assistance in a form of free-of-charge snacks, meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time and an accommodation if it is necessary although its cost can be limited to 80€ per night and for a maximum of three nights
  • Compensation equal to 25% or 50% of the ticket price depending on the travel distance and the delay at the arrival.

Attention, the carrier isn’t obliged to pay for accommodation or compensation it they prove that the cancellation or delay is caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship or by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided.


In accordance with the regulation, passengers have a two months period following the day the service was executed or should have been executed to send the complaint to the carrier.

They have then one month to confirm the receipt of complaint and inform the passenger about its status (accepted, refused, ongoing review). The definitive response must be given not later than two months after the receipt of complaint. If the dispute persists, check what other actions you can take.

Passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility

Passengers with disabilities and with reduced mobility cannot be refused a ticket or an entry to the ship. They must have the same access and the service must be provided at no additional cost. Assistance for those people must be assured by the carrier if notified 48 hours in advance about the special needs of the passenger.


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