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Transport by sea

Passengers who travel by sea and inland waterway benefit from the rights established by Regulation 1177/2010.

The Regulation shall apply in respect of passengers travelling on passenger services via sea or inland waterway where the port of embarkation or disembarkation is situated in the territory of a Member State. It does not apply to passengers travelling:

- on ships certified to carry up to 12 passengers;

- on ships which have a crew responsible for the operation of the ship composed of not more than three persons or where the distance of the overall passenger service is less than 500 metres, one way;

- on excursion and sightseeing tours other than cruises;

- on ships not propelled by mechanical means as well as original, and individual replicas of, historical passenger ships certified to carry up to 36 passengers.


Rights of disabled and reduced mobility people

Carriers, travel agents and tour operators shall not refuse to accept a reservation, to issue  a ticket  to embark persons on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility as such. Furthermore tickets shall be offered at no additional cost.

However carriers, travel agents and tour operators may refuse to provide a ticket to or to embark a disabled  or reduced mobility person in order to meet applicable safety requirements or where the design of the passenger ship or port infrastructure and equipment makes it impossible to carry out the embarkation, disembarkation or carriage of the person in a safe or operationally feasible manner. In the event of a refusal to accept a reservation, carriers, travel agents and tour operators shall make all reasonable efforts to propose to the person concerned an acceptable alternative transport.


Rights in case of cancellation or delays

In the case of a cancellation or a delay in departure of a passenger service or a cruise, if possible, passengers shall be informed by the carrier of the situation as soon as possible and in any event no later than 30 minutes after the scheduled time of departure, and of the estimated departure time and estimated arrival time as soon as that information is available.

Where a carrier reasonably expects the departure of a passenger service or a cruise to be cancelled or delayed for more than 90 minutes beyond its scheduled time of departure, passengers shall be offered free of charge snacks, meals or refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, provided they are available or can be supplied.

In the case of a cancellation or a delay in departure where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary, the carrier shall offer passengers free of charge, adequate accommodation on board, or ashore, and transport to and from the port terminal and place of accommodation in addition to the food and drinks . For each passenger, the carrier may limit the total cost of accommodation ashore, not including transport to and from the port terminal and place of accommodation, to EUR 80 per night, for a maximum of three nights.

In case of cancellation or delay in departure longer than 90 minutes the passenger shall immediately be offered ( beside the assistance mentioned above) the choice between:

- re-routing to the final destination, under comparable conditions, at the earliest opportunity and at no additional cost;

- reimbursement of the ticket price and, where relevant, a return service free of charge to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity.

 Passengers may also request compensation from the carrier in they are facing a delay in arrival. The minimum level of compensation shall be 25% of the ticket price for a delay of at least:

- 1 hour in the case of a scheduled journey of up to 4 hours;

- 2 hours in the case of a scheduled journey of more than 4 hours, but not exceeding 8 hours;

- 3 hours in the case of a scheduled journey of more than 8 hours, but not exceeding 24 hours; or

- 6 hours in the case of a scheduled journey of more than 24 hours.

If the delay exceeds double the time above mentioned, the compensation shall be 50 % of the ticket price. The compensation shall be paid within 1 month after the submission of the request . It  may be paid in vouchers and/or other services, provided that the conditions are flexible, particularly regarding the period of validity and the destination. The compensation shall be paid in money at the request of the passenger. The compensation of the ticket price shall not be reduced by financial transaction costs such as fees, telephone costs or stamps. Carriers may introduce a minimum threshold under which payments for compensation will not be paid and this threshold shall not exceed €6.

Passengers are not entitled either to compensation or to accommodation if they are informed of the cancellation or delay before the purchase of the ticket or if the cancellation or delay is caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship.

Carriers and terminal operators shall provide passengers with adequate information throughout their travel in formats which are accessible to everybody. They also shall set up or have in place an accessible complaint-handling mechanism for rights and obligations covered by the Regulation.

Where a passenger wants to make a complaint he shall submit it within 2 months from the date on which the service was performed or when a service should have been performed. Within 1 month of receiving the complaint, the carrier shall give notice to the passenger that his complaint has been substantiated, rejected or is still being considered. The time taken to provide the final reply shall not be longer than 2 months from the receipt of a complaint.

Each Member State shall designate a new or existing body responsible for the enforcement of the Regulation and, if possible, for the imposition of sanction.

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