Your rights when travelling by ferry or ship


Learn more about your passenger rights if you are travelling by ship or ferry and you experience delays, cancellation or discrimination when buying tickets.

The operator has an obligation to inform you of delays or service interruptions as soon as this information is available.

If your departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes, you must be offered complimentary snacks, meals and refreshments corresponding to your waiting time. If necessary, you must also be offered accommodation for up to three nights and transport to and from the place of accommodation.

However, the operator does not have to arrange accommodation if the journey is cancelled or delayed due to severe weather conditions that make it unsafe to sail.

Your rights in connection with cancellation

If your journey is cancelled or delayed by more than 90 minutes, the operator must offer you a choice of the following:

  • A refund of the full ticket price and a return journey to your initial place of departure
  • Rescheduling of the trip to the final destination at the first given opportunity (at no cost to you)

You are entitled to compensation

You are entitled to compensation if your arrival is delayed. The compensation corresponds to 25% or 50% of the ticket price, depending on how late you are.

You are not entitled to compensation if:

  1. You have an open ticket
  2. You were informed of the delay before you bought the ticket
  3. The reason for the delay was within your control
  4. Weather conditions make it unsafe to sail
  5. The delay is attributable to extraordinary circumstances

Your rights if you are disabled or have reduced mobility

If you are disabled or have reduced mobility, you are protected against discrimination. This means that you have the right to be able to travel without additional problems or costs.

You should inform the transport company of your need for assistance at least 48 hours before departure. The transport company and tour operator must inform you of access conditions and facilities on the ferry or ship.

You may be turned away only if access is physically impossible due to the size of the ferry or ship, or if it would be contrary to applicable health and safety requirements. If you are denied access for the above reasons, you are entitled to compensation or rescheduling of your trip.

The transport company and staff at the terminal must help you get on the vessel and get off at your final destination. The transport company may require that you are accompanied by another person. This person travels free of charge.

If any of your aids are lost or damaged as a result of the transport company staff’s or the terminal manager’s handling of them, you are entitled to full compensation.

How to complain

  • Contact the firm that issued the ticket – irrespective of whether or not you actually travelled
  • Briefly summarise your complaint, providing relevant documentation, including dates, booking references and information about all the people you talked to
  • Remember to keep copies of your documents and allow the firm reasonable time to look into your claim

Getting help in connection with a complaint

If you are not satisfied with the response from the company, you can contact European Consumer Centre Denmark for assistance. Remember to enclose copies of all relevant correspondence so that we can help you with the further complaint procedure. Depending on the nature of your complaint, your case will be considered by the Consumer Complaints Board (Forbrugerklagenævnet), the Danish Maritime Authority (Søfartsstyrelsen) or the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority (Trafik-, Bygge- og Boligstyrelsen).

10. September 2015

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