Passenger rights


As a ship passenger, you have a number of rights which are established in European regulations:

  • right to access to transport without discrimination;
  • right to information about your trip, travel disruptions and your rights as a passenger;
  • right to compensation for inconvenience from a delay or cancellation of a voyage.
    This compensation may be: care and assistance while waiting, full or partial reimbursement of the travel costs, the possibility to use alternative transport free of charge;
  • right to prompt handling of your complaint;
  • right to proper enforcement of your rights.

In the event of an accident, your rights as a ship passenger include:

  • financial compensation, possibly with an advance payment;
  • recourse against the insurer of the carrier;
  • correct information on your rights in the event of an accident.

Passengers with reduced mobility

Persons with reduced mobility must have the same opportunities to travel as all other persons. They have the following additional passenger rights:

  • right to access transport without discrimination on the grounds of disability or reduced mobility;
  • right to special assistance, free of charge, in ports and on board ships;
  • right to compensation in the event of loss of or damage to mobility equipment.

What are your rights in the event of cancellation or delay?

If the service is cancelled or delayed, you must be kept adequately informed of the incident in a timely manner while waiting.

If the voyage is cancelled or if departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes, you must be offered two options:

  • either to receive a refund for your ticket and if necessary a free trip back to your point of departure, such as if the delay makes the purpose of your trip no longer feasible;
  • or to receive transport to your final destination, at no additional charge, under equivalent conditions, as soon as possible.

If departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes, in most cases you also have the right to:

  • a meal and refreshments (in proportion to the waiting time);
  • accommodation if you have to spend the night there.

When are you entitled to compensation?

If arrival is delayed by more than one hour, you are entitled to compensation. Depending on the extent of the delay, this compensation may be 25% or 50% of the ticket price.

Please note that you are not entitled to any compensation if the delay is attributable to a natural disaster or exceptional weather conditions.

Information and complaints

If you believe your rights as a ship passenger have not been respected, you may submit a complaint. You must first submit it to the carrier or terminal operator. If you are not satisfied with their response, you may refer the matter to the national enforcement body at the FPS Mobility and Transport at this email address: This body oversees compliance with the European regulations on ship passenger rights.

Which European regulations establish your rights?

The rights of ship passengers are established in:

  • Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004;
  • Regulation (EC) No 392/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents.

Below you can download these legal texts and you can find a summary.

Mobile application

You can use a free smartphone application to download all the information on passenger rights. 
Download the “Passenger rights” app (Google AndroidiPhoneiPadWindows Phone).


Telephone: +32 (0)2 277 33 93

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