The National Transport Authority is the enforcement body in Ireland for consumer rights when travelling by sea and inland waterway.
If your ferry sailing is cancelled or delayed, the ferry company has to inform you of the situation as soon as possible, and no later than 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time. The ferry company is required to give you information about the new departure and arrival times as soon as they are available.
Delays or cancellations
If the ferry has been cancelled or delayed for more than 90 minutes, the ferry operator must offer you a choice between:
- Rerouting to your final destination at the earliest opportunity and at no extra cost, or
- Refund of the ticket price (within seven days)
If the ferry you are travelling on has been cancelled or delayed for more than 90 minutes, the ferry operator is required to offer you free snacks, meals or refreshments, in proportion to the waiting time.
If your sailing is cancelled or delayed and an overnight stay becomes necessary, the ferry operator must provide you with accommodation free of charge, in addition to the snacks, meals or refreshments. The total cost of accommodation is limited to €80 per person per night, for a maximum of three nights.
You are entitled to compensation from the ferry operator equal to 25% of the ticket price if you are delayed in arriving at your final destination by at least:
- One hour on a journey scheduled to last up to four hours
- Two hours on a journey scheduled to last between four and eight hours
- Three hours on a journey scheduled to last between eight and 24 hours, or
- Six hours on a journey scheduled to last more than 24 hours
If the delay exceeds double the times set out above, the compensation will be 50% of the ticket price.
- You will not be entitled to rerouting, refund, assistance, accommodation or compensation if you are travelling on an open ticket on which the time of departure is not specified, unless you hold a travel pass or season ticket
- You will not be entitled to assistance or compensation if you are informed of the cancellation or delay before you buy the ticket, or if the cancellation or delay is caused by your own actions
- You will not be entitled to accommodation or compensation if the ferry operator can prove that the cancellation or delay was caused by weather conditions which would make it unsafe to sail, or by extraordinary circumstance (such as natural disasters or strikes)
Any complaints to be made should be directed initially to the relevant ferry operator (staff at terminals or crew on board).
Each ferry operator must have a complaint handling process in place. For further information, contact your ferry operator.
If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you can contact the National Transport Authority.
You can find more information on the National Transport Authority’s website.