Travels and transportation

Your rights when travelling by ferry or ship

See what rights you have as a passenger when you travel by ship or ferry and your voyage is delayed or cancelled. Read also about your rights when travelling as a person with a disability or reduced mobility, by ferry or ship.

The transport company is obliged to inform you of any delays or disruptions as soon as the information is available.

If your departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes, you must be offered free snacks, meals and refreshments in accordance with your waiting time. If necessary, you must also be offered accommodation for up to three nights, and transport to and from this.

However, the transport company is not obliged to arrange accommodation if the trip is cancelled or delayed due to severe weather conditions that endanger safe navigation.

Your rights if a ferry or ship voyage is cancelled

If your trip is cancelled or delayed for more than 90 minutes, the operator must offer you the choice between:

  • A refund of the full fare and a return trip to your first embarkation point
  • Rebooking your trip to the final destination at the first opportunity (at no cost to you).

You may be entitled to compensation in the event of delay

You are also entitled to compensation if your arrival is delayed. The compensation is 25 or 50 per cent of the ticket price, depending on the length of the delay.

However, you are not entitled to compensation if:

  • you have an open ticket
  • you were informed of the delay before purchasing the ticket
  • the reason for the delay was within your control
  • weather conditions endanger safe navigation
  • the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances.

The ticket price reduction cannot be reduced by deducting transaction expenses, such as fees or telephone or postage expenses. Transport companies may set a minimum limit, below which no compensation will be paid. This limit may not exceed EUR 6.00.

Your rights as a person with a disability or reduced mobility

If you are disabled or have reduced mobility, you are protected from discrimination. This means that you have the same right as everyone else to travel without additional restrictions or costs.

You should inform the transport company of any individual needs at least 48 hours before departure. The transport company and tour operator must inform you about access conditions and facilities on board.

You can only be denied travel if it is physically impossible to give you access due to the size of the ferry or ship, or if it would breach applicable health and safety requirements. If you are denied access for the above reasons, you may be entitled to choose between rerouting or a refund. You may also be entitled to compensation in the event of delay.

The transport company and terminal staff must assist you when you board and when you disembark at your final destination. However, the transport company may require that you be accompanied by someone on board. This person travels for free.

If a disability aid is lost or damaged due to the handling of the transport company or terminal operator, you are entitled to full compensation.

If the general conditions for contractual or non-contractual compensation are met, you can seek compensation for your loss. It may also be possible to receive compensation if it is relevant in relation to a delay.

Your right to compensation depends on several factors, and is always determined in the given case. It is therefore a good idea to get advice on your specific options if you want to claim compensation.

How to lodge a complaint about travel by ferry or ship

  • Contact the company that issued the ticket – whether the voyage took place or not
  • Briefly summarise your complaint and provide relevant information, including dates, booking references and details of all the people you have spoken to
  • Keep a copy of your documents and allow a reasonable time limit for your claim to be looked at.

Get help lodging a complaint about travel by ferry or ship

You must lodge a complaint with the company from which you bought the ticket. If you are not satisfied with the response from the company, you can get help with a complaint case, depending on your situation.

If the case concerns denied boarding, cancellation or delay, you can submit a complaint to the Center for Klageløsning (centre for complaint resolution). 

Issues related to access conditions at the port or denied boarding for a disabled person or their companion are handled by the Danish Maritime Authority.

You can also contact European Consumer Centre Denmark for free legal advice on your complaint. See contact information here.

Enclose copies of relevant correspondence when you submit a complaint.

If you want to cancel a ferry ticket purchase

There is no 14-day cooling-off period for purchased ferry tickets, even if they were purchased online.

Read the ferry company’s terms and conditions before booking tickets. See what the ferry company writes about rebooking/cancellation.

I have to sail by ferry as part of a package tour, but the ferry was cancelled

If a change in your package tour – such as a cancellation or rebooking – does not suit you, you must contact the travel agency as soon as possible and lodge a complaint. You can also lodge a complaint with the transport company. It is a good idea to lodge your complaint in writing and as soon as possible, so you can document that you have made a complaint.

The EU Package Travel Directive gives you a number of rights when you buy a package tour from a travel agency or other tour operator.

The tour operator is obliged to inform you of any changes in the package tour. If any significant changes occur after you purchased a package tour, such as a new ferry departure time, you may be entitled to cancel the trip without paying a cancellation fee.

You can also choose to accept another package tour offer, at an appropriate price discount. If minor changes are made, you may be entitled to a price reduction.

Read more about your rights when buying package tours here.