Summary: The European regulation on the rights of passengers travelling by sea and inland waterway , which came into effect in December 2012, includes provisions on assistance for people with disabilities and reduced mobility travelling on waterborne transport anywhere in the European Union.
This regulation applies to vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers and operated by a European Union Carrier. In general, the rights include non-discrimination and assistance for people with disabilities and people with reduced mobility at ports, harbours and on board ships, provision of information in accessible formats to passengers before and during their journey, assistance to all passengers in the event of delays and in certain circumstances compensation for delays and cancellation of journeys. Provision is also made for the handling of complaints and general rules on enforcement. The Regulation places certain obligations on ship operators, port or terminal operators, travel agents and tour operators.
Ferries and Ferry Ports
If you are travelling with a ferry company that travels to and from Ireland and you need assistance with boarding and disembarking, you should give the ferry company as much notice as possible of your need for assistance so that they can put arrangements in place.
Ferry Port and Harbour Companies
A number of private vessel operators provide public transport and tourist services in Ireland, which are listed below. Please contact the operator directly to find out what accessibility provisions they have put in place.
Making a Complaint
If you consider that your rights as a passenger have not been respected, you should first bring the matter to the attention of ferry or boat operator. If you are unsatisfied with their response, you may lodge a complaint with the National Transport Authority who is the national enforcement body for the regulation.