My cruise has been cancelled, what are my rights?

If your cruise operator expects your departure to be cancelled, the operator should inform you as soon as possible. If this is on the day of travel, you should be informed no later than 30 minutes after your scheduled time of departure.

Meals and refreshments
If your cruise is expected to be cancelled, you should be provided with free snacks, meals and refreshments in relation to the waiting time.

Refreshments should be provided even if the reason for the cancellation is bad weather. However, they need only be provided if they are available or can reasonably be supplied.

This will be affected by a number of factors such as the facilities in the port terminal or on board the ship, the time of day and the proximity of the terminal to local amenities.

ABTA tip
The Department for Transport suggests that reasonable refreshments for a delay of over four hours would be water or tea initially, with a snack or light meal. If the delay goes over eight hours, a hot meal should be provided.

Re-routing or reimbursement
When your trip is cancelled, your cruise operator should offer the choice of an alternative or a refund.

When a sailing is cancelled and an overnight stay becomes necessary, your cruise operator should offer you accommodation free of charge, if possible.

This can be on board the ship, or ashore. The cruise operator is also free to look at other options, such asking you to go home, or to make your own arrangements and offering to reimburse your expenses. The cruise operator may limit accommodation costs to €80 (approximately £66) per night per passenger for a maximum of three nights.

However, no overnight accommodation has to be offered, or costs reimbursed, where the cancellation is caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship.

You don’t have an entitlement to fixed amounts of compensation. Your rights to compensation come under the Package Travel Regulations.

Compensation wouldn’t be due where the operator can’t provide the services due to exceptional circumstances or an unforeseen event.

  • Cruise and ferry