Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

9 7 Isle of Innisfree crosses the English Channel from Dover, UK, to Calais, France, up to 10 times a day “The effect of this (in the absence of interpretative guidelines, a rewrite of the regulations or the failure of the CJEU to recognise this) is that every ferry operator with sailings to and from the EU is ‘at risk’ from the moment a booking is taken. This means that if you open bookings for 2025 now, you can never modify your scheduled sailing time without being open and/or liable for re-routing costs under Article 18 and/or compensation claims (if your passengers travel later) under Article 19.” According to Sheen, this is a “frankly ridiculous situation”. He says: “We believe that there should be consistent underlying principles within the EU regulatory rule set that is fair, equitable and – dare I say it – comparable between the competing modes. We should not have this huge anomaly whereby airlines can cancel with no compensation to consumers with two weeks’ notice, while the maritime sector cannot cancel (without compensation exposure), no matter what the notice period is.” The regulation is due for public consultation in the second quarter of 2022. “I would urge everyone reading Cruise & Ferry Review to get engaged either with Interferry and/or European Community Shipowners’ Association to affect some change to this incredible situation,” says Sheen. “Let’s not miss the opportunity to work together to maximise the potential of this great maritime sector that we are all proud to be part of.” CFR “ Ferry travel offers passengers a safer way to get away”