General Conditions of Carriage (GCC)
§ 1 – General Provisions
- These General Conditions of Carriage (GCC) for the shipping company cited on the previous page, hereinafter referred to as the Carrier, have the legal status of general business conditions and apply to scheduled passenger services, cargo services, special services and tourist services conducted by the Carrier in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea within the scope of the transport of persons, cabin luggage, other luggage, freight and vehicles.
- The GCC are communicated via notice boards in business locations or via distribution and form part of the contract of carriage in their entirety. They apply equally to free and chargeable carriage.
- The passenger accepts the GCC as binding upon acceptance of the travel ticket, and at the latest upon embarkation. Any conflicting conditions of the Carrier’s contractual partners are expressly refuted and are not applicable at any time, unless agreement regarding full or partial non-application of the GCC is reached in written form, before the conclusion of the contract between the contracting parties.
- The Carrier reserves the right to make amendments or additions to the GCC. These shall enter into force at the time of their communication via notice boards in business locations or via distribution.
§ 2 – Contract of Carriage
- The contract of carriage enters into force upon payment of the tariff and/or issuance of a SEPA mandate/SEPA business mandate in the event of a direct debit payment and upon issuance of the travel ticket. The right of carriage applies solely to the service stated on the ticket booked. If the ticket holder is excluded from carriage due to a lack of space, he/she will be reimbursed the paid ticket price in full, if the Carrier is unable to offer any suitable alternative to the ticket holder. Any further claims are excluded.
- The correspondingly applicable tariffs for persons and freight are available for inspection in the shipping company’s business locations. Reductions, if provided for by the tariff, are only granted if they are agreed prior to the start of the service. No further reductions are granted to reduced ticket prices or freight rates. Tariffs are not applicable to special services. Fees for special services are agreed separately. Carriage fees should be paid before the start of the service. Any deviation from this is only possible in exceptional circumstances and after prior agreement from the Carrier’s senior executives. Any payment term granted does not establish a legal entitlement for the traveller or shipper in relation to future carriage.
- Travellers and their hand luggage, and, if the appropriate ship is employed, any other luggage, cabin luggage, freight and vehicles, are only carried if a contract of carriage has been concluded in advance.
- At the discretion of ship management or any other person authorised by the Carrier, persons who
1. due to general or infectious disease, ailment or for any other reason are unable to
travel or threaten the health of other travellers,
2. due to personal circumstances rely on accompaniment, yet are travelling without
3. have booked passage or freight transport based on false information,
are excluded from carriage.
If such persons are found on board, they must leave the ship at the next port by order of ship management or any other person authorised by the Carrier. They have no right to reimbursement of the ticket price.
- The Carrier may refuse carriage of animals due to the risk of danger to the safety of persons or to the ship. Otherwise, animals are carried in exchange for payment in accordance with the correspondingly applicable tariffs, provided that
1. they can also be taken on land, according to the official or legal provisions of the
destination, whereby the owner of the animal must ensure such provisions are
2. the animal does not disturb travellers,
3. the animal represents no danger and is properly monitored by the animal owner.
Ship management or any other person thereby authorised by the Carrier has the right to exclude animals from carriage in accordance with points 1) to 3). Any potential damage and/or costs arising as a result of contamination of or damage to the ship and its fixtures and fittings as well as contamination of or damage to other persons on board or luggage are assumed by the animal owner. There is no obligation to carry animals, particularly not on tourist excursion services or other unscheduled services. Animals must not be placed on seats.
- Weapons, flammable, caustic and other dangerous items, items whose ownership is prohibited or liable to prosecution and any other items which are inappropriate for carriage cannot be carried as hand luggage, cabin luggage, luggage in or on vehicles or as freight. If such items are first discovered during the trip, ship management can take these into custody and remove these from the ship at the next port at the owner’s expense.
- The contract of carriage does not constitute an entitlement to a seat. Space is provided in the lounges for guests who wish to consume food and drink.
- In the event of exclusion from carriage in accordance with paras. 4) to 6), the passenger or shipper has no right to reimbursement of the fee already paid for travel or freight or to compensation for any direct or indirect damage arising as a result of the exclusion of the passenger or item from carriage. Furthermore, the passenger or shipper is liable for all consequences and damages arising from paras. 4) to 6) in their entirety.
§ 3 – Payment
- The passenger may issue the shipping company with a SEPA mandate/SEPA business mandate. In the event of SEPA direct debit payments, advance notification must be sent at least three days before booking. The passenger shall ensure that there are sufficient funds to cover the account. The passenger assumes any costs arising from non-payment or from reversal of the direct debit, insofar as non-payment or reversal has not been caused by the shipping company.
- Cashless payments equal to a net total invoice amount of less than EUR 10.00 per invoice are subject to an additional processing fee of EUR 2.50 per invoice.
- A postage and processing fee of EUR 4.00 applies to postal delivery of tickets. Online tickets are sent via email and no fee applies.
§ 4 – Cancellation
- The traveller or shipper may make amendments to the date or time of a service before the start of the service via the hotline on tel. 0461 864-44, indicating the booking number. When making an amendment to the booking, the traveller or shipper must specify an alternative travel time. Transfer to this travel time is arranged on condition that a carriage service can be provided by the shipping company at the desired alternative travel time and that the necessary capacity is available at the desired time. A processing fee of EUR 10.00 is applied to each booking amendment. Services in the past are excluded from any amendment.
- The traveller or shipper is entitled to cancel the contract of carriage up until the start of the service. Cancellation does not need to be made in a specific form; it can be verbal or in writing.
1. Cancellation by the Traveller
If the traveller cancels up to 7 days before the scheduled start of the service, he/she will be reimbursed the full carriage payment, if payment has been received in advance. If cancellation is made less than 7 days before the scheduled start of the service, yet prior to 3 days before the start of the service,
aa.) the traveller will be reimbursed 50% of the carriage payment, if payment has been received in advance,
ab.) the traveller will be charged 50% of the carriage payment, if no advance payment has been received.
If cancellation is made from 3 days before the start of the service, the shipping company reserves the right to demand the full ticket price from the traveller.
2. Cancellation by the Shipper
If the shipper cancels a space reservation on a cargo service or a ferry up to 3 working days before the start of travel, he/she will receive full reimbursement of the carriage payment, if full payment has been received in advance.
If cancellation is made between 3 days and 1 working day before the planned departure time,
ba.) the shipper will be reimbursed 50% of the carriage payment, if payment has been received in advance.
bb.) the shipper will be charged 50% of the carriage payment, if no advance payment has been received.
If cancellation occurs later than 1 working day before the planned departure time,
bc.) the shipper will not be entitled to partial or full reimbursement of the carriage payment, if payment has been received in advance,
bd.) the shipper will be charged the carriage payment in full, if no advance payment has been received. Access to the notification is crucial for the cancellation notification by the traveller or shipper.
- Up until the start of the service, the Carrier is entitled to cancel, amend the timetables, withdraw or interrupt services, if the execution of the service is severely compromised due to unforeseeable and exceptional circumstances, such as malfunction of harbour facilities, radioactive contamination, official procedures, unrest, strikes, epidemics, disasters, unforeseeable ship and machine damage and similar or if these depend on special wind and weather conditions in the North Sea ferry traffic.
- If the Carrier cancels the contract of carriage, it will reimburse the traveller or shipper the full carriage payment, if payment has been received in advance.
- Up until the start of the service, the traveller can be represented by another person. Any additional costs arising therefrom are assumed by the customer. The Carrier has the right to object to any amendment to the named person, if this person does not fulfil the requirements in accordance with § 2 para. 4) or violates official orders or decrees.
- In all cases, the passenger has the right to prove to the Carrier that damage is less or that it has not occurred at all.
§ 5 – Tickets
- Tickets are transferable up until the start of the service, insofar as they are not made out in a specific name or have not been purchased at a special tariff. If tickets state a specific date, these are valid only for the named service.
- Tickets for passengers, whose residence is situated on one of the islands served by the Carrier, are categorically non-transferable, insofar as they are a special tariff.
- The traveller must show his/her ticket on demand at any time to a person authorised by the Carrier. Every passenger is obliged to show a ticket to the inspector unprompted when they board.
- Ticket stubs must only be detached and validated by a person authorised by the Carrier. Tickets, whose stub has been detached or validated by the traveller through his/her own fault before inspection by the person authorised by the Carrier, are invalid and are not liable for compensation. The same applies to lost tickets.
- If a traveller is found without a valid ticket, an increased carriage payment of EUR 30.00 must be paid. If twice the value of the original carriage payment due is more than EUR 30.00, this amount must be paid. For the calculation of the original carriage payment due, it is presumed, unless proof to the contrary is provided, that the passenger travelling without a valid ticket came on board at the first port of departure with the intention of travelling from the first port of departure to the final destination. The burden of proof falls on the traveller. In all cases, an additional processing fee of EUR 8.00 must be paid.
- The shipping company reserves the right to amend prices due to general increases in the cost of fuel.
- If more than 4 months have elapsed between the conclusion of the passage contract and the start of the passage, the Carrier is authorised to alter the passage price to the extent to which price factors relating to the passage concerned, such as port fees, wages and salaries, fuel, interest rates, exchange rates, etc. over which the Carrier has no influence, have changed in the meantime. The passenger must be informed promptly of the price increase. The breakdown of the price increase must be made transparent to the passenger on request. The passenger remains at liberty to provide evidence of a lower or no price increase.
§ 6 – Obligations of the Carrier
- The Carrier undertakes to carry out the service with a vessel which meets the safety regulations.
- The Carrier undertakes to carry the traveller and his/her standard hand luggage. This includes handbags, briefcases, travel bags or similar containers, whose weight does not exceed 8.0 kg per item of luggage.
- Larger items of luggage, bulky items, freight of any kind and vehicles, including the luggage found in or on vehicles, are only transported in accordance with the tariff valid for the travel area in exchange for payment of the fee corresponding to this tariff, insofar as the vessels used in this travel area are suited to the carriage of such items. The applicable freight tariffs are communicated on notice boards or can be requested at the Carrier’s business and sales locations.
- There is no carriage or shipping entitlement for the carriage of freight and vehicles in the event of exhausted capacities, unless the Carrier has confirmed a firm booking for a specific departure to the shipper.
- The carriage of dangerous items is categorically excluded. Upon prior application by the traveller or shipper, the Carrier may consent on a case by case basis to transport dangerous items without prejudice, if the shipper fulfils its obligations according to § 7 para. 5).
- The Carrier is not obliged to execute the service with a specific vessel. It may use any of its own or chartered vessels and is further authorised to replace the designated vessel with another vessel up until the start of the service.
- The Carrier assumes no responsibility for adherence to the applicable timetable. The scheduled dates of departure as well as arrival and departure times are non-binding. Timetable alterations, breaks in the journey, service cancellations, changes of vessel, deviations in the itinerary, alterations to the departure point or destination point as a result of weather or tidal conditions, technical malfunctions as well as changes or malfunctions due to circumstances not attributable to the Carrier, require no prior notification from the Carrier.
- There is no entitlement to reimbursement of the ticket price in the event of any such incident detailed in para. 6) and 8). The passenger is entitled to reimbursement of the paid ticket price solely in the event of complete service cancellation.
- Under EU decree, the Carrier is obliged to take a passenger register. This means that all passengers must be registered by forename and surname, age range and gender.
§ 7 – Obligations of the Traveller
- The traveller undertakes to follow all orders relating to safety and order on board given by ship management or by any other person thereby authorised by the Carrier. The traveller also undertakes to do everything reasonably expected of him/her in the event of any disruptions arising, to contribute to remedy any disruption and to keep any resultant damage as low as possible.
- The traveller is prohibited from contaminating or damaging vessel spaces, fixtures and fittings or objects, operate safety devices improperly or damage or throw items of any kind from the vessel. Smoking prohibitions must be strictly observed.
- It is up to the traveller to come on board at least 15 minutes before the start of the service in accordance with the correspondingly applicable timetable. Groups of travellers are asked to report at least 30 minutes before the departure of the vessel via their leader at the Carrier’s local business location or directly on board. Notification of the readiness of freight or vehicles to be loaded must be received at least 30 minutes before departure.
- The traveller undertakes to ensure compliance with all official and legal provisions for the destination port relating to his/her person and in particular to carry all required documentation.
- For the transport of freight and/or vehicles, the contractor/shipper must produce all documentation required in accordance with the correspondingly applicable tariff. In particular, the contractor/shipper must comply with its duty of disclosure to the Carrier for the transport of dangerous items in regard to the proper declaration and marking of dangerous items. The legal provisions apply.
- Personal luggage that is not officially declared to the Carrier, paid for and handed over for safekeeping must be stored on board the ship, kept safe and monitored by the traveller. The Carrier assumes no responsibility for the care of personal luggage.
§ 8 – Exclusion
- If the passenger does not fulfil his/her obligations in accordance with § 7 paras. 1) to 6), irrespective of a warning given by ship management or other person authorised by the Carrier, ship management may exclude him/her from further services.
- If the traveller is excluded in accordance with § 7 paras. 1) and 2), he/she is not entitled to reimbursement of the carriage payment. If exclusion occurs in accordance with § 7 paras. 4) and 5), as a result of non-compliance with the provisions of the destination and/or as a result of a missing or false declaration of freight, the traveller and/or shipper is not entitled to reimbursement of carriage payment. If exclusion occurs intentionally or as a result of gross negligence, an additional processing fee of up to EUR 25.00 may be charged.
- If any – direct or indirect – damage arises to the Carrier through the non-observance, non-compliance or infringement of orders given by ship management, of ship regulations, of safety regulations or of instructions given by any person authorised by the Carrier, as a result of one or more infringements of obligations by the traveller or shipper in accordance with § 7, the traveller or shipper can be held responsible for the damage caused in its entirety.
§ 9 – Liability
- The Carrier is liable for damage which arises during the journey through
1. the death or bodily injury of a traveller,
2. the loss or damage of a vehicle, including the luggage found in or on it,
3. the loss or damage of travel luggage,
4. the loss or damage of any other luggage,
if the incident causing the damage is as a result of a fault of the Carrier or its employees or authorised representatives acting within the scope of their employment, or, insofar as the Carrier employs a chartered ship, as a result of a fault of the charterer or the charterers’ employees or authorised representatives acting within the scope of their employment.
- In the events of para. 1), the Carrier’s liability is limited in regard to each traveller and to each carriage in accordance with the maximum liability limits prescribed by law.
- In the events of para. 1 b.), the Carrier is liable only after deduction of an amount of EUR 306.78 and in the events of para. 1 c.) and d.) only after deduction of an amount of EUR 30.68.
- The Carrier is not liable for the loss or damage of money, jewellery or other valuables, which are contained in the luggage which the traveller carries with him/her or which is found in any other place on board.
- The Carrier is also not liable for accidents, seizure, material damage, weather influence, delays or other irregularities which arise not owing to its fault.
- The Carrier is only liable for damage or loss as a result of the lack of seaworthiness of the vessel, if it or its employees within the scope of their employment have not taken the appropriate due diligence in regard to maintenance of the seaworthiness of the vessel and adherence to prescribed manning, equipment and outfitting of the vessel.
- The Carrier is not liable for disruptions to services, which are provided as an external service and which are recognisable as an external service, e.g. round trips at or in the destination, museum visits, performances, etc.
- The liability of the Carrier in the event of damage or loss of freight is limited according to § 660 HGB (German Commercial Code).
- In all other cases, the Carrier is liable
1. to an agent who concludes a carriage contract within the framework of commerce,
only in the event of the wilful intent or gross negligence of the Carrier or its legal
representatives or management personnel,
2. to other travellers only in the event of the wilful intent or gross negligence of the
Carrier or its employees or authorised representatives within the scope of their
employment. Liability for minor negligence is excluded; however, this does not apply
to damage which arises as a result of injury to life, body or health.
- The burden of proof that the incident, which has caused damage or loss, occurred during carriage and the burden of proof for the scope of damage or loss are assumed by the traveller or shipper.
- The Carrier reserves the right to limit total liability depending on the damage incident.
- The traveller or shipper is liable to the Carrier and its employees or authorised representatives within the scope of their employment for all damage for which he/she/it is responsible, in particular also in accordance with § 7.
§ 10 – Notification of Damage
- The traveller must notify the Carrier or one of the persons authorised by it, in writing, of
1. any externally visible damage of luggage, cabin luggage, vehicles and the luggage
found in or on vehicles, which is in the custody of the traveller during the service, at the
latest on leaving the vessel at the arrival destination,
2. any not externally visible damage of luggage and vehicles including the luggage found
on or in vehicles within 15 days after the date of disembarkation or the return or after
the date on which the return should have taken place.
In the event of 1 b), the traveller must provide proof of the carriage service having taken place.
- If the traveller does not comply with para. 1, it is presumed, until proof is provided otherwise, that he/she has recovered his/her luggage undamaged.
- Written notification by the traveller is not required, if the condition of the luggage and the vehicle, including the luggage found on or in it, is checked jointly by the traveller and the skipper or his/her representative upon receipt of notification and this is determined in a record drafted by both together.
- In the event of damage of freight, the recipient of freight must provide written notification to the Carrier in accordance with §§ 611, 612 HGB (German Commercial Code).
§ 11 – Limitation
- The right to claim damage compensation as a result of the death or bodily injury of a traveller or of the loss or damage of travel luggage and other luggage or vehicles, including the luggage found on or in vehicles, lapses after a period of 2 years.
- The period of limitation starts,
1. in the event of bodily injury, on the date of disembarkation by the traveller,
2. in the event of death during the service, on the date on which the traveller was expected
to disembark, and, in the event of bodily injury during the service when this has led to
the death of the traveller after disembarkation, on the date of death, however, this
period cannot exceed 30 years after the date of disembarkation,
3. in the event of loss or damage of luggage or vehicle, including luggage found in or on the
vehicle, on the date of disembarkation or on the date on which disembarkation was
expected to occur, whichever is the later,
4. in the event of loss of or damage to freight, in accordance with the provisions of § 901
HGB (German Commercial Code).
The place of jurisdiction for any legal disputes arising from the carriage of persons, travel goods and freight is the place where the Carrier has its head office. German law applies.