Escaping the office for a few days or a few weeks at sea carries great appeal. Those who choose to go on a vacation cruise, be it located in Alaskan waters, the Caribbean or elsewhere, will spend thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands, for a luxurious, carefree break from the rigors of daily life. But carefree does not mean danger-free, and vacationers have had their fun cut short after sustaining serious injury or even death on cruises.
On a typical vacation, such as at a hotel or resort, an injury or death could be the liability of the resort, and the case will be subject to the laws of the area in which the resort is located. If you slip and break your leg by a Los Angeles swimming pool, a California court would hear the case. However, there is no such thing as “Ocean Court” for at-sea injuries. These cases are subject to special laws called Maritime or Admiralty Laws. Much of Maritime Law evolved from centuries of seafaring tradition, similar to the way Common Law evolved from hundreds of years of community practices. In addition to regulating vacationers at sea, merchant marines traveling in international waters or workers on cruise ships are protected, and also limited, by Maritime Law.
Restrictions on Rights
These restrictions on your rights are important to remember when traveling by ship, whether for work or pleasure. Continue reading