Excursion injuries happen all of time. Whether it is a glacier cruise departing from Vancouver, or a Caribbean ship based out of Miami, ship passengers are offered dozens of shore excursion options that have the potential for injuries when they reach their daily destinations
Horseback riding, zip lining, snorkeling, hiking through the mountains, spelunking, and climbing through ruins are just some of the land activities that are typically offered to cruise ship passengers. And because these destination ship activities are affiliated with a reputable cruise line, a guest might make the reasonable assumption that the excursion is a fun and safe way to pass his or her time on land.
However, some of these activities are inherently dangerous and no amount of corporate oversight—assuming there is any—is going to guarantee someone's safety. Even the best trained horses can be difficult to handle for an inexperienced rider. Zip lines and the associated equipment have to be maintained to ensure that they're able to carry the weight of riders after thousands of uses. Oftentimes, even the vehicle and/or driver transporting you to site of the excursion is a hazard. Furthermore, not every country has an agency like OSHA or the EPA to establish maintenance standards for its facilities.
What exactly is a cruise line's level of responsibility to their passengers who participate in shore excursions? In many cases, the attorneys at the cruise line disavow and deny all responsibility , but that may not be the case. More often than not, the excursion packages are arranged through the ship before the passenger ever gets near the port city where it's going to take place.
Cruise ships will frequently try to alleviate themselves of liability by using language like, "shore excursions are provided by independent contractors," or "cruise line assumes no responsibility for shore excursions." However, just because there is a cursory disclaimer on the ticket, brochure, or sign, does not necessarily mean that the ship's company has legally absolved themselves of liability.
If you are a passenger on a cruise excursion and you're injured, the first thing that you should do is seek immediate medical attention—never delay medical treatment because you're concerned about how it will affect future legal action. However, before you accept any settlement, or sign a paper waiving the cruise line of its legal responsibility, contact an experienced maritime law attorney for legal advice today by filling out quick contact form to