Terms and Conditions
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Terms & Conditions for the Carriage of Persons, Non-commercial Vehicles and Goods on Wightlink Ferries
Issued April 2010
These terms and conditions apply to your booking to travel on a Wightlink ferry. Please read them carefully. These conditions supersede all previous editions issued by us and may be modified or amended at any time by us. If you have any query relating to any of these terms and conditions, please contact the Wightlink customer service team on tel. 0871 376 1000 (calls cost 7p per minute plus network extras). When we use any of the terms “we”, “us” or "our”, we are referring to Wightlink Limited and/or to its group companies, as appropriate, together with all employees and agents of those companies. When we use either of the terms “you” or “your”, we are referring to you and all of the people who will travel on a Wightlink ferry under your booking. These terms apply to all such persons. Please therefore ensure that these terms and conditions are brought to their attention. When we use the term “ferry”, we are referring to any catamaran or ship operated by us to provide a ferry service.
Calls maybe recorded for monitoring and training purposes.
1 Applicable laws and limits of liability
1.1 These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the U.K. law applicable to your main residence, or English law if you live outside the U.K..
1.2 An international convention, the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974 (“the Athens Convention”), establishes a regime of liability for damage or loss suffered by passengers carried on seagoing vessels. It applies to our carriage of you and your vehicles and belongings aboard a Wightlink ferry and sets out certain limits on our liability to passengers in respect of death, personal injury and damage to or loss of property. Copies of the Athens Convention are available on request from our offices and/or our customer service team, and it can be viewed from our website.
1.3 Unless you are permitted by the Athens Convention to make a legal claim against us in the courts of another country, you agree that relevant U.K. Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear all disputes or claims arising in connection with these terms and conditions.
2 Your Acceptance of These Terms and Conditions
2.1 If you are making your booking using our website, www.wightlink.co.uk, you must read and accept these terms and conditions by ticking the appropriate tickbox. If you do not accept these terms and conditions, you will not be able to progress with your booking.
2.2 If you have made your booking by telephone, or through an agent, you will have been alerted to the existence of these terms and to the fact that they will apply to your booking. You will also have been told how to access them (on the website, at our offices or by requesting a copy from our customer services team), so that you may inform yourself of their content.
2.3 These terms will apply to the use of all tickets we issue and your acceptance will be on behalf of yourself, your executors, administrators and assignors and also on behalf of and as agents for the persons travelling with you (including children) and also on behalf of the owner of any luggage (including vehicles) brought with you or them. You should therefore read them carefully.
2.4 If you have made a booking pursuant to a special offer or other promotion, other terms particular to that offer or promotion may apply to your booking and journey. Please refer to the relevant promotional materials and, if you have any questions, contact our customer services team.
2.5 While we try and ensure that all prices, times and dates quoted by our website or publications are accurate, errors may occur. If we discover an error in the price or availability of goods or services you have ordered we will inform you as soon as possible and give you the option of reconfirming your booking at the correct time and/or at the correct price or cancelling it. If we are unable to contact you we will treat the booking as cancelled. If the booking is cancelled and you have already paid for the goods or services, you will receive a full refund.
3.1 While every reasonable effort is made to avoid early departures, delay, diversions to other routes or services and cancellations, we do not undertake that services will depart or arrive at the scheduled times or at the scheduled destinations or be operated by the scheduled ferries.
3.2 For operating reasons, ships may have to sail before or after advertised times. For this reason, passengers with vehicles should check in at least 30 minutes, but not more than one hour, before the scheduled sailing time.
3.3 We may vary timetables from time to time but variations will not affect bookings which have already been made.
4 Fitness for Travel
4.1 We reserve the right to refuse to allow any person or luggage (including vehicles) to travel who or which, in our reasonable opinion, is or are unfit to be carried on a ferry for any reason.
4.2 Dogs and other domestic pets accompanying passengers travel free of charge. Please note however, that they must be seated in the desiganted area of the passenger lounge, or on the open sun-deck and can be left in vehicles providing they are well ventilated and have adequate drinking water. However, we reserve the right at all times to refuse to carry or to delay the carriage of live animals, which are carried in any event at the risk of their owner, or if the owner is not the person bringing them aboard a ferry, at the risk of such person. Such person shall be responsible for any loss or damage caused by the animal(s) to the ferry, our equipment and furnishings or the person or property of other passengers and all expenses arising therefrom or of our agents, employees and sub-contractors.
5.1 Children under the age of 5 travel free of charge.
5.2 No children aged 11 or under may travel if unaccompanied by an adult.
6 On Board
6.1 You are asked, for the safety of all passengers and crew, to comply with all instructions and directions given from time to time by Wightlink staff and crew, before during and at the end of your journey, and to ensure that all those travelling under your booking do the same.
6.2 Caravans, motorcaravans and other leisure vehicles must have the domestic LPG supply to their vehicles shut off and adequately secured whilst on board a ferry.
6.3 Subject to the orders of the Master all passengers are required to vacate the vehicle decks.
7.1 You and all of the people who will travel on a ferry under your booking and all your and their luggage (including vehicles) may be subject to a search for, and seizure of, prohibited materials or substances. Passengers refusing to be searched will not be permitted to travel.
7.2 If you intend to carry firearms and explosives as defined by Section 22 (6) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 you must declare to us in advance of embarkation or loading. For the avoidance of doubt, firearms include firearms for recreational purpose (including sporting guns) and should be accompanied by a current valid firearm, shotgun or registered Firearms Dealer's (RFD) certificate and these should be available for inspection by either the booking staff or port security personnel
7.3 Any firearms or explosives, which we, in our absolute discretion, permit to be carried on board the ferry, shall be entrusted to us prior to embarkation or loading, and only returned upon departure from our premises upon arrival.
8 Dangerous/Illegal Articles
Any person who takes or causes to have taken on board or stowed in their luggage (including vehicles) any dangerous goods or any inflammable or dangerous matter or articles which do not conform with any Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Sea or Police regulations shall reimburse us for all costs incurred by us both incidentally and directly consequent upon such action by such person in addition to any penalty imposed by law. We reserve the right to destroy or otherwise dispose of such goods or articles at the cost and expense of such person. Please ask if you would like a copy of our leaflet which gives further details. All dangerous goods must be declared at time of booking and at least 24 hours in advance of travel. Failure to declare dangerous goods in advance of travel and on arrival at the terminal may result in failure of shipment.
9 Bookings and Reservations
You are required to make full payment for your reservation at the time of booking to benefit from the advance booking discounted fares unless you already hold a valid ticket for your date and time of travel.
A £4 administration fee will apply to most vehicle bookings made via the call centre, or £10 when bought at a ticket office without an advance reservation.
10 Fares, Tickets and Check-In
10.1 Subject to validity, tickets will be accepted for the date and service for which reservations have been made. When tickets are issued on an “open” basis, reservations will be made on application subject to availability of space but the journey must be completed within 90 days of the original outward sailing date. Any amendment and/or excess charge will be payable at the time the booking is reconfirmed.
10.2 Only the person for whom a ticket was purchased may use the ticket. It cannot be resold or passed on to any other person.
10.3 Where a photocard is required to buy tickets, season tickets, books of tickets or other multi-journey tickets, that ticket is not valid unless it is produced together with the photocard to which it relates, (bearing a true likeness of the holder and a serial number corresponding with the one on the ticket) at the request of ticket collecting staff.
10.4 Any ticket remains valid for travel for the validity period of that fare purchased irrespective of any booking made. If you miss a sailing you booked, you will still be able to travel under that ticket on the next available sailing (though we will of course give priority to those who have booked each sailing).
10.5 Tickets and season tickets remain our property and must be given up for inspection or collection on demand by our employees or nominated agents.
10.6 All fares appearing in our brochures or otherwise advertised are subject to availability. We also reserve the right to apply a surcharge to any of our fares on the date you pay for your ticket, for example a fuel or insurance surcharge. We will notify you of any such surcharges before you purchase any ticket.
10.7 Fares vary according to the length of your vehicle. Vehicle lengths, for calculating fares, are taken as the actual length of the vehicle (and any trailer or similar) as measured at the time of shipment. The overall height limits of vehicles, including laden roof rack and trailers, must not exceed 4.06m, unless we have agreed otherwise in writing prior to shipment. Trailers rates are only available to non motorised vehicles, motorised vehicles (such as cars) which are towed behind another vehicle are charged at the appropriate standard vehicle rate. You must declare the height of your vehicle and any roof-top items, including, but not limited to, aerials, cycle racks, luggage and sporting equipment, when the height is 2.26m or above. Failure to declare may result in your being unable to travel on your booked sailing.
10.8 Excess fares may be payable when foot passengers holding return tickets return by another route.
10.9 Tesco Clubcard vouchers will not be accepted as payment on promotional or Super Saver fares.
11 Boarding and Departure
11.1 If a driver is absent from his vehicle and we consider that any damage or delay to the ferry or luggage may occur due to such absence at the time such vehicle is required to be loaded on or discharged from the ferry, we may, using reasonable force if necessary (without notice to such driver) load or discharge such vehicle on or from the ferry.
11.2 Unless the Athens Convention applies mandatorily, we shall not be liable for any loss of or damage, injury or delay to the vehicle, luggage or goods nor for any consequential damage howsoever caused during loading or discharge by us pursuant to Clause 11.1 above, save where such loss, damage, injury or delay is caused wilfully by us or by our negligence. We will require you to reimburse us for all payments we make in respect of claims, demands, costs and expenses made against or incurred by us in respect of any personal injury (fatal or otherwise) or damage to or loss of property arising from or caused by any defect in or failure of any vehicle during loading or discharge by us pursuant to Clause 8.1.1 above save where such loss, damage, injury, or delay is caused wilfully by us or by our negligence.
11.3 Claims will only be considered if, in the event of damage to a vehicle or its contents, a damage report shall be prepared and signed by our authorised representative at the time of the incident.
12 Our Liability
12.1 The Athens Convention applies to your travel and that of any other passengers to whom your booking applies and operates to limit our liability to you and any such person(s) during a “period of carriage”, which is defined by the Athens Convention. Our liability to you and to any other passengers travelling under your booking in respect of any:
12.1.1 Death or personal injury; and
12.1.2 Loss of or damage to property which occurs during this “period of carriage” shall in no event exceed the appropriate limits set out in the Athens Convention, as such limits may apply from time to time in England and Wales. The “period of carriage” varies, depending on whether it is being applied to you, to the relevant other passenger(s), or to luggage or vehicles.
12.2 Where the Athens convention applies, any action arising out of the death of or personal injury to a passenger or for loss of or damage to luggage (including vehicles) shall be time-barred after a period of two years. The limitation period shall be calculated in accordance with Article 16(2) of the Athens Convention.
12.3 Our liability in respect of any loss, damage, delay or detention of or to you or any other passengers travelling under your booking, or to your or their luggage (including vehicles) which occurs outside this “period of carriage” shall also in no event exceed the limits set out in articles 7 and 8 of the Athens Convention, as such limits may apply from time to time in England and Wales. The limits of our liability set out in this clause 12.3 above shall apply whether or not the loss, damage, delay or detention is a result of our negligence or the negligence of our servants, agents or sub-contractors.
12.4 The employees of us and our sub-contractors shall not be liable to you for any loss arising from any act, neglect or default by them while acting in the course of their employment or in providing services. They will benefit from all legal defences and protections available to us and we act on their behalf in relation to this.
12.5 These limits on our liability shall apply to any action against us whether the action is founded in contract or tort.
13 Lost and Abandoned Property
13.1 We will not be liable for loss of or damage to or delay or misdelivery affecting any luggage (including vehicles) or goods left on our terminals, premises or ferries unless such loss, damage, delay or misdelivery is a result of our negligence.
13.2 We reserve the right to make a reasonable charge for the restoration of such property to its owner unless such loss, damage, delay or misdelivery is as a result of our negligence.
13.3 Any property not claimed within 3 months of being so left will be regarded as abandoned and may be sold or otherwise disposed of by us at our discretion and we shall have the right to retain any proceeds of sale. Any luggage or goods of a perishable nature or which in our opinion may cause injury or inconvenience may be disposed of earlier than 3 months at our absolute discretion.
14 Alterations to Bookings, Cancellation Charges and Refund Procedure
14.1 All alterations requested by you to a booking or reservation are subject to availability. For "Standard" fares we will not charge you for any alteration though additional fare may be payable. For other ticket types the first alteration to a booking will incur no charge. Any second or subsequent changes will incur a £5 administration charge. If the change results in an excess payment that is greater than £5 the admin charge will be waived. When amending a booking, but no alternative date can be specified, the reservation will stay 'open' for subsequent confirmation, but the journey must be completed within 90 days of the original outward sailing date. Any amendment and/or excess charge will be payable at the time the booking is reconfirmed. All amendments to bookings must be made in advance of the booked travel dates/times, failure to amend a booking in advance of travel will results in the booking being cancelled, if it has not been travelled on.
14.2 Cancellation by You – If you wish to cancel your booking or reservation after we have confirmed it, you should tell us as soon as possible and in any case at least 24 hours before the date of departure. You should contact us by telephoning the Call Centre on 0871 376 1000 (calls cost 7p per minute plus network extras); via this website or by writing to Wightlink. If you cancel, we will refund the amounts you have paid but reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee on the scale set out below:
|Booked online||Booked by telephone or in person|
|Economy or promotional tickets||No refund||No refund|
Above fees refer to a return booking on one ticket type.
Please note: Refunds will not be considered on bookings that a customer has failed to cancel (or advised of non travel) within 24 hours of departure; on part-used tickets; or on "Economy"/special offers/promotional fares.
14.3 Any refunds made on unused journeys from books of 10, 20 and 30 tickets, including "Multilink" tickets, will be calculated at 75% of the value of unused tickets, no refunds will be made on books of 5 tickets. Claims must be made within 30 days from the expiry date.
14.4 Season Tickets – Annual Season Tickets will be refunded to the value of complete unused months, less one month. 3 Month Season Tickets will be refunded to the value of complete unused weeks, less three weeks. No refunds will be given on weekly or 1 Month tickets.
14.5 Refund Applications – All requests for refunds must be made in writing. Tickets should be sent to: Refunds Department, Wightlink Ltd, Gunwharf Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2LA.
14.6 Lost, Stolen, Damaged or Destroyed Tickets – Wightlink Limited cannot be held responsible for any tickets that are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed and no refunds will be made or replacement tickets be issued in respect of these. You are advised to contact your insurance company to check whether any policy you hold will cover lost, stolen or destroyed tickets, and if not to make provision to include them.
14.7 Tickets purchased through business to business contracts will be subject to payment, amendment and cancellation terms as specified in the relevant documentation and contract.
15 Carriage on other Carriers
In the event that you purchase a ticket from us for, or to the extent your journey incorporates, travel on another mode of transport, such travel will be subject to the regulations and conditions of carriage of the carrier or carriers involved. Wightlink Limited shall issue any ticket issued for or used on such other transport as agents only for the carrier or carriers concerned.
16.1 No failure by us to enforce or rely upon any of these terms and conditions shall be constructed as a waiver or shall affect our right to enforce any other terms and condition(s).
16.2 If any of these conditions shall become or be declared invalid or unenforceable by any tribunal or court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining Conditions all of which shall remain in full force and effect.
16.3 Our employees and agents have no authority to waive or vary any of these conditions.
16.4 We may contract with any other person at our absolute discretion for the whole or any part of the carriage of you or your luggage (including vehicles) pursuant to these terms and conditions.
17 EU Legislation
Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway becomes applicable on 18 December 2012.
A summary of provisions concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway can be found below.
Wightlink works hard to run a reliable service. When problems do occur, we do our best to minimise the impact on our customers. Wightlink have created a 'Looking After You' leaflet which sets out your rights in the event of a delayed or cancelled sailing, and how Wightlink will assist or compensate you.
Wightlink have created an 'Ensuring Safe Accessible Travel' leaflet which explains how Wightlink will help our disabled passengers, and those with reduced mobility, to enjoy a safe journey with us.
18 Promotional Terms & Conditions
All bookings are subject to our Terms & Conditions, the following Promotional Terms and Conditions and any other terms specific to the individual offer: 'Car" tickets are valid for a car or motorised caravan up to 6m long and 2.25m high, not valid for light vans or minibuses, supplements apply for pick-up trucks and crew-cabs. Bookings can be made over a limited period only and the offer will be withdrawn when booking numbers have been reached. Subject to availability, promotional tickets are limited with limited numbers available on each sailing. Payment by credit/debit card at the time of booking. Applies to new bookings only, no refunds will be given in retrospect. The first alteration to a booking will incur no charge. Any second or subsequent changes will incur a £5 administration charge. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion and is not available to account customers. Cancelled bookings are non-refundable. No upgrades possible. On day return tickets travel must be complete by 2359 hours the same day unless otherwise stated and short break tickets are valid for 5 days/4 nights away. Unless otherwise stated, tickets are not valid for one-way journeys, surcharge to single fare may be payable if an inward journey is not undertaken. When amending a promotional or Super Saver booking, but no alternative date can be specified, the reservation will stay 'open' for the period that the promotion is valid in for subsequent confirmation. Any amendment and/or excess charge will be payable at the time the booking is reconfirmed. Tesco Clubcard vouchers will not be accepted as payment on promotional or Super Saver fares.
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