The European Commission recently published the results of a Eurobarometer survey on the quality and safety of maritime and river transport. The main findings reveal that 68% of Europeans citizens think that cruise ships and passenger ferries are safe. The feeling of safety increases when passengers are reassured about crew competence and the presence of life-saving appliances, as pointed out by 33% of respondents.

However, Europeans think that ticket prices are the most serious problem affecting sea or river transport (18%) in the EU, followed by water pollution and the lack of links between destinations (both 15%), and lack of frequent services (14%).

Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: “Europe needs a top-quality maritime sector that can compete internationally, as it’s a key pillar of the European economy. Strengthening maritime transport and its quality is indeed the basis for a strong and flexible European economy. The European Shipping Week will be an excellent opportunity for us to address the challenges we are facing, and promote competitiveness and sustainability, through better regulation at EU level.”

Unsurprisingly, the most important factors when planning this type of journey include the age of the ship and the price of the trip (both 83%). Also the availability of destinations at the closest port (78%) is considered important, while the name of the company is considered relevant only by 46% respondents.

To be noted, among the people surveyed only one quarter (24%) had travelled by commercial ship or boat in the past 12 months, and most of them did so for holidays (70%) or other leisure activities (23%), 4% for business trips and 1% for daily commuting. Only the people who travelled by ship or boat were asked specific questions on perceived quality and safety.

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